On October 18, the Pittsfield Township Historical Society will hold an event to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the survey that, for the first time, established corner posts in Pittsfield Township. The event will be held at the Township Administration Building (6201 W. Michigan Avenue) from 2-4 PM.
Mary Ellen Wall, member of the Pittsfield Township Historical Society, notes "these corner posts were set during the first systematic survey of southeastern Michigan.” In honor of the celebration some Michigan Professional Surveyors and survey historians will be present. They will discuss the survey process, the life of the surveyor, and will demonstrate equipment used in early surveys. In addition they will demonstrate blazing and scribing a "witness tree" that functioned as a location sign during the survey.
According to local historian C. Edward Wall, 200 years ago, in 1815, under unusually cold and wet conditions, Deputy Surveyor Alexander Holmes surveyed the north boundary of Pittsfield Township (the south boundary of Ann Arbor Township). His crew established the northwest corner post of Pittsfield Township on October 17, (on what today is Scio Church Road) noting the juncture of four townships: Pittsfield, Lodi, Scio, and Ann Arbor. Later that evening they established camp at today’s juncture of Washtenaw and Platt Roads. They rose early on October 18th and by about 10:00 AM they had reached the northeast corner of Pittsfield Township where they established the corner post noting the juncture of Pittsfield, Ann Arbor, Superior, and Ypsilanti Townships. The intersection of Clark and Golfside Road marks the location of that corner post today.
“Thanks to our continued partnership with the Pittsfield Township Historical Society, we are able to celebrate and preserve for posterity an important part of Pittsfield’s historical heritage,” explained Supervisor Mandy Grewal. “The 200th anniversary celebrations will include the installation of a ‘witness tree,’ similar to those used during the original survey, which will remain in Prairie Park as a commemoration of this historic occasion.”
The event is free, and will begin at 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 18th, at the Township Administration Building (6201 W. Michigan Avenue). For more information on Pittsfield Charter Township’s Heritage, please visit the Pittsfield Township Historical Society at http://pittsfieldhistory.org/