Smalltown Michigan: Pullman, in Allegan County
The town of Pullman looks nothing like it did over 100 years ago. The downtown had a good number of storefronts, most of which have disappeared.
A couple of brothers by the name of 'Clement' (first names unknown) came to Allegan County in 1870 and built a sawmill in Lee Township. A good chunk of land was owned by two guys named Hopper and Bennett; it was on their land that the Chicago & Western Michigan Railroad placed a station. Disregarding Mr. Bennett, the community was therefore dubbed “Hoppertown”, which finally got its own post office under that name at the tail end of 1875.
The post office lasted 4 ½ years and was closed in July 1880; it re-opened in 1891 and took another ten years before the name was changed to 'Pullman' in 1901. Although it's not proven, it's widely believed the town was named after George Pullman, who created the sleeper car for train travelers.
The town grew around the railroad, but now the many stores and businesses that popped up near the tracks are gone, with a couple of new ones replacing the classics. A good number of roadside trees were also cut down, and the old downtown only has a few buildings remaining that are held over from old 'Hoppertown' and Pullman.