MICHIGAN GHOST TOWN: The Empty Fields of Joyfield
Ever hear of Joyfield? Sure, there’s a Joyfield Township in Benzie County, but at one time, there was hope of a little community called Joyfield that failed to plant roots and grow.
The first settler, a Baptist minister named Reverend Amariah Joy, arrived in 1863 from Vermont. He opened the first community post office in 1864 and was postmaster until 1883. When his postmaster duties were taken over by William A. Joy, the post office was given the name ‘Joyfield P.O.’ When the town was officially organized in 1868, the town took its name from the post office.
The post office closed in 1903.
Just north of the former town is the Joyfield Cemetery. It sits on the old land of William Davis, who was the son of a plantation owner and slave woman. He, his wife, Mildred, and their children were among the area’s first black landowners, also arriving in 1863 as did Aramiah Joy. In 1870, Davis sold a patch of his land – five acres worth - to the township specifically for this cemetery. His daughter had passed away and he wanted her to be someplace near the family. Amariah Joy is also buried here, and you can easily find his grave if you have a few minutes. The township hall was built in 1887 and still sits here, next to the cemetery. The cemetery has been honored with its own Michigan Historical Marker.
Joyfield no longer shows up on maps, but if you peruse the photos below, they will show you the location. Visit sometime and get some great historic pics/video for yourself!
The former town’s location is at the junction of Benzie Hwy and Joyfield Road.
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