See the Ruins of an Abandoned Cement Factory North of Battle Creek, Michigan
One of the more fascinating abandoned places in Michigan is Burt Portland Cement Company in Bellevue, north of Battle Creek. It was owned by the Burt boys: Wellington R. Burt and his son George from Saginaw.
Wellington bought the land in 1903 and constructed the factory in 1904, specifically for George to manage. Wellington had been mayor of East Saginaw from 1867-1868, a U.S. Senator, was a lumber baron and dabbled in iron mining, railroads, and salt mines. He was the eighth richest man in the world, with a worth of an estimated 90 million dollars.
By 1906 the factory was operating at full capacity. It went on to become one of the largest in Michigan. Also called the “Burt Brand of Rock Portland Cement”, the plant shipped product around the whole state as well as Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
In March 1914, Wellington sold the business and all its personal property to George for the sum of $93,150. George was now the sole owner. Wellington made it known to the whole Burt family that he was so very happy that he could do this for his son. Five years later, Wellington passed away on March 2, 1919 at the age of 87; cause of death was marked as “senility”.
Even though the cement plant did amazingly well, it suffered from bankruptcy and ended up closing down in 1928. There is a whole long case text on “Burt Vs. Bank of Saginaw” that you can read here.
The plant was never torn down and just left sitting to rot over the next nine decades. The old ruins still stand, hidden among the brush, weeds, and trees on the southwest corner of Bellevue. Lots of spray paint graffiti litter the place and it's become a place where local kids go to have campfires, explore, and carouse.
Take a look at the photos below.
Abandoned Cement Factory, Bellevue
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