How could this charming little village be forgotten?

This chunk of land in Oakland County was purchased between 1824 and 1825 and was called the Stoughton Bullock Settlement. Then, in 1828, Pennsylvania doctor Ebenezer Raynale comes to town, is made the first postmaster, and re-names the town “Franklin” after his hero, Benjamin Franklin.

A store run by William Huston opened for business in 1830, which opened the floodgates for a slew of other businesses that included two churches, two distilleries, a grist mill, two saloons, and a wagon shop.

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When Michigan became a state in 1837, the now-open Erie Canal made it easy for settlers to come here and homestead. Around that same year the grist mill opened, kept busy by all the local farmers selling their wheat crops. Franklin was on its way.

Then the growth came to a halt. A proposed railroad was going to be laid and Franklin hoped it would come through...but nope. The tracks and train stop were given to Birmingham, bypassing Franklin. From then on, time & growth moved at a snail's pace for Franklin. During this slow period, Franklin became a station on the Underground Railroad.

Cashing on on that little piece of history, Franklin has embraced itself as “The Town That Time Forgot” and is now a designated Historic Michigan District.

In 1918, the grist mill was turned into a cider mill by Robert McKee and it continues to be Franklin's center of attention; otherwise, there are still a couple of old original buildings that still stand in what used to be a downtown area.

It's worth a drive-thru...just make sure you pay attention to the signs or you may already have driven through without knowing you were even there!

Franklin - The Town That Time Forgot


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