How did Brownstown get its unique shape?

Brownstown Township is arguably one of the most uniquely shaped cities in the state of Michigan. It is divided into three distinct sections, which appear fragmented when viewed on the map. The township has not always looked this way.  In fact, it has evolved significantly over the years.  

The land was once part of the French province of Quebec.  In 1760, it fell in the hands of  of the British as one of the first consequences of England's victories in the French and Indian War.  Finally in 1796, the territory belatedly came under American control as a result of the Jay Treaty.

Brownstown was designated a township by the Michigan Territorial Council on April 5, 1827, when Moses Roberts was elected its first supervisor. This made Brownstown one of Wayne County's nine original townships.  At this time, Brownstown was 43-square-miles.

Registered land surveyor Henry T. Kempa compiled the "Evolution of Wayne County" which documents  the changes in Wayne county in recent years.  We will explore his work to understand the sequence of steps that occurred which gives Brownstown its modern day shape.  

Modern day shape of Brownstown Township

Brownstown Township in 1827.

In 1842, a portion of Brownstown was added to the township of Monguagon. (Modern day Riverview and Trenton)

In 1961, the City of Gibraltar was formed out of Brownstown Township.

In 1964, the City of Rockwood was incorporated out of a southern portion of Brownstown.

In 1965, Woodhaven and Flat Rock were both incorporated out of the Brownstown Township