MICHIGAN SMALL TOWNS: A Tale of Two Fultons
Michigan has two towns named Fulton…and they are approximately 600 miles apart from each other.
Fulton in Keweenaw County began as a copper mining town. It’s part of a conglomerate of other nearby mining communities: Ahmeek, Allouez, Bumbletown, Centennial, Copper City, Kearsarge, Mohawk, Phillipsville, Seneca, and Wolverine, all in the Keweenaw Peninsula.
There are NO stores or shops in Fulton…just house after house after house, built back when the mine workers needed a place to live. The closest place to get food or supplies is less than a half mile away in Mohawk. Many of the old miner homes in Fulton have been abandoned, many are still lived in, and it’s an interesting drive through the narrow-roaded neighborhoods to see these historic old dwellings.
The main source of income was provided by the Fulton Mining Company, originally called the Forsyth(e) Mine, which began operations in 1847. In 1853, four new shafts were opened, which discovered several tons of copper and a vein of silver. 1,255 pounds of refined copper were shipped in 1853 alone.
The second Fulton - in Kalamazoo County - is an unincorporated community in Wakeshma Township. The town is known for being the headquarters of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi tribe. The tribe has a reservation closeby and they own a casino in Battle Creek, just a few miles away.
Fulton was originally called Wakeshma Centre, with settlers arriving in the 1830’s.
As the town grew, it had a shingle mill, saw mill, a three-story general store, two churches, schoolhouse, a second general store, hardware store, boot & shoe store, drug store, post office, blacksmith, harness shop, wagon shop, two doctors, and an undertaker.
Today, Fulton in K-Zoo County is a good place to roadtrip to, as there are still a handful of old storefronts and buildings still standing downtown.
Both Fultons are worth taking notice of and driving through.
Michigan has thousands – and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was millions – of stories, tales, historic events, people, legends, sites, amusements, oddities, and more to discover. Absorb everything you can about our state. It’s awesome.