I heard about this Pere Cheney ghost town and had a few requests to take some pics of it. I was there on a cold and rainy day. It’s about 10 miles southeast of Grayling in Crawford county. Pere Cheney was a lumbering town that was established in 1874 and was one of the largest towns in the region at the time. The population grew to about 1500 people but in 1893 diphtheria spread throughout the village killing most of its population. Again in 1897 diphtheria returned and by 1917 there were 18 people left in the town and it was sold off in an auction. Since then all the buildings are gone and there is just a cemetery that remains about a mile south of where the town once stood.
Now that you know a little of the history you can see why there are ghost stories surrounding this area. There are reports of lights in the woods and they say you can hear children playing, and sometimes they leave handprints on the cars when you visit. I don’t believe much in ghosts, but I do like a good story, and I am a history buff. I figure why not stop and get a few pics while I am there. Only a few headstones remain in the graveyard and many are broken or have fallen over. But that does not stop visitors from leaving flowers and coins.
Where the town once stood there is a lot of moss growing on the trees, they say nothing grows there but that’s not true. There is wild grass growing and I even found some wildflowers. As for the moss, it grows on a lot of the trees, but I have seen it in other areas of the woods around there so it’s not unique. There are some depressions in the ground and I read online that these are where the buildings used to be.
The spooky thing to me was, it’s in the middle of nowhere. Railroad tracks that pass thru the area and it’s where the town got supplies from many years ago before there were cars and trucks. It’s rather secluded and it is strange to see a cemetery in the middle of the woods like it is. If I hadn’t known it was there. and I came across it by accident. it would have really spooked me.
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