Watersmeet Township, Michigan

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Watersmeet Township is a civil township of Gogebic County in the Upper Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 1,472 at the 2000 census.

The unincorporated community of Watersmeet is within the township on the middle branch of the Ontonagon River near the junction of U.S. Highway 2 and U.S. Highway 45 at 46°16′04″N 89°10′40″W / 46.26778°N 89.17778°W / 46.26778; -89.17778.

In late 2003 and early 2004, the boys' high school basketball team of the K-12 Watersmeet Township School (at the time, 9-12 grade enrollment 78; it has since absorbed 13 of neighboring Marenisco's 60 K-12 students [1] and 2005-2006 enrollment now stands at 96 [2]) was featured in a series of commercials on ESPN. Part of the reason ESPN chose Watersmeet for the commercials was the school's unusual nickname of Nimrods. The tag line of the commercials was "Without sports, who would cheer for the Nimrods?" The ads were so popular that the team, its coach, and octogenarian fan Dale Jenkins, all of whom were featured on the commercials, appeared on The Tonight Show on March 15, 2004.

The township and the Nimrods are the focus of an 8-part documentary, Nimrod Nation, which aired on The Sundance Channel. Filming started in September 2005 and continued until June, 2006. The idea for a series was reportedly formed when actor Robert Redford, one of the channel's owners and a champion of Native American issues, was informed that Watersmeet Township School's student body (and varsity basketball team) was approximately 50 percent Native American in composition. [3]

Other attractions in Watersmeet include the Lac Vieux Desert casino and the nearby Lights of Paulding.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 277.8 square miles (719.6 km²), of which, 254.8 square miles (659.8 km²) of it is land and 23.0 square miles (59.7 km²) of it (8.30%) is water.

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,472 people, 552 households, and 385 families residing in the township. The population density was 5.8 per square mile (2.2/km²). There were 1,466 housing units at an average density of 5.8/sq mi (2.2/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 79.76% White, 0.14% African American, 17.93% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.48% from other races, and 1.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.02% of the population.

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