Community

About Bruce Township

Bruce Township was, at the time of its original survey, well timbered with hickory, ash, elm, maple and linden, with some cedar and tamarack along the marshes or streams and a few wetland areas. At the time of the early settlements, an artificial structure, circular in form, was found in Section 3. It appears to have had three gateways or open passageways some ten feet in width, and the area included in this work was a little more than an acre, and the indications led to the conjecture that this and works of similar character were built for some defensive purpose by a race long since extinct.
 
 The Township was surveyed by Joseph Wampler on behalf of the government and was found to contain 23,347 acres. The area was soon being settled, and in the spring of 1832 a move was made to form a separate township, as the territory had been attached and formed a portion of the town of Washington. The meeting was held on one of the first days of April 1832. The settlers of the Fourth Town met in a log schoolhouse on the corner, four miles north of Romeo.
 
 Various names for the new township were proposed, which, each in turn, met with various objections, until one of the Grays proposed the name of Bruce, in honor of Scotland’s renowned chieftain. The name being short, easily written and pronounced, commended itself to the people at once, and was accepted.
 
 That portion of Macomb County comprised in surveyed Township 5 north, Range 12 east, was erected into a township under the name of Bruce March 9, 1833, and the first town meeting was ordered to be held at the schoolhouse near James Bushnell’s the first Monday in April 1833.
 
 The small streams of Bruce have afforded mill power for several mills, each of which has played their part in the development of the County. Tremble’s mill and Bancroft’s mill were among the earliest saw mills of the town, while back in about 1850 Samuel Deneen and his partner, Smith, built a grist mill in the southwest corner of Section 31. Here they did a large and flourishing business, particularly after the mills at Clifton had been burned and before Gray rebuilt them. Deneen continued to run the mill for some time, and afterwards a man rented it by the name of Wagner. After the mill burned, the mill site was purchased by the Gray brothers who owned, at the time, both the Clifton mills lower down the stream and the mills at Lakeville further up. Their purpose, undoubtedly, was largely to control the waterpower between the two mills. By an arrangement with the Grays, James Glaspie built a plaster mill and ran it on and off for several years. During this time feed was also ground here. The east mill, called Glen mill, located two miles west and one half mile north of Romeo, was another grist mill which had a long, successful career.
 
 In the year 1830 or 1831, the portion of the Township known as the “Scotch Settlement” began to be occupied. Dr. Neil Gray and brother Hugh came to Romeo, and acting under the advice of Jessie Bishop, located the tract since known as the Gray farm. They had been preceded by the Taylors, and were followed by the Rasidads, Reids, Hopkins, Muirs, Measones, Hamiltons, Borlands, and Stephens.
 
 Trombley Mt. is the highest point within 100sq. miles in Bruce Township. It is located at 34 Mile and Fisher, about five miles northwest of Romeo. The mountain is situated on a 4,000-acre farm once owned by Ed Fisher. On this farm were 5,500 head of cattle. This land was purchased from Mr. Fisher, by the Michigan Ford Proving Grounds, which is used for testing Ford trucks and cars. Ford also has a plant in our area that assembles engines.
 
 Simpson Park, owned by the Methodist Church Association, was established in 1865 in Bruce Township. Every summer it holds 10 day Camp Meetings. On a Sunday afternoon they have had an attendance as high as 5,000.
 
 We are also noted for the peach orchards. Romeo was once the peach capital of the state. Most of the orchards are now converted into subdivisions. 
 
 Several manufacturing and industrial businesses are located in the Powell Road Industrial area of the Township.
 
 Romeo with its excellent schools has naturally attracted a large part of the educational interest of the township.