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People have lived, worked and played in what we now call Brown Township since the end of the last Ice Age. With the Manistee River an important transportation route, abundant wild food and fertile well-watered crop lands, indigenous peoples thrived for millennia and their descendants live here to the present time.

With the arrival in the early 1840s of people of European origin, drastic changes took place.  Several decades of needless exploitation left the land stripped of forests, burned over and the streams degraded.  Following the “logging era” a stable farming community developed with roads, schools and eventually electrification bringing us gradually into the modern world.

We were organized as a township in 1855.  Brown Township originally made up more than half of the area of Manistee County and reached its present size in 1901.  Norwalk Post Office, the county’s second post office. Was established in 1863.  Brown Township Hall was built in 1889 as a dance hall by the three bachelor Schneider brothers. (Reputedly, they built the dance hall so they could meet women; they were soon all married and sold the hall to the Township.)


Today Brown Township is home to seven hundred fifty people, some of whom make their living here as farmers or artisans, others commuting to work or “working-from-home” and some retired and living the good life.  May the future “history” of Brown Township be one of peace, prosperity, and an ever-cleaner and more beautiful environment.

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