Entrican, the Shadow Town of Montcalm County
Hard to know for sure what to call this town: ghost town, shadow town, or small town. I guess I would probably settle on 'shadow town', because it is a shadow of its former self, with few residents remaining. The village of Entrican sits in Montcalm County's Douglas Township at the intersection of Grow & McBride roads.
In the first half of the 1800s, many Indians lived on this land. The white man soon arrived, and for awhile the two lived peacefully together. After 1860, the government intervened and moved all the Indian families - except three – to northern Michigan.
Upon the growth of this village, what would the name be? They settled the quandary by naming the town after the first men in the area to enlist in the Union army when the Civil War erupted: George W. and Albert Entrican. George later became township clerk from 1879-1880 and Albert became first postmaster when the post office opened in November 1887. The post office closed at the end of January 1908 but re-opened a month later.
Looking at Entrican these days, it's hard to imagine the nice little hubbub of businesses it once had: barber shop, blacksmith, cemetery, two churches, doctor's office, two halls, ice cream parlor, meat market, post office, sawmill, schoolhouse, and a nice little handful of stores. The Methodist church (seen below) later turned into the Entrican Bible Church.
The town thrived for a few decades, and finally the growth ceased. Once it stopped, businesses and townspeople left. So what happened?
Thanks to the automobile and more & more people owning one, many of them decided to drive to bigger cities to do their shopping. Members of the younger Entrican generation were eager to leave town to find better-paying employment. As expected, Entrican's businesses suffered and soon closed down, one-by-one.
Now in the 2000s, there is a small population and very few remnants of the old stores and shops. Next time you're out for a drive in that area, do a drive-thru now that you know a little something about it. Now take a look at some photos below.
Shadow Town of Entrican, Michigan
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