The Book of Ruins


Ghost towns and Historic Ruins of Michigan
Photographic Works by Geoffrey V. Brown

The Book of Ruins represents a four-year project to research and find the remains of lost cities in Michigan.

In the 1800s, lumbering, mining and railroads changed the landscape of Michigan. Many cities of various magnitude and significance began appearing all over the state, primarily in an effort to satisfy the world's hunger for lumber and iron - both plentiful resources in Michigan in the 1800s and early 1900s.

Over time, the lumber began to dwindle, and cities were abandoned and forgotten. Other towns, such as farming or mining communities, eventually suffered a fate caused by poor economic conditions or lack of natural resources. Years later, many of these locations remain as nothing more than scars of a previous civilization, lost deep in the forest. Others have small populations, mere shadows of the communities that they once were.

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Images and design Copyright © 1999-2004 Geoffrey Vail Brown