Notable Dates

This is a collection of Bloomfield Township notable dates in chronological order. Some are significant and some are just fun facts. We hope you enjoy browsing through the past. If you have a suggestion for a date to add to the collection just click here to send us an email with your suggestions.

1818   Surveyor Horatio Ball laid out Ball Line Road from Royal Oak to Pontiac, approximately parallel to the   Saginaw Trail, now known as Woodward Avenue.

1819    Maps of Michigan at this time shows the thumb of  Michigan to be known as “Oakland”.

1819    Benjamin H Pierce, an army officer and brother of future President Franklin Pierce acquired the northwest quarter of section 36 but never settled here.

1819    John Hunter became the first settler in Bloomfield, building a log house in the northeast quarter of Section 36. John Hamilton and Elijah Willets soon followed.  J.W. Hunter actually built his log house on the Willets land by mistake.  One year later Hunter opened the first tavern in the township.

1820    (June 20th) Territorial Governor Lewis Cass designated the southern part of Oakland County as Bloomfield Township.

1820    John W. Hunter built another log house, southeast of the first house, making this new house a tavern and his residence.  His son-in-law William Hall, now occupies his first house.

1822    An ancestor of township icon Homer case, Leman Case, bought land in the area.

1823    Wilkes Durkee bought land in the township this year.

1824    The first post office opened in what is now the intersection of Lone Pine Road and Woodward Ave.

1826    Ezra Doolittle opened the first store on the corner of Charing Cross Road and Ball Line Road, which today is Kensington Road.

1827    The Charter Township of Bloomfield is incorporated and was the first Township to be established in Oakland County.  The first township meeting was held in the home of John Hamilton. Lemuel Castle was elected Township Supervisor and Ezra Parke was elected Township Clerk. Township officials offered $5.00 to residents for each wolf killed within the county.  The boundaries of Bloomfield Township included its present 36 square miles plus West Bloomfield and Southfield townships as well. Six years later the Michigan legislature reduced township boundaries to 36 square miles.

1830    The U.S. Census Bureau indicated about 30 families lived in the township.

1831    (July) As part of his nine-month tour of America, French aristocrat, author and statesman, Alexis de Tocqueville passed through the township on his way to Saginaw. What he learned on that journey helped shape de Tocqueville’s attitudes about America. Some of those attitudes found their way into “Democracy in America,” de Tocqueville’s insightful masterpiece of the emerging young Republic.

1830    (Early) Joseph Gilbert buried his wife Nancy on their property on the southwest side of Gilbert Lake. The site became the Gilbert Lake Cemetery and eventually became the burial site of more than 100 township residents, many of whom were original settlers. In the early 20th Century the cemetery was vacated and the remains and markers moved to other local cemeteries.

1837    Peter Van Every opened a grist mill in the southwest corner of Bloomfield Township near Franklin Village. Today the Van Every grist mill is known as the Franklin Cider Mill.

1883    The population of Oakland County reached 41,000, compared to 30,000 in Lapeer County and 20,000 in Huron County.

1904    George and Ellen (Scripps) Booth purchased 174 acres near Lone Pine and Cranbrook roads for their summer home. This property later on was developed into the world renowned Cranbrook Educational Community.

1908    Judson Bradway platted the first of what turned out to be nine subdivisions in Bloomfield Township, including Bloomfield Highlands, Bloomfield Estates, County Club Estates, Bloomfield Village, Trowbridge, Eastover and Chelmsleigh.

1928    Christ Church Cranbrook (Episcopal) was consecrated at the corner of Lone Pine and Cranbrook Roads.

1932    The Village of Bloomfield Hills broke away and became an independent city.

1933    The Village of Birmingham broke away and became an independent city.

1934    “Bloomfield Charlie” became a statewide celebrity in 1934. Charlie was the skeletal remains of a young Mastodon discovered by a work crew dredging the glacial pond on the south side of Charing Cross Road, just east of Woodward. The University of Michigan put Charlie on display at its Museum of Paleontology.

1948    The Kirk in the Hills (Presbyterian) groundbreaking occurred on September 5th at its current site on Long Lake Road. It incorporated the home of Colonel Edwin S. George.

1963    Homer Case was elected supervisor of Bloomfield Township and remained in that job until 1981.

1964    October 18th, the Bloomfield Township Public Library opened its doors for the first time at the rented Devon Building facility on Telegraph (south of Long Lake Road).

1969    March 23rd, the Bloomfield Township Public Library holds its dedication for the new building located at 1099 Lone Pine Road.

2004    August 3rd, Township residents overwhelmingly approved a bond issue of nearly $23 million for library expansion and renovation.  The expansion will include a local history collection.

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