MICHIGAN ‘LOST’ TOWN, Amber, in Mason County
Up in Mason County on US-31 between Ludington and Scottville is the community of Amber. Some sources call this a ‘ghost town’ even though there are a number of residences and businesses. The fact that it is a far cry from what it once was may be the reason for its ‘ghost town’ recognition.
If you head east out of the busy city of Ludington, there are many businesses that bleed over into the area known as ‘Amber,’ giving the impression that these establishments are based in Ludington.
Ludington is six miles west of Amber, while Scottville is just two miles east of Amber. This adds to the confusion…where do these towns end and Amber begins? The village of Amber basically got sucked up into both Ludington and Scottville. In fact, the Scottville Wesleyan Church is actually in Amber.
Amber is in Amber Township, and began life in the mid-1800’s as a postal and railway station along the Pere Marquette Railroad. Both village and township were named after Amber, New York, where one of the early residents was originally from. Evidently, naming a new town after his old one was an attempt to cure his homesickness. In 1877 the population was 50, and by 1910 had “zoomed” to 55.
At its peak, Amber had a grocery store, general store, post office, schoolhouse, two steam sawmills, town hall, and a wooden bowl factory. The current businesses in the area are none of the originals.
Below Amber’s current location (intersection), is the railroad. Below the railroad just above W. 1st Street, is where the old schoolhouse once stood. Most of Amber’s businesses establishments, as well as the depot, were at the railroad crossing on S. Amber Road.
Amber may not actually be a ‘ghost town’, but rather a ‘lost’ town, that got absorbed by the stronger communities surrounding it. Now that you know a little about it, take a roadtrip over there sometime. You may be able to find a few old remnants of the Amber it used to be.