Burr Oak Openings


By dhowell - Posted on 20 April 2007

Manchester is celebrating a birthday in this year of 1967. Just one hundred years ago J. D. Corey introduced a bill to organize Manchester as a village. That was on Feb. 28, 1867, and it was approved on March 16, 1867. The charter granted in 1867 was set aside in 1879, and the village affairs were carried on under the authority of the State of Michigan.

The first election of village officers was held at the Union Hall on March 18, 1867, when Newman Granger was elected President. Alvinza S. Doty was the Recorder and Philetus Coon the Treasurer.

It should be remembered that long before Manchester received its charter it was a busy thriving community. Its history dates back to the early 1800's when southern Michigan was a country of rolling hills, rivers and "burr oak openings."

Burr Oak Openings

It was James Fennimore Cooper who wrote of the "burr oak openings" in one of his visits to this part of the country as: "a small variety of a very extensive genus...which stand in copses and separated by vacant spaces, that bear no small affinity to artificial lawns, being covered with verdure." The grasses were credited to the Indians who lighted fires periodically to clear their hunting grounds.