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Fraser Township Main Page

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Township Hall: 1474 N. Mackinaw Road
Post Office: Linwood, MI 48634
Phone: 989-697-3820

Fraser Township was organized in 1875,
becoming the tenth township of Bay County.
- {View} historical maps reference.

Geographic area at time of organization:

    Created from southern portion of Pinconning Township, consisting of all of town 16 north, ranges 3, 4, and 5 east.

    In 1876 the west section of Pinconning township was detached to form Garfield Township, this consisted of township 16 north of range 3 east.

On April 5, 1875, the first township election was held in the home of William Michie:

Supervisor: William Michie (& clerk).

Inspectors: Albert Nevelle (& treasurer), B.W. Merrick

Historical population:

  • 1880: 301 residents
  • 1894: 1,444 residents
  • 1900: 1,900 residents
  • 2000: 3,375 residents

When Fraser was organized it streched from the shores of the Saginaw Bay to the west county line bordering Midland County. It was the second largest township in the Bay County. The western portion became Garfield Township when it was organized in 1886.

Fraser was a source of timber during the lumbering era in Bay County. The Michigan Central and Detroit & Mackinac railroads traversed the township with stations at Lengsville, Michie and Linwood. The earliest pioneer families were mostly of French Canadian heritage. Farming became the primary source of subsistence when the land was depleted of most of its trees and lumbering close operations in the area.

William Fitch

Among the first established residents of Fraser township was b>William Fitch who purchased farm land there in 1868. He built a log-cabin and barn by himself, cutting nearby trees and used a team of oxen to drag them to the building site. To appreciate the difficulty of his task, the barn he erected was 38 by 28 feet using posts 10 by 10 inches and 16 feet long. He was injured twice by falling trees breaking an arm and a leg.

Historical accounts of Fitch describe him as a man of great strength. A story in this regards says he had to travel 4 miles to get a supply of flour, which he returning carrying a barrel of flour on each shoulder.

Fitch was a sailor as a young man and sailed aboard the schooner, "Henry Watson." A story recalls that in 1857, when he was 21 years old, the schooner collided with the "Giddings" vessel on Lake Erie, and Fitch was able to successfully navigated the damaged schooner into the harbor of Buffalo, which got him a promotion to captain of the schooner.

Community Resources:
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