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 "Town House" (1853-1955): History of the First Pittsfield Township Hall

See also: Article of Agreement: Agreement to Build the First Township Hall, 1853

by Marcia Ticknor

Location: North of Morgan Road at the end of Thomas Road.

The organizational town meeting of the Township of Pittsfield (then named Pitt) was held in the log cabin home of John Gilbert on the Chicago Road (Sauk Trail) now 6356 Michigan Avenue on April 8, 1834.

View of Old Town Hall, on Morgan Road, 1853-1955

The 1835 annual meeting used the school near the McCracken Inn, which probably stood on the southwest corner of Campbell and Textile Roads. The next year they met at To(a)lman Brown's on the northwest corner of Platt and Ellsworth Roads. However, the annual meeting during the following year was held at the school variously described as "near Rufus McCracken's Inn", near Charles Woodward's, or as the schoolhouse in district three. The 1856-plat map indicates a school on the southwest corner of Campbell and Textile. This school was listed as District 3 and also as District 7 and eventually built on Morgan and called Town Hall School, District 3.

By 1845, the old minutes talk of the "expediency of building a house for township and school". However, the subject seems to have been dropped until 1851 when a committee was appointed to build a town hall in conjunction with the school district. The committee consisted of Horace Carpenter, David Depue, and Dr. Nathan Webb. At the annual meeting of 1852, the committee proposed that the township build a basement "for township purposes" under the new school. This idea was not approved by the meeting. A committee of Horace Carpenter, Nathan Webb, and Horace Welch was empowered to procure a "suitable house for the township" and fifty dollars was to be raised. In 1853 the same committee became the building committee and three hundred-fifty dollars was to be raised by taxes assessed on the property in the township. An Article of Agreement was signed June 2, 1853 for the building of a Town House.

This Town Hall located on Morgan Road at the End of Thomas Road was in use from 1853 until November 1955 when the new Township offices and fire department building was completed. The new building was located at 701 W. Ellsworth Road, corner of State Road. This building underwent at least two additions and renovations while being used as the Township Office. In January 1986 the police and fire department moved to 6227 W. Michigan Avenue.

Source: Information for this entry is derived from a report written in the 1980's by the First Pittsfield Township Historical Society. The Archives possess the 1853 article of agreement and photos of moving into the "new" buildings in 1955.

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