Are These Ghost Towns or Not? Urban & Elmer, Sanilac County
There are a couple of curious places in Sanilac County's Moore Township. The “communities” of Urban and Elmer.
Urban shows up on old atlases but doesn't seem to be anything but a former postal station. According to the atlases, Urban popped up in the 1880s as “Urban P.O.”. No businesses, no homes, no railroad depot...just a post office. However, there was a one-room schoolhouse just north of the post office and a church a little further up.
Other than that, Urban had nothing else. By the 1920s, it appeared to be non-existent, according to the old atlases. Nowadays there's one residence sitting in that lonesome intersection in the countryside. You can find “Urban” at the intersection of Urban & Ubly roads.
Four miles south of Urban is Elmer, at the junction of M-46 and Ubly Road. Elmer sits on the border of Moore & Elmer Townships. It was settled in 1866 when Walter Hyslop came and laid down his roots. A post office was set up, “Elmer P.O.”, and began operating in 1876.
Elmer got off to a good start, with a little rippling of a possible growing community. But without a railroad coming through, it didn't prosper. The post office closed in 1906. Today, there are a few homes in Elmer, the old mixed with the recent, but you can count them on two hands.
These are two curious little roadtrip drive-throughs, and there is an old one-room school between Urban and Elmer, on the east side of Ubly Road.
If anyone has more info on one or both of these, let me know!
URBAN AND ELMER