Watertown History

Wacousta and Watertown Township History

Township Date of Organization:  March 20, 1837

Recognized As a Charter Township:  December 8, 1966

The following historical information is from an August 30, 1942 article in the Lansing State Journal:

Wacousta, an unincorporated village, was started in 1837 prior to the settlement of the northern part of lower Michigan. It is 11 miles northwest of Lansing and is on the four corners of Sections 7, 8, 17 and 18 of Watertown Township, Clinton County. The Looking Glass River skirts the southern edge of the village.

Wacousta was named after an Indian maiden who during the Conspiracy of Pontiac in 1763, informed Major Gladwin, the commandant at Detroit that the Indians of her tribe planned to massacre the garrison at the fort after making a surprise attack, following a show of friendliness.  Her information permitted the commandant to deploy his forces and forestall what might have been a major catastrophe for the United States troops. Those who founded the village intended to name it “Waterloo” and actually submitted that name to the Post Office department for ratification, but it was learned that a town of that name already existed in Michigan and thus another one would have to be chosen.

The “Waterloo Joint Stock Company