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Independence Township, Michigan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Independence Township, Michigan
Charter Township of Independence
Welcome sign to Independence Township
Welcome sign to Independence Township
Location within Oakland County
Location within Oakland County
Independence Township is located in Michigan
Independence Township
Independence Township
Location within the state of Michigan
Independence Township is located in the United States
Independence Township
Independence Township
Location within the United States
Coordinates: 42°44′24″N 83°22′59″W / 42.74000°N 83.38306°W / 42.74000; -83.38306
CountryUnited States
 • SupervisorGerald A. Fisher
 • ClerkCari Neubeck
 • TreasurerRachel Loughrin
 • Charter township36.30 sq mi (94.02 km2)
 • Land34.99 sq mi (90.62 km2)
 • Water1.31 sq mi (3.39 km2)
1,112 ft (339 m)
 • Charter township34,681
 • Density991.2/sq mi (382.7/km2)
 • Metro
4,296,250 (Metro Detroit)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code(s)
48346, 48348 (Clarkston)
Area code(s)248 and 947
FIPS code26-40400[1]
GNIS feature ID1626511[2]
WebsiteOfficial website

Independence Township is a charter township of Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 34,681 at the 2010 census.[3]

Independence Township was first organized in 1834. The township surrounds the city of Clarkston, but the two are administered autonomously after Clarkston incorporated as a city in 1992. The township is home to the Pine Knob Music Theatre and the Pine Knob Ski Resort.


The first settlers arrived in Independence Township in the mid 1820s and early 1830s, primarily from New Jersey and New York. The first settler to purchase and settle land in the township was John W. Beardslee (b. 1799, d. 1883), from Sussex County, New Jersey.[4]

Independence Township was named by one of its earliest settlers, Joseph Van Sycle, who came to the area in 1834 from Independence Township, New Jersey.[5][6]

While initially the township was primarily agricultural, the many lakes in the area were beginning to draw vacationers out of Detroit and other cities. In 1851, the railroad came through Clarkston, which prompted hotels to be built in the township to accommodate the resort vacationers coming to the area.

The invention of the automobile had a tremendous effect on Independence Township. Roads that were once Native American trails were paved and widened for this new mode of transportation. The old Saginaw Trail, now known as Dixie Highway, was paved as early as 1920, and Main Street (M-15) in Clarkston was paved around 1922.

The expanding national highway system brought I-75 through Independence Township in 1962, spurring both business and residential development. Many farms gave way to subdivisions and strip malls as Independence Township continued evolving into part of Metropolitan Detroit.[7]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 36.30 square miles (94.02 km2), of which 34.99 square miles (90.62 km2) is land and 1.31 square miles (3.39 km2) (3.61%) is water.

The township is part of the Metro Detroit area and is 45 miles (72 km) northwest of Detroit.

Major highways

  • I-75 runs diagonally east–west through the southern portion of the township and has two access points at exit 89 (Sashabaw Road) and exit 91 (M-15).
  • US 24 (Dixie Highway) runs briefly south–north through the southwest corner of the township and has its eastern terminus just to the west in Springfield Township.
  • M-15 runs north beginning at Dixie Highway and passes through the city of Clarkston. It is known as Main Street near Clarkston and Ortonville Road north of Clarkston.


Independence Township is primarily serviced by the Clarkston Community Schools.[8]

In 2016, Clarkston High School had an enrollment of 1,930 students in grade nine through twelve.[9] The school is located at 6093 Flemings Lake Road in Independence Township.

Clarkston High School offers twenty-six varsity sports, and competes in the Oakland Activities Association.[10] It is a member of the Michigan High School Athletic Association.[11]

Renaissance High School is located at 6558 Waldon Road in Independence Township. Renaissance High School is for students in grades 9 to 12 who need an alternative to the traditional high school setting in order to be successful. Renaissance students must meet Clarkston High School graduation requirements and receive a Clarkston High School diploma. Renaissance students are encouraged to participate in athletics, clubs and extracurricular activities offered at Clarkston High School. Renaissance students can also take courses at the Oakland Schools Campus, whose Northwest campus is also located in the township at 8211 Big Lake Road.[12][13]

Clarkston Junior High School is located at 6595 Waldon Road in Clarkston. The school teaches eight and ninth grades.

Sashabaw Middle School is located at 5565 Pine Knob Lane in Independence Township. The school teaches sixth and seventh grades.

There are five public elementary schools in Independence Township:

  • Bailey Lake Elementary School
  • Clarkston Elementary School
  • Independence Elementary School
  • North Sashabaw Elementary School
  • Pine Knob Elementary School

Everest Academy and High School is a private Roman Catholic high school also located in the township at 5935 Clarkston Road in Independence Township.[14] The school competes athletically in the Catholic High School League[15] and is a member of the Michigan High School Athletic Association.[11]


Independence Township is home to three public golf courses; Fountains Golf Golf Club, an 18-hole course located at 6060 Maybee Road in Independence Township, Pine Knob Golf Club, a 27-hole course, located at 5580 Waldon Road in Independence Township,[16] and Shepherd's Hollow Golf Club, a 27- hole championship course rated 42nd best golf course in the United States by Golf Magazine.[17] It is located at 9085 Big Lake Road in Independence Township.[18]

Oakhurst Golf and Country Club is a private club, located at 7000 Oakhurst Lane in Independence Township.[19] Oakhurst was the home of the 99th Michigan Amateur[20]

Skiing and music

Pine Knob is a ski resort located in Independence Township. It features 17 trails and 12 lifts. It is known for its slope called "The Wall".

