The Four “Christmas Tree” Towns of Michigan
Here are four more areas in Michigan with names that are synonymous with Christmas: Balsam, Pines, Evergreen, and Spruce. These are four places that don't have much history written about them.
BALSAM is a ghost town up in the middle of nowhere in the Upper Peninsula. It's an unincorporated community in Crystal Falls Township, Iron County, and there is absolutely nothing left. Two railroads came through here – the Chicago & NW Amasa which is still used, and the Milwaukee which has since been ripped out.
In 1909 Balsam received its own post office, but later that year it closed for good. Afterward, everything disappeared and today there is nothing there but the railroad tracks.
PINES is a ghost town located in Hiawatha Township, Schoolcraft County. Not much is known about Pines, except that it was probably named after the obvious abundance of pine trees in the area. It's along the railroad, so there may have been a depot at one time. The only thing left is an old building, that may have been a little motel, bar, or restaurant.
EVERGREEN...actually Evergreen Township...sits in the center of Montcalm County and was established in 1856. The town hall sits near the top of the hill, right in the center of the township, along E. Sidney Road. It lives up to its name...not for evergreen trees, but because the countryside in which the township resides is blindingly green every summer! Other than that, there are very few houses, and a good handful of scattered abandoned mobile homes.
SPRUCE is on the northern border of Alcona County - just below the border of Alpena County - in Caledonia Township. These days, Spruce is considered to be a 'shadow town' with a handful of residents...but it's a shell of it's former, prosperous self when it was one of Michigan's lumber towns.
Spruce began as a lumber town back in 1898 when a sawmill was erected by Don Hecox, who also was Spruce's first postmaster. As with most northern Michigan small towns, it declined once the timber became depleted.
Spruce is currently an unincorporated community approximately three miles west of US-23. Many of the town's old original buildings are still standing - some deserted, some being used for other purposes. If you visited that area in the past, you may recall statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox near Spruce near F-41.....they have been removed and sent to Ossineke a few miles north.
So there they are. It's the holiday season, so why not have some fun? Four Michigan places that have the same names as popular types of trees for Christmas! Take a look at the photo gallery below, showing all four locations!
FOUR MICHIGAN CHRISTMAS TREE TOWNS