HISTORIC MICHIGAN SMALLTOWN: Winn, in Isabella County
I visited this little town some years ago and I've always wanted to make a return trip.
The village of Winn is located near the intersection of S. Winn Rd. and W. Blanchard Rd. in Fremont Township, Isabella County, about 12 miles southwest of Mount Pleasant.
Originally called Winn, the town's name was changed to Dushville when William Wiley Dush moved there and thought the town's name should be named after him...so, in 1876, he somehow convinced the residents that the town should be re-named 'Dushville'.
Dushville became a lumber town, thanks to the seemingly endless supply of trees found in the surrounding thick woods. Timber was being cut, sawmills were being built.....but no railroad was forthcoming to the area. The lumber had to be transported by teams of horse & wagon.
Mr. Dush ran three steam powered sawmills, all of which were destroyed by explosions. The third explosion killed Dush himself. By this time, Dushville had a bank, barber shops, baseball team, blacksmiths, bowling alley, dance hall, doctor's office, drug store, three general stores, hat shop, hotel, literary group, livery, newspaper (The Dushville Banner"), post office, saloon, telephone company, and undertaker.
In March of 1895, now that William Wiley Dush was no longer around, the State legislature changed the town's name back to Winn, as it remains to this day. In 1935, Winn got electricity, another sawmill was in operation, and the town was doing well.
These days, it's a nice little town to drive through, maybe grab a bite of home-cookin', and enjoy the nice handful of old buildings that are still standing.
Two nearby cemeteries, Union and Taylor, will give you more insight on the settlers of the time and maybe a little more appreciation of the days of Dushville, and the legacy of the historic Michigan town of Winn.