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Yankee Springs Township

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About Yankee Springs Township
 
WELCOME TO YANKEE SPRINGS TOWNSHIP

Yankee Springs Township is located in Section 8 of the Northwest area of Barry County. We have 36 square miles with 23,040 acres and 19 navigable lakes. The Township serves a population of approximately 4,065 people with 3,560 registered voters in two precincts . Our township boasts of recreation areas, historic venues, farmland, businesses and a State Recreational Highway leading travelers through this pristine area. We are a "General Law Township." Township government is conducted by a Township Board of Trustees consisting of five elected officials. The Board meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM in the Township Hall. We also comply with the "Open Meetings Act." (Public Act 267 of 1976, MCL 15.261) which means that all regular and special meetings must be open to the public.Draft minutes of every meeting are available for public inspection within eight business days of the meeting. Approved minutes are available within five business days after the meeting at which they are approved. We as elected and appointed officials are here to serve you. You are encouraged to participate in all meetings to learn of agenda items that can affect you. If you are interested in serving in any capacity of township government please contact the Supervisor. Your input is welcomed and appreciated.

HISTORY OF YANKEE SPRINGS

The first white settlers arrived around 1831. Back in 1835 a group of travelers met at the north end of Gun Lake and discovered they were all from New England. One of them peeled back the bark from an Oak tree and carved the words “YANKEE SPRINGS” on the trunk. The following year William Lewis came to visit the little settlement and decided to build a hotel on the stage coach trail running through the area. “YANKEE BILL”, as he became well known, was popular for his warm welcomes, hot fires, ample spirits and superb food. His hotel was jokingly referred to as six stories high because each of the six crude cabins was built into the hillside at six different ground levels. The stage coach now appearing in our Township logo pays homage to this heritage of service. Agriculture grew steadily throughout the area but the sandy soil soon gave out until farming ended in the 30’s. The land was bare, the forest was gone, wildlife disappeared, and the Indians left for reservations. The area was desolate. In 1934 the US Government began land rehabilitation by buying up acreage, planting trees and building camp grounds, trails, beaches and other facilities which were turned over to the State of Michigan in 1943. That combination of foresight and timing back then provided this marvelous recreation area we all live in and enjoy today and ensures future generations of continued stability and enjoyment.

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