MICHIGAN SHADOW TOWN: Almena, in Van Buren County
Almena, rumored to have been named after a Potawatomi princess, is a spinoff of a town that no longer exists.
A village once known as Brewerville was named after Lawrence Brewer, who operated a sawmill and general store. A post office opened in 1857 and Brewer also became the first town postmaster.
Meanwhile, just a short ways northeast of Brewerville, was a community that was first settled in 1835 by Jonas Barber. The township was set in 1842, and a post office named ‘Almena Centre’ was opened in 1848. It closed in 1849. A successful grist mill was being operated by Sam Fisk, so, in appreciation, the area was re-named Almena Mills.
Then, in 1861, the post office that had shut down in Brewerville was transferred to Almena Mills. With that, Brewerville began its sharp decline to non-existentcy and by the late 1800's, Almena Mills' name was shortened to simply ‘Almena’. The Almena post office closed down for good in 1905.
Almena still has a smattering of historic, old original buildings that are just begging for photo ops.
Almena and the area where Brewerville once sat (SEE PHOTOS BELOW) are in Almena Township, Van Buren County. It’s an interesting, historical stop to make on your Michigan roadtrip!
The more you learn about Michigan, the more fun you have on roadtrips!