Pine Knob is also home to the Pine Knob Music Theatre, an outdoor amphitheater concert venue that has featured hundreds of celebrities and is always one of the highest grossing outdoor amphitheaters in the United States.[21] It is located in Independence Township minutes away from downtown Clarkston.

Hills and lakes

Independence Township is located along the Hillsdale-Lapeer Moraine Range. The highest hill along that range in Independence Township is Pine Knob, at 1,221 feet. It is also the highest point in Southeastern Michigan. Only three miles away is Waterford Hill, the second highest hill in Independence Township with an elevation of 1,150 feet.[22] Atop Waterford Hill is Olympus Circle, the highest elevation of any residential street in Independence Township.[23]

The Clinton River winds its way through Independence Township creating more than thirty named lakes of all sizes along the way.[24][25]

Lakes in Independence Township[26]
Lake Size in acres Depth in feet
Cranberry Lake 35
Crooked Lake (previously Lower Bushman Lake) 68 65
Dark Lake (adjacent to Deer Lake) 5 10
Dark Lake (adjacent to Whipple Lake) 7 12
Deer Lake 137 63
Dollar Lake 3 15
Flemings Lake 27
Greens Lake 117 55
Gulick Lake 16
Heather Lake (part) 64
Knox Lake 2
Lake Oakland (part) 255 64
Lester Lake (part) 12 25
Little Walters Lake 17
Lotus Lake (part) 179 65
Mead Lake 11
Middle Lake 23 35
Morgan Lake 50
Parke Lake 23 50
Round Lake 37
Sans Souci Lake (part) 7
Spring Lake 12 15
Townsend Lake 26 55
Upper Bushman Lake 30 32
Van Norman Lake (most) 66 90
Walters Lake 77 76
Whipple Lake 75 50
Woodhull Lake (part) 135 56


The population of Independence Township was 34,681 at the 2010 census.[27]

In Independence Township in 2010, there were:

  • 11,765 households
  • 9,094 families
  • 12,375 housing units
  • 95.84% White
  • 1.22% Asian
  • 0.84% African American
  • 0.24% Native American
  • 2.75 was the average household size
  • 3.14 was the average family size
  • 27.7% under the age of 18
  • 6.9% from 18 to 24
  • 31.7% from 25 to 44
  • 25.7% from 45 to 64
  • 8.1% who were 65 years of age or older
  • $74,992 was the median income

Notable people

This list includes people from the area (Clarkston and Independence Township).


  1. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Independence Township, Michigan
  3. ^ "Michigan: 2010 Population and Housing Unit Counts 2010 Census of Population and Housing" (PDF). 2010 United States census. United States Census Bureau. September 2012. p. 36 Michigan. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  4. ^ "Township History".
  5. ^ Independence Township, Michigan, Land Patent of Joseph Van Syckle of (Independence Township,) Warren County, New Jersey ( subscription access retrieved 17 July 2015)
  6. ^ 1840 U.S. Federal Census Schedule of the whole number of persons in the division, Michigan, Oakland County, Independence Township ( subscription access retrieved 17 July 2015)
  7. ^ "Home".
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 9, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "2019 Largest Public High Schools in Michigan". Niche.
  10. ^ "Oakland Activities Association".
  11. ^ a b "Michigan High School Athletic Association".
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Home". Everest Collegiate High School and Academy. Retrieved May 2, 2020. Everest Collegiate High School & Academy 5935 Clarkston Rd. Clarkston, MI 48348 - Compare full address with: "Zoning Map" (PDF). Independence Township, Michigan. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  15. ^ "Catholic High School League - The Official Website for the Catholic High School League".
  16. ^ "Golf Course - Banquet Facility - Golf Club - Clarkston".
  17. ^ "Shepherd's Hollow Golf Club". Shepherd's Hollow Golf Club.
  18. ^ "Find Golf Courses Near Me". Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  19. ^ ClubCorp. "Oakhurst Golf & Country Club". Oakhurst Golf & Country Club.
  20. ^ "Michigan Amateur gears for 99th annual golf championship".
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 9, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Clarkston Topo Map, Oakland County MI (Clarkston Area)".
  23. ^ "Waterford Hill Topo Map, Oakland County MI (Clarkston Area)".
  24. ^ Foster, Dan. "Map and Download 7148 Lakes in Michigan to your GPS - Maps of all 7148 Lakes in Michigan (topo maps, street maps, aerial photos)".
  25. ^ "Oakland County MI Lakes -".
  26. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 5, 2017. Retrieved August 12, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Independence charter township, Oakland County, Michigan". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  28. ^ "Valerie Bertinelli". International Speakers Bureau. Archived from the original on November 28, 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
  29. ^ "Olde Mill Inn - About Us". Olde Mill Inn.
  30. ^ "Tigers Broadcasters".
  31. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 12, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  32. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 12, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  33. ^ "Henry Ford in the Village of Clarkston – Michigan History".
  34. ^ "Village Of Clarkston Historic District".
  35. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 24, 2014. Retrieved August 12, 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  36. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 6, 2013. Retrieved June 18, 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  37. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 12, 2013. Retrieved August 12, 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  38. ^ "Daniel Travis". IMDb.

External links

This page was last edited on 14 March 2022, at 18:56
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