My home town of Livonia occupies an entire township block and it incorporated in the fifties in order to take advantage of the tax revenue generated by a racetrack in the center.
When I moved here, there were still some cornfields and horse owners. Now it is a mature city. Realizing the need to preserve the roots of the city, Livonia took a farm in the northwest corner of our city and created Greenmead Historical Park which is a collection of houses, a store, a church, a station, a barn, and now another school. Henry Ford's donated school house near historic Nankin Mills will now be part of the Greenmead collection. It's nice to see these buildings being preserved.
For those of us in the West, how big is a Township?
In my case, 6x6 miles
Six miles square is a Township, as Tom said. One mile square is a Section, which is 640 acres. You can see most of the "Section Line" roads in Tom's pic. It's not uncommon to fine a road or street named Township (running east-west) or Range Line (running north-south) here in the Midwest. Those are the dotted lines above and are the borders of the Townships.
Our major streets in Orange County are on quarter section lines, but we don't have townships. It's not so easy with mountains.
Tom, thank you for posting this information. Had no knowledge of it. We lived in Livonia for a couple of years ('77 & '78) just off Middlebelt north of the DRC. We're definitely putting a "visit" to the Greenmead Park on our "to do" list for 2015!
In NJ a Township is different than the Midwest. It is a form of government here that prevented annexation by someone on the one hand (state rule) and on the other hand it allowed dozens of small villages mixed in with thousands of acres of farmland to have one set of government services and one common tax base. Ironically, in NJ a Township can not be annexed...but...the Township can cede a portion to allow the portion to incorporate as its own entity and if big enough or scattered enough...it can file for Township status
Cherry Hill NJ is a township that has 24.25 square miles and (now) 70,000+ residents. It was formerly named Delaware Township but NJ had two of them and when zip codes came along it had to be renamed. Prior to 1960, other than still scattered little villages along state roads...most of that square miles was farmland where the produce went to Campbell Soup.
My mail is Cherry Hill, the Township has 3 zips now, but I live in a section that is called Springdale after the old train station that no longer exists about 500 feet down the county road. (Confusing?)
Sure, here in NJ the Township gets to tax, the k-12 School District gets to tax, the County gets to tax on top of that, the local Fire District gets to tax, the local Library District gets to tax...