Deward, Michigan
One of many Michigan ghost towns, Deward was named after David Ward a lumber baron who lived from 1836 to 1900. In his will, he stipulated that his remaining holdings of virgin white pine stands should liquidated within 12 years. A state of the art sawmill was constructed near the Manistee River northwest of Frederick in Crawford County.

The town of Deward was built to support the mill. It reached a peak population of 800 people prior to 1912.

In the Introduction to the History of Grayling (pub 1972):
"A great mill arose, (1901); that devoured the forest for miles and miles around. It continued for ten years, then was taken down, shipped away"
The mill employed a dozen logging crews and two or three long trains of logs arrived at the mill each day.

According to a 1966 article in the Bay City Times written by Lois Barr, the town had 300 buidings:
"These included the mill, a general store, a large two-story boarding house, a two-room school house, a Swedish Lutheran Church, a community hall over the store, cottages, a three stall roundhouse which did repairs on the rail engines and cars, as well as other railroad buildings."

“Long rows of neat, well built cottages stretch along the river terraces and a well stocked store supplies the necessities of life. There are long alignments of lumber piles, millions of feet of it, enough to cover a good-sized farm and all white pine, a product that is worth from $30 to $60 a thousand board feet.”

Taking the average of the above price $45 per 1000 board feet and multiplying by the a good year's annual production of about 50,000,000 board feet yields a value of about $2.25 million (assuming the year 1910, this amount has a 2010 value of $52 million.)

After the white pine was exhausted in 1912 after just ten years of logging, the mill was taken down and the population of Deward began to dwindle. The last residents, the family of Carl Oslon left in 1932.

A photo (hosted on the seekingmichigan website) of a humorous signpost in Deward shows that some abandoned buildings (seen in the background) remained standing as late as 1957 (the signpost includes an arrow shaped sign pointing straight up that is labeled "Sputnik".
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