Kipling's Michigan Twins Today
| The town of Rudyard has prospered more than its twin. It lies about a hundred miles to the east of Kipling, midway between the Sault Ste Marie rapids on the north and the Straits of Mackinac on the south.
The nearest towns of any size are about twenty miles away in any direction, so that Rudyard has a clear raison d'etre as a supply and maintenance center for the surrounding countryside: much of that is forest, but there is considerable farming in the region as well. The current population is 500.
| Rudyard is unlovely in the straggling, unplanned and mongrel style of American small towns, but it evidently has life in it. A few things are on the highway - a filling station, and a large credit union building, for instance.
Then one turns on to the main street and is surprised to find it lined with beds of petunias in bloom, a work of genuine civic amenity. Some of the buildings on the main street have fallen into decay, but others - a bank, for example - are new and flourishing.
|There is a large feed store, a hardware store, a little shop combining gifts, a lunch counter, and a stock of liquor for sale. The railroad that was the reason for the town in the first place, and to whose manager the place owes it name, is still operating though not, apparently, very busy. The Soo Line no longer exists, but this section of its old line is now a part of the large regional railroad called the Wisconsin Central. Rudyard boasts a school, and a library, and at least three churches: Catholic, Presbyterian, and, one is pleased to see, a "Rudyard Bible Church."|