HISTORY OF MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP
An Act of the legislature approved on March 11, 1837 directed that “that portion of the county of Washtenaw designated in the United States survey as township 4 south, of range 3 east, be, and the same is, hereby set off, and organized into a separate township, by the name of Manchester, and the first township meeting therein shall be held at the schoolhouse in Manchester.” The first township meeting was held at said schoolhouse on Monday, April 3, 1837 to elect the first officers and to enact some resolutions for governance.
Manchester Township, in the southwest corner of the County, is the largest municipal land area, comprising a total of 22,456 acres. The area includes much of the Burr Oak Plains, several lakes and the River Raisin which enters it in the northwest section. Between its entrance there and its exit in the northeast section the river falls 40 feet, pinpointing the location of the three dams built as the Village of Manchester began to grow in the 1830’s. The Village and commercial activity dominated the Township and joined the two units. (Rural townships usually placed a town hall at their center whereas Manchester Township governed from the Village which is in the corner of the township).
The Township Library (1838) and Fire Department (18??) served both village and township residents. In 1979 the Township discontinued joint use of Old Village Hall (1867) and built their new hall within the Village.
(contributed by Howard Parr, Manchester Area Historical Society)