Freedom Township was formed on March 7, 1834 by the Legislative Council of the Territory of Michigan, splitting off Town 3S, Range 4E from then Dexter Township. The first township meeting was held April 7, 1834 at the home of Henry M. Griffin, who became the first township supervisor. The name for the township evolved after considerable dispute, whereupon someone expressed that a good deal of freedom should be exercised in such matters, and that name was then proposed and adopted.
Freedom Township is located in the southwest quadrant of Washtenaw County, Michigan, approximately eight miles southwest of the City of Ann Arbor. Township boundaries are two miles from the Village of Manchester, and five miles from the City of Chelsea. The township still maintains a unique rural character in rapidly growing Washtenaw County. Several agricultural enterprises produce potatoes, feed corn, soybeans and apples, as well as dairy and beef cattle. Historic farmhouses mix with scattered new homes, with Pleasant Lake, located in the center of the township, providing recreational opportunities. Several sand and gravel extraction operations and small industrial businesses round out the township’s enterprises.
A Freedom Township Master Plan is in place to monitor and control development, to ensure the well-being of both residents and business. The township also seeks to maintain a rural and open appearance, and preserve the scenic beauty of our hills and farms. The township supports Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) programs. See further details in Freedom Township’s Master Plan adopted December 8, 2015. For further information on the PDR program, visit the web site of the Legacy Land Conservancy.
The township is also regulated by a Zoning Ordinance and several General Ordinances, as well as a permitting process. See the section entitled Forms/Ordinances for general information on permitting requirements in the township. Further work on revising the Zoning Ordinance is underway.
A Board of Trustees, elected to four-year terms, and a Planning Commission, whose members are appointed to three-year terms by the Board, oversee government operations within the Township. See the links under Boards/Commissions.
A newsletter or postcard is periodically prepared and distributed by the township, containing current news, information on upcoming elections and other township activities.
Freedom Township falls within the economic development region activities of Ann Arbor SPARK, whose web site may be viewed at www.annarborusa.org.
A current map of the township can be seen at this link. This map is taken from the Washtenaw County Road Commission map of the county. Per data published by SEMCOG in March 2012, the current township population is estimated at 1,428. A total of 649 households are estimated to be in the township. The township has no incorporated communities within its borders. The small hamlet of Fredonia is located at the township center, including the township hall.
A full aerial photograph of Freedom Township can now be viewed on this web site. The photograph, made in the 2002 county-sponsored flyover, is in black and white, with section lines overlaid for reference. The photo is stored in Adobe Acrobat pdf format.The photo is about 9 MB in size, so be patient when downloading via dial-up modem. It is recommended that you download and save it on your computer, then view off-line. The photo can be panned and zoomed, although zooming in too close will cause some loss of resolution. We had to compress the photo to make it a reasonable file size, with corresponding loss of resolution on close-ups.
The county completed new color aerial photography in 2010, and these color images are available for viewing at the MapWashtenaw web site.
Click to download and view the Freedom Township Aerial Photograph.
Freedom Township is a part of Washtenaw County, with the county seat in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The county’s web site is located at www.eWashtenaw.org, and the web site is rich in information of use to residents and businesses in the township. The county is administered by a Board of Commissioners, and Freedom Township is in District 3, represented by Commissioner Alicia Ping, R-Saline. Click here to be taken to her web page, and to view other information associated with the Board of Commissioners.
Freedom Township is divided among four school districts. Manchester Community Schools composes the bulk of the township’s area. Chelsea Community Schools serves areas in the northwest part of the township. Dexter Community Schools serves a very small area in the northeast corner of the township. Saline Community Schools serves an area near the east center part of the township. The Washtenaw County Equalization Department can provide information as to the school district for any specific land parcel or address.
Manchester District Library
Freedom Township supports the Manchester District Library through a millage. Residents can obtain a library card and enjoy full library privileges. The Fredonia Grocery on Pleasant Lake Road serves as a drop-off point for library returns. See the link here for more information on the library. Township residents also share a collaborative agreement with the Chelsea District Library, whose web site can be reached by clicking here.
Property assessing and equalization activities in Freedom Township are administered by Washtenaw County’s Equalization Department. This link will take you to their home page, where parcel lookup and other features are available. They may also be reached by contacting Matthew Heering at 734-222-6523 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A profile of Freedom Township was updated in March 2012 by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG). Click here to view the profile data for the township (document in PDF format-requires Adobe Acrobat reader). The SEMCOG website can be viewed at www.semcog.org.
Freedom Township is in District 22 of the Michigan Senate. Our senator is Joe Hune, Republican, Hamburg Township. The township is in District 52 of the Michigan House of Representatives. Our representative is Gretchen Driskell, Democrat, City of Saline.
The Freedom Township Hall
Freedom Township Hall
The Freedom Township Hall is located at:
11508 Pleasant Lake Road
Manchester, Michigan 48158
(at the intersection of Lima Center Road)
Telephone: (734) 428-7545
Township hours are by appointment only.
Township Hall Rental
The township hall is available for rent for social functions and meetings. A complete brochure containing information, rates and rules can be downloaded by clicking here. Contact Townhall Manager Steve Hoeft at (734) 474-8213 to reserve a date.
Fire protection for the township is provided under contract with the Manchester Township Fire Department. Dial 911 to obtain emergency fire protection services. A charge varying from $ 300 to $ 750 will be billed to Freedom Township, and then billed by the township to the requesting party under provisions of Ordinance 15. For non-emergency requests, call the Manchester Township Fire Department at 734-428-9439. Note: Fee increased to $ 750 effective June 1, 2008.
Police protection for the township is provided by the Michigan State Police. Dial 911 for emergency service. For non-emergency situations, call the State Police post in Chelsea at 734-475-7207. As a backup number, you can also contact the State Police in Ypsilanti at 734-482-1211.
Ambulance service for the township is provided by Huron Valley Ambulance. Dial 911 for emergency services. A charge of up to $ 750 may apply. For non-emergency questions, call 734-971-4420. Note: Fee increased to $ 750 effective June 1, 2008.
Fire and ambulance emergency medical charges, incurred by the township on behalf of events within the township, are subject to reimbursement to the township by the person or party initiating such charges, through provisions of Ordinance 15.
A recycling drop-off station operated by Modern Waste Systems is available at the Freedom Township Hall for township residents. Bins are located in the hall parking lot on the east side of the building. Currently, paper, cardboard, boxboard, plastic, tin and glass recyclables are accepted. Effective January 17, 2011, the two large recycle bins will be picked up every other Monday, while the cardboard bins will continue to be picked up every Wednesday. Residents are reminded to PLEASE break down their cardboard boxes.
The township participates in regional environmental recycling and pick-up programs. See this Washtenaw County link for current information.
This photograph from circa 1920 shows what is often called “Fredonia”, the hamlet encompassing the township’s center on the north side of Pleasant Lake, at the intersection of Lima Center Road and Pleasant Lake Road. The photo shows the old township hall at far left, with the old Pleasant Lake School to the right of the hall, and several other buildings existing at the time. The white house right of center still stands.