Waterford Township, Michigan

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Waterford Charter Township is a charter township in north Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the township had a total population of 73,150.



Lewis Cass, the third governor of Michigan Territory, established the boundaries of Oakland County in 1819. Waterford Township was organized in 1834.

Before being displaced by European settlers in the 18th and early 19th century, the area was populated with Iroquoian and Algonquian tribes of the Hurons, Ottawas, Ojibwas, Potawatomies, Miamis, Sauk, Sashabaws, and others. During the French and Iroquois Wars, the Iroquois expanded westward and maintained a temporary presence in the area, having displaced other tribes. However, by the time white settlers ventured into the area that would become Waterford Village, there were few Native Americans living in the area.

In the latter part of 1818 Oliver Williams and his brother-in-law, Alpheus Williams, entered the first land purchase for $2.00 an acre ($494/kmĀ²). Archibald Phillips and Alpheus Williams purchased 161.40 acres (653,200 m2) in what became the Village of Waterford.

In 1819, the Oliver Williams family established the first farm settlement in the county on the banks of Silver Lake. Archibald Phillips and Alpheus Williams continued on to where the Clinton River crossed the Saginaw Trail (now known as US-24/Dixie Highway). Here the first house of the Village of Waterford was built by Alpheus Williams on the north bank of the river. Archibald Phillips built his home across from the south corner where Andersonville Road meets Dixie Highway. Williams and Phillips also built the first dam where the Clinton River crossed over the Saginaw Trail and erected the first saw mill.

The historic district of Waterford Township includes Dixie Highway, a block north and south of Andersonville Road, then Andersonville Road between Dixie Highway and Airport Road, south on Airport Road to the railroad tracks.

Other neighborhoods in Waterford Township include Watkins Lake Estates, northwest of Scott Lake Road at Pontiac Lake Road; Elizabeth Lake Estates, south of Elizabeth Lake Road between Cooley Lake Road and Cass Lake Road; Drayton Plains, near where Dixie Highway and Sashabaw Road meet; Clintonville, near Lake Oakland; Four Towns, on the southwest corner of the township and home to Oakland Community College's Highland Lakes campus; and Huron Heights, on the northern shores of Sylvan Lake and home to the Summit Place shopping center. There are 35 recognized lakes within Waterford Township, and many parks, including the Pontiac Lake State Recreation Area, Dodge Brothers State Park and Waterford Oaks county park.

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