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Michigan Ghost Town Images

Welcome to our Michigan Ghost Town desktop wallpaper image page. Below you will find a brief description of several Ghost Towns located in Michigan, along with thumbnailed images. Click on any of the thumbnailed images to see a large  image from that Ghost Town, then right-click on the full-sized image and "save as desktop wallpaper." All rows of thumbnails with a newgif.gif (123 bytes)after them have been added to the site recently.

Please return to our Home page to see digital images of Great Lakes Ships, Great Lakes Lighthouses, colorful sunsets, and links to other interesting Great Lakes websites.

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Emerson A sawmill was built at the mouth of the Taquamenon River in the early 1880's by Lumberman Curt Emerson, the small town of Emerson soon developed near the mill. A few years later in 1884 Emerson sold his mill to the Chesbrough Lumber Co. The mill closed in 1912 after which commercial fishing became the main source of income for the few remaining residents. By 1950 all of the residents had moved on, and the remaining buildings were moved, razed, or left to neglect. Today only a few piers remain around a small island south of town, as well as bricks, quite a bit of lumber, and other assorted items.

The first two photos show the higher water levels of Lake Superior in 2006, and the drastically lower levels in 2007, where you could actually walk to the island without getting wet.

The last two photos show the outline of a small boat, and engine in the sand. These are likely remnants of the fishing industry, not from the logging era.

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Fayette is located on the Garden Peninsula in the Upper Peninsula on Lake Michigan, founded around 1864 and built as an iron smelting town, it thrived until more efficient methods of iron smelting were developed in the 1880's. acquired by the DNR in 1959 and transformed into one of Michigan's most unique state parks, this make a very interesting park to visit.

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Fiborn Quarry was a small town built at a limestone quarry northwest of St. Ignace in 1904, and was completely deserted by 1940. It makes an interesting and eerie place to visit with it's towering limestone walls.

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Shelldrake is located about 4 miles north of Paradise. Shelldrake was first a Native American fishing village. Today a road closely follows the trail that ran from Shelldrake to Vermilion Point. Native Americans are believed to have used this trail to reach mines of red ochre also known as vermilion, which they used for paint pigment. The Penoyer brothers from Bay City, Michigan began the first lumbering operations on the mouth of the Shelldrake River in 1895 with the construction of a sawmill, long docks, and a tramway into Whitefish Bay for loading lumber onto ships. They owned a large block of pine lands in the Tahquamenon River watershed. The Calumet and Hecla copper mining company bought the sawmill and uncut timber in 1899 for their mines. Calumet and Hecla sold out to a Canadian firm, the Bartlett Brothers, in 1910. Lumber milling continued at Shelldrake until 1925 when a fire burned down the sawmill plant for the second time. Cornelius ("Con") Culhane, who attained "Paul Bunyan-like" status in local lumbering legend, contracted to haul timber by railroad from logging camps to Shelldrake throughout its sawmill years. By the late 1890s, Shelldrake had a sawmill, houses for workers that were equipped with bathrooms, a hospital, a school house, a post office, and an icehouse that could store enough meat to feed a population of 1,000 through the winter months. All of the buildings were plastered and had hot water piped from the sawdust burner. There was a stagecoach between Eckerman, Michigan and Shelldrake daily in the summer and three times a week during the winter. At one time there was also a passenger ship sailing between Shelldrake and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Although Shelldrake was sold to private owners during the 1930s, it never developed into a resort or hunting place despite what is recorded on the Michigan historic marker. It is now a privately owned ghost town with only a few weathered, original buildings at the site. (wikipedia)

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Vermilion is located about 6 miles west of Whitefish Point on Lake Superior, After the U S Coast guard sold the building and stretch of shoreline in the 40's, many years of neglect and vandalism took it's toll. Four-wheel drive vehicles and snowmobiles destroyed much of the beach grass surrounding the old station in the 1970s. In early 1970s the Vermilion Life Saving Station and the surrounding 1.5 miles undeveloped shoreline was privately purchased for preservation and restoration. Vermilion Point is one of the few Great Lakes sites where the Piping Plover has successfully nested. By 2004 it was transferred to the Little Traverse Conservancy as the Vermilion Point Nature Preserve that is used by the Lake Superior State University, the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory, and the Michigan Audubon Society for research of the federally endangered Piping Plover and beach plant community succession as well as student hands-on experience in avian ecology. The property is open to the public for quiet recreation – no motorized vehicle is allowed on the preserve and the areas around piping plover nests and bird-trapping nets are restricted. (wikipedia)

I took the first 4 photos in the early 1990's at which time the Coast Guard buildings were sided with cedar shake, while the remaining 16 photos were taken in 2012 and 2014.

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The photos below were taken September 2018, when Representatives from Little Traverse Conservancy, Great Lakes Shipwreck Society, and SOS Vermilion removed the last of three additions to the building that were not part of the original 1876 building. Their goal through donations is to restore the original building back to its 1876 appearance. Please visit the SOS Vermilion website to learn more.

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The photos below were taken in August of 2023. They show the work that has begun to move the building to the new wood platform to the east of the 1876 structure. The rotted wood that has been buried in the sand at the base of the building will be removed and re-built on the new platform. One of the photos shows green paint on a lower trim board that has likely been buried in the sand for over 100 years, and could actually be the original trim paint.

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The photos below were taken in September of 2023. They show the new location of the 1876 structure now that it has been placed on the new foundation.

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