Buried Ghost Town: Singapore, Michigan
Michigan has dozens of ghost towns dating back to pre-statehood, post-statehood and Civil War eras. Many of which you'll find in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan -- mining towns of yester-year.
There's one ghost town you can't see anymore, but still exists on the Westside of the state near Saugatuck: Singapore, Michigan. This former lumbering & shipbuilding town was founded in 1836 by a guy from the Northeast. His thinking was "why couldn't this be a port as large and successful as Milwaukee or Chicago?" For 30+ years, it was a success with hotels and numerous businesses.
Fast forward to several midwestern fires from Chicago, Holland, Manistee and more around 1871. The area around Singapore, Michigan was deforested because so much wood was needed to rebuild in those other communities. So, why wouldn't Singapore exist with fewer trees?
Turns out, winds off Lake Michigan caused a great deal of erosion. Without trees to prevent sand from becoming a problem... Singapore, Michigan was essentially buried by a couple of sand dunes. Over time, people have found the tops of houses and various artifacts from that era including tools, building materials and everyday items you'd find in someone's house.
Not every building was lost -- when the Kalamazoo River froze over, people used giant logs to slide a few houses and a bank to Saugatuck before the sand could cover them. You can see the Singapore Bank Building on Butler Street in Saugatuck -- it's now a gallery/bookstore. A couple of the houses still exist, too.
Maureen Hayes told WZZM-TV in 2019 about the house she purchased at 333 Lucy Street in 2011 -- The historic commission was there at the time they closed on the property to say "Do you realize you have a Singapore house?" They did -- and have gone to great lengths to preserve it.
So, if you're on the west side of Michigan near Saugatuck, look closely for buried history. You might even come upon the old Dugout Road -- the main drag into and out of Singapore. It's still around -- essentially an overgrown trail you can follow to the sandy history of a buried Michigan city. Check out more of this history, including one of the banks printing it's own money, here.
Singapore Michigan by rossograph / CC BY SA 4.0 (No Changes Made)