It's funny when you see a spot on a wall where there was once a pay phone and kind of say to yourself, "wow do I feel old." Payphones were once on almost every other street corner, and although the company Michigan Bell is no longer active, it is run by Michigan AT&T, which is why there are at least a few working Michigan Bell payphones in the state.

There's one that's quite popular if you want to visit it but there's a bit of a catch. You either have to swim to it or get to it by boat, because to my knowledge, one of the few working payphones resides on Mackinac Island.

Many residents have visited the payphone and taken pictures of themselves calling their loved ones, but it turns out the phone was often used for reasons that aren't very cool, as one person recalls:

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I worked for Mackinac Island State Park at British Landing, where this phone is, for 2 years. The number of false 911 calls that are made from this phone because people don't think it works, is crazy. Every time one was made I would get a call and have to go look around to see if there was an emergency because people would hang up immediately when the 911 call was answered.


It turns out there are actually quite a few working payphones in northern Michigan, and you'll most likely find them in very remote places, mainly used by hunting outposts. I say in about 20 years they'll become trendy again and we'll start seeing more of them pop up around the state.

Payphones: How Many Are Left in Michigan?


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