MICHIGAN SHADOW TOWN: Francisco, in Jackson County
Four-and-a-half miles northeast of Grass Lake lies a group of homes & houses that was once known as the village of Francisco. Francisco was settled in 1834, eight years before the village of Grass Lake even started.
Don't call it a 'ghost town' or you'll get some backlash from the residents who live there!
It was originally named "Franciscoville" after Associate Circuit Judge Henry A. Francisco who became the village's first postmaster in 1843. Sometime around 1877, the town's name was shortened to "Francisco."
The town did well, as a passenger & freight railroad agency, sitting alongside the Michigan Central Railroad and handling TWO separate depots; one of them the depot along the interurban line from Jackson to Chelsea.
Many businesses opened up, including a blacksmith, general store, two churches, schoolhouse and mercantile shop. A schoolhouse was on the east side of Francisco Road, halfway between Clear Lake Rd. and Bohne Rd.
Approximately 100-200 feet south of the railroad tracks once stood one of those two churches. However, according to the 1911 atlas, it appears that the church no longer existed but one still exists just north on Bohne Rd.
The post office closed in 1914. Once it closed down, the businesses in Francisco began shutting down, one-by-one, over the years, some moving to Grass Lake, others closing for good. Nowadays there are no shops, stores or businesses left in the former Francisco, but many original houses still stand, occupied.
The area is still referred to as 'Francisco' by locals, but maps don't seem to list it anymore. Drive-thru the old Francisco area anytime and see where a once-thriving town once stood in Grass Lake Township...located at the railroad tracks on N. Francisco Road and at the junction of Francisco and Bohne roads.