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Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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Preserve America Community:
Huron Township, Michigan

Huron Township, Michigan, (population 15,000) encompasses the three villages of Walz, Willow, and New Boston. The life and history of the township revolve around the Huron River, which flows through the area. In 1679, the French explorer LaSalle explored the river looking for a shortcut to Lake Michigan. The river supplied water and food for the early pioneers and the Indians who made their home along its banks.

Nearby forests were home to the Wyandotte Indian reservation from 1818 until the late 1840s, when the Indians were relocated to Kansas. The land was then lumbered.

In the 1870s, the Pere Marquette Railroad came to the township. The small towns were filled with activity, and large farms in the surrounding countryside created a strong economic base. But by 1915, auto factories had lured farmers to the big city, and population in the three villages declined.

Over the last 15 years, however, the township has rebounded as a bedroom community for Detroit, as well as continuing its agricultural productivity. Sod production, nursery, and greenhouse stock are main outputs in this community.

Recently, the community came together to restore the Samuel Adams House, circa 1886, in New Boston. The house is open for archival research, oral history presentations, and tours. Once a year, the day-long Historical Days festival celebrates the history of the house and the township, with re-enactors, music, food, and entertainment offered on the grounds of the historic house.

For more information

Huron Township: www.hurontownship.com

Posted March 9, 2009

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