The Semi-Ghost Town of Gould City, 1886-2000s
I mentioned this old U.P. lumber town in a past article, but thought I'd update it with some great old photographs.
Gould City is located in Newton Township, Mackinac County and is considered to be a SEMI-ghost town. The town was born in 1886 with a post office established by 1888. It was a prosperous lumber town and boasted a population of over 300 - a good amount for a small Michigan lumber town.
Some sites say the town was named by its founder, lumberman Sam Stites, after a logging friend of his named Gould. Stites opened up the first grocery store in town, and soon that store was followed by the Central Hotel, train depot, their own baseball team, sawmill, general store, saloon, church, schoolhouse and others. Almost all of these structures have been torn down. There are a diminished number of originals still standing – in particular, an old mercantile shop, as you'll see in the photo gallery below. Gould City was also a railway stop along the Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Sault Ste. Marie railroad.
The town's downslide happened the same way as other lumber towns: once the timber was depleted, residents left seeking employment elsewhere, buildings and homes were left to deteriorate, and soon the town was a shadow of what it once was.
The handful of businesses that are still there operate mainly in the warm months and shut down for the winter. If you drive thru the middle of town you'll notice some abandoned stores and homes.
The photo gallery below shows some of the old businesses that used to stand, including the old Central Hotel next to the train tracks. There are a nice handful of "then-and-now" pictures as well.
Take a roadtrip soon and see for yourself!