Dafoe ain't no mo'.

On this particular stretch of M-32 in Alpena County, there are homes lined up along the side of the road. Some new, some old, along with a very few ancient-looking barns and an old log cabin.

I've driven this road many times on the way to Alpena and never realized there was once a village here.

The community was named after an early settler by the name of Lemuel Dafoe, whose family moved to Alpena in 1863 when Lem was five years old. He was a postmaster, lawyer, mayor of Alpena from 1910-1914 and eventually became one of Michigan's State Representatives.

The village of Dafoe originated as a post office in 1899 with H. Wise as first postmaster. In 1918, a new postmaster, A.M. Shell, was recruited. The post office closed for good on November 30, 1917.

Driving through the former town of Dafoe, a traveler wouldn't know what used to be here: two blacksmith shops, general store, grocery store, sawmill and shingle mill, let alone an actual village.

Next time you're driving through, take a minute to remember this little once-upon-a-town! The location is at the junction of M-32 and Bean Creek roads.

 

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THANKS TO:
Michigan Ghost Towns of the Lower Peninsula
Michigan Hometown Locator
mdoe.state.mi.us