Wright and Ketcham Lumber Company established company headquarters in Hope Township between Averill and Hope. They called their town Ketchamville, later shortened to Ketcham, after the junior partner Phillip H. Ketcham. Wright and Ketcham began purchasing tracts of pine land around 1878.

This was the largest pine timber operation in the Saginaw Valley, with a payroll of 1,000 men. This was also the first lumber company to build their own private railroad for hauling lumber. The railroad used a narrow gauge track which ran north out of Averill. The company’s motto was “cut and get out” and they held little regard for improving the lands where they operated.


Author: Catherine Sias

Originally Posted: May 29, 2017


Dodge, R. L. Michigan Ghost Towns of the Lower Peninsula (Formerly Michigan Ghost Towns I & II).  Las Vegas: Glendon Publishing, 1971.


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