By Arlene and Ron Kaiser
This community, like many founding communities in Michigan, has shrunken to a grouping of houses, and farms. Schools, businesses and the post office have all disappeared. The following is an account of how, when and by whom this once prosperous community began. This local history is from information compiled for the Stockbridge Area 125th Anniversary in 1960.
The village of Fitchburg was named in honor of the Fitch family. In this family were a Governor, Representatives in the Legislature, Register of Deeds, and Superintendent of Public Instruction. All of these were Bunkerhill residents and most of them claimed that place as their birthplace.
The agricultural resources of the township were developed as general farming. In the early days large peat beds were found and furnished fuel for many families. Cranberry marshes were in an abundance, producing fruit for many a Thanksgiving dinner.
Asa Dubois came in 1840 and taught district school when only fifteen years old to earn money to graduate in the Medical Department of the University of Michigan. When graduated he started practice in the village of Unadilla. His name will never be forgotten, and acts of skill and kindness will ever be remembered.
Among other well-known names is G.W. Holland, historian and poet laureate of Bunkerhill where he resided for forty years. In 1876 he became the regular correspondent for the Stockbridge Sun. He was Justice of Peace for twenty-two years, so could write from his court docket all kinds of stories. His pen name was “Rough and Ready” and he wrote a set of stories about White Oak and Leroy townships, “Cornicles of Break of Day”. These were revised and made into a book by E. Everett Howe which had quite a sale. Four editions were published.
Prominent among those we have already mentioned and who have developed its resources are named Vicary, Ewers, Eaton, Markey, Case, Birney, Wilcox, Lord, McCreery, Peek, Hawley, Wood, DeCamp and Holt. Many of these names you will recognize as roads in the area.
The first post office was established in 1848. Chester Tuttle was postmaster. In 1855 a new post office was established at Fitchburg was founded. The first public improvement was made by David Fuller on section 7 in 1837. Mr. Wood made the second in the same year, and John O’Brien and Job Earl finished the year with their improvements. The first white child was born April 7, 1837. Thus, began the community of Fitchburg.