From Harvey Bidlack, Shepherd, Michigan
Chippewa township Supervisor, to Jane Cowles, April, 1979
Alembic, a ghost town of Isabella County, was located six and one-half miles Esat of
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan on Remus Road, between Loomis and Wise Roads.
It was settled in 1859. A post office was established in 1874. The population was 100.
George Howorth was the postmaster. There were two saw mills and some other places of
In 1905, the population still numbered 100. There were two churches. W.B. Potter was
postmaster, and had a blacksmith shop and general store. The stsore was located on the
present site of Junior Burgraff's home (northeast corner of northwest 1/4 of NW 1/4 of section 22.
The Hardgrove sawmill was located across the road on the SE corner of SW 1/4 of SW 1/4 section 15.
Chippewa township was organized October 12, 1858. In April 1859, Norman C. Payne was
elected the first supervisor.
At one time the Alembic post office was in the present Dorance Dean home (center S side
of SW 1/4 of SW 1/4 of section 21 -- on Broomfield Road).
Alembic school was located on the present Seals property (NE corner of NE 1/4 NW 1/4 of section 22.)
This information was taken from Vern Powis who went to school there and John Ripley who taught
school there at one time.
By digging in a ravine north of the present Guy Smith house, one can still find sawdust from the
In 1857 the township abounded with deer, wolves, and bear.
Coe township was organized in February 1855, and consisted of townline 13 and 14, range
3 west. This includes the present day Coe and Chippewa townships. In 1858, Chippewa was
split off as a separate township. The rest of the county was organized as Isabella township (1857).
These three townships then became Isabella County in 1859.
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