The ‘Forgotten’ Duck Lake Cemetery, 1880-1938
The Fruitland Township West Cemetery is more commonly known as 'Duck Lake Cemetery', north of Muskegon and south of Whitehall, along lake Michigan.
You would have no idea there was a cemetery there, as all the markers are gone – leaving one to believe the bodies are still there, among the trees just of the road.
The only marker in the cemetery is an historical plaque, that states it's “in honor of the early deceased settlers of the Duck Lake trading post and settlement. To the early lumber jacks, sea disaster victims and to the Indians who lived on these shores.”
The plaque lists all eleven of the people buried here, from the first in 1880 to the last in 1938.
According to Michigan Place Names, the first settler in the area was Charles Mears in 1840, who built a sawmill in an attempt to help the area grow. In March of 1856, a post office opened but closed just a little over two years later, in July 1858. The village which was starting out as 'Duck Lake' soon diminished and turned into a hamlet.
The gallery below shows some photos of the Duck Lake Cemetery with no gravestones, just the memorial marker. As you look over the photos, you can imagine the eleven bodies that are still scattered throughout the woods, in this long-forgotten graveyard that sits just off the main highway, to the unaware tourists who happen to drive by...
This little off-the-road cemetery isn't scary, but more of a curiosity than anything else. It makes an interesting sidenote the next time you roadtrip thru Muskegon County.
Duck Lake and Cemetery
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