We've covered ghost towns before in Michigan, but for the most part, there are still some remnants of these cities that you can see, and walk through - Abandoned homes, city buildings, etc.

But there's one former bustling port city on Lake Michigan that had the potential to be one of the state's most important points of access on the Lake. However, they were their undoing, and now the city is completely wiped from the face of the earth.

They lost city of Singapore was once an insanely busy port city on Lake Michigan. It was located at the mouth of the Kalamazoo River in what is now part of the Saugatuck Township. Though, if you go there today, you'll see almost no signs of a town at all, just... sand dunes.

Why was Singapore Important?

Singapore was a booming city for its lumber industry, and made a lot of people very rich, very quickly. The port, at the mouth of the Kalamazoo River, was a perfect, centralized location for lumber companies up the river to bring their product to the lake for it to be sold, and shipped around The Great lakes.

Founded in 1836, within two years, the city had already established two "Wildcat" banks that issued their own banknotes that could only be accepted at these two banks. More than $50,000 in notes had been placed in circulation, but after the Civil War, the banks were closed, and consolidated.

But regardless, Singapore's lumber industry was still exploding, and would actually become its downfall.

Singapore, Michigan in the 1800s
Wikipedia
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What Happened to Singapore?

Following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and several other fires that happened in Holland, Peshtigo, and Manistee, the lumber town of Singapore went into overdrive. As the towns began to rebuild, they needed large amounts of lumber, and Singapore served as a major port for that. The surrounding forests also supplied much of the lumber that was being shipped across the lake to Chicago.

Within only a few years, the removal of all of the trees along the coastal town caused intense erosion. With the trees that would normally hold and block the sand from being blown inland now gone, the natural sandy beaches were free to blow inland, and within four years, completely destroyed any chance of living in Singapore.

By 1875, the town of Singapore was completely empty, and today, only brief glimpses of the tops of homes and other buildings poke out of the sand when the wind blows in the right direction.

But ultimately, the winds will change again, and Singapore will inevitably disappear under the dunes once again.

And to think, at one time, they thought this town would rival Chicago as a port city on Lake Michigan. Such potential lost to logs.

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