MICHIGAN GHOST TOWN: Old School is All That’s Left of Brookside
Brookside is a community that lies smack-dab in the center of Sheridan Township in Newaygo County.
Its beginnings were in 1862 when John Fellows arrived and set up living quarters. Two years later, William (or Walter) Gould arrived and named it “Brookside” as it was alongside Brooks Creek, which had been named after one of the area’s first lumbermen, John Brooks.
In 1868, Alfred Meade built a dam and sawmill on Brooks Creek. Thanks to the success of the mill, the village began to grow, and in 1880, Meade erected a grist mill. In 1888, David Squier built a shingle mill on the creek and John Pikaart began operating a general store.
The Brookside post office began operations in 1890 with Pikaart as its first postmaster. The post office lasted just a little over ten years, closing for good in October 1901.
Unfortunately, after Pikaart turned operations of his store over to three other men, the store burned down. The shingle mill also burned down, and Alfred Meade’s mill was torn down.
A feed mill was built in 1905, operated until 1913, then moved to Fremont. A new two-room schoolhouse was built in 1903 to replace the old one on the corner of W. 72nd Street. With the businesses either burning down or being moved and not being re-built, the village of Brookside suffered, stopped growing, and practically disappeared.
Today, there is a house at the crossroads, that was formerly the schoolhouse. You'll see what it looked like then-and-now in the gallery below. The structure is the last remaining piece of evidence that there was once a prosperous little village here over 100 years ago.