Emerson, a Michigan Ghost Town On Lake Superior
Here's another town that seems to be completely gone: Emerson, south of Whitefish Point in the Upper Peninsula.
Emerson was/is at the tail end of the Tahquamenon River on Lake Superior. Although the town is gone, currently there is the Tahquamenon Falls State Park.
Emerson began in 1882 as a lumber town and named after Curt Emerson, a lumber bigwig. He built a sawmill, increased his business, and soon sold out to the Chesbrough Lumber Company.
A post office opened in April 1884 with Fremont B. Chesbrough (from the lumber company) becoming the town's first postmaster.
Emerson was doing good business...there was a general store, schoolhouse, post office, hotel, and the lumber mill. By 1890, the population had risen to 109.
As with most Michigan lumber towns, once they depleted all the timber, the town diminished and people moved away. The mill ceased operations in 1912 and the entire town was sold to the Charcoal Iron Company. With no lumber business, the residents of Emerson took to commercial fishing. Then the post office closed in 1914.
In 1927, the nearby town of Paradise opened their own school, and the kids from Emerson went there instead. With that, the Emerson school closed for good.
By 1939, the population was down to 25. By the end of World War II, that was it for Emerson. After WW2, the village, its buildings, and townsfolk were gone. Any building that remained was moved to other locations in the U.P.
There are a couple of things to look for if you visit: the Historical Marker that tells the story of Emerson, and a tiny, unnamed island just off the coast. On that island are the sunken remains of the old mill, which you can see in the photo gallery below.
PHOTOS OF EMERSON