MICHIGAN GHOST TOWN: ‘Avery’ Lies Empty in Berrien County
The little village of Avery doesn't seem to exist anymore...it thrived at one point and then just kinda faded away into a ghost - or shadow - town.
Avery was a stop along on the Michigan Central Railroad, approximately two miles east of Three Oaks (the Michigan Central Railroad implemented the Avery Track Plan, with the purpose of scooping up water on the run by locomotives).
Gilbert B. Avery arrived in the area, settled in 1854, and soon constructed a sawmill and began lumber operations.
Avery opened a post office in 1860 named after himself, and became the first postmaster. After being settled, the town was also referred to as Avery Station and Avery’s Mills (SEE PHOTOS BELOW). The post office closed for good in 1890.
On the 1873 atlas you can see that Avery had a few mills, a depot, post office, store, carpenter shop, a boarding house, and other shops right at the railroad tracks. Now there's nothing left.
Mr. Avery is responsible for designing the historic old Berrien County courthouse in 1838: the building was completed by James Lewis in April 1839. It served until 1894 when the county seat was moved to St Joseph. The courthouse remains 25 miles away from Avery in Berrien Springs and is the oldest standing courthouse in Michigan - plus, it has its own listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
You won't find Avery on most - if any - maps, and if you try to Google-search for it, a different Avery in northern Michigan (Montmorency County) shows up. Still, it might be an interesting drive-thru for you someday during a roadtrip. Make sure you hit both 'Avery' and Berrien Springs.
MORE MICHIGAN SMALL TOWNS: