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Sylvester

Sylvester, Michigan is a farming community located in Hinton Township of southern Mecosta County, approximately 20 miles south and east of Big Rapids. Whites first settled the area around 1860 as a lumber town. An oft-traded sawmill existed on the Sylvester Creek until the boiler exploded in the year 1900. The sawmill was not rebuilt, and the local lumber industry soon died out. Sylvester maintained a local post office from 1872 until 1904. The town also supported a school for sixty years, between 1883 and 1943.

A series of grocers set up shop over the first century of the town's existence, until the last one, William Yurisko, saw his establishment burn to the ground on New Year's Eve, 1957. The Grand Rapids Herald ran a photo of the burning store next to an article titled: "Last Store Burns: Mecosta County Town of Sylvester Becomes History".

Perhaps the Herald was right, perhaps not. The town's modern-day residents prefer to believe the latter. Today, Sylvester has about thirty residents. While lumbering is not nearly as important to the local economy as it once was, some still goes on. And as it turns out, William Yurisko was not the last grocer in Sylvester. The town's businesses include, aside from several local farms and a small timber company, a popular general store known as King's Trading Post, which has been featured in The Grand Rapids Press.

The Press referred to Sylvester's location as: "on a county road between Remus and Lakeview - in other words, in the middle of nowhere." So there you go.

The local mailing address is now Mecosta, and the town's children attend Lakeview Community Schools.

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