The Shadow Town of Pearl: Allegan County, Michigan
Pearl was once a village, now it's a barely recognized unincorporated community. It lies in Clyde Township, Allegan County.
The village began when a sawmill was constructed by the lumber company of Eggleston & Hazleton in 1872. The company owners also owned quite a bit of woodland and began their business employing 75 men between the lumbering and the mill.
These men were kept busy – they built houses and a boarding house for the lumbermen. The name of the community was dubbed Clyde Centre. The name 'Clyde' was suggested by settlers who had arrived from the town of Clyde in New York.
Soon, a store popped up, a depot, and post office.
Just a few short years later, in 1877, they had used up just about all the timber in the area. So what to do? They moved the mill to a new location and set up shop in a different community. Other businesses and residents soon left as well.
Once the mill was removed, a couple of former mill workers bought the land and began farming, making a good living growing fruit and vegetables.
In 1879 Simeon O. Pearl moved to Michigan from Ohio and also became a successful fruit & vegetable farmer. He must have been well-thought of, because in 1881 when the name of the post office was to be changed, town officials suggested the name 'Pearl'. Washington D.C. accepted it, and it's bore that name ever since.
Mr. Pearl was a respected citizen, a member of the school board and one of the fairest Justices of the Peace in the county.
Now, if you can only find the place.
It's near the center of Clyde Township, and the town hall still stands, as well as a church and some homes, but no business section. The railroad still goes through, and you can see the bare spot where the depot once stood. Check out photos below!
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