The Crossing That Created Thompsonville, 1889
Thompsonville lies in Benzie County, southwest of Traverse City and Interlochen.
Thompsonville was founded as one of three towns in the county that had a railroad go through. Actually there were TWO railroad lines: the Pere Marquette to Traverse City and the Ann Arbor to Frankfort.
The intersection of these two railroads formed a 'diamond' crossing that occurred in 1889. This diamond-shaped crossing of tracks was the genesis of Thompsonville; before this crossing existed, there was no town. A year later, Thompsonville was founded. Thanks to the influx of travelers, tourists, business people, and the lumber trade, Thompsonville began to flourish. By 1901, there was a population of 1,200.
Nowadays the tracks are long gone.
There are many old houses and buildings that still stand, a handful of residents, and a few businesses. But Crystal Mountain is just 2.5 miles west of Thompsonville, so if you ever plan on spending a night or two at Crystal Mountain, take a short drive over to Thompsonville and get the feel of a town that may remind you of Mayberry.
Take a look at the gallery below, with photos of Thompsonville that go back well over 100 years!