The Michigan Shadow Town of Sylvester, Mecosta County
Sylvester is considered to be a ghost town, even though there are still a few homes scattered in the vicinity, as well as a party store...but it's a long ways from what it was back in the late 1800s.
You'll find Sylvester in Mecosta County, hidden in the Hinton Township countryside. Depending on what source you want to believe, the village was named after either the nearby Silver Creek, or one of the area's original lumbermen, Sylvester Dresser.
Hinton Township's first store was in Sylvester, opened and operated by David Fowler in 1868. By the 1870s, the town had an impressive amount of businesses: blacksmith, boot & shoe store, church, doctor, two general stores, hotel, post office, three saw mills, steam mill, and wagon shop. Thanks to the mills, the town had a pretty good lumber enterprise going and the town grew from a population of 70 to 100. The post office opened in 1872 and the hotel was constructed in 1877.
Sometime in the late 1800s, the steam mill exploded, killing two men. No one took the initiative to rebuild the mill and soon the residents and businesses began to leave. By 1900, all that remained were a few people and one store. The post office closed for good in 1904. Up through the mid 1900s, several grocery stores came and went until the last one burned down in 1957...and that was the end of Sylvester as it once was.
Currently, there are a handful of old homes still around, King's Trading Post (a pretty cool little stop to make), and the old church, hidden from view off the road. There's a possibility that there are old overgrown streets throughout the woods, now covered over with weeds, bushes, and trees within the forest area.
It's worth a little drive-thru Sylvester someday, now that you know a little about it.
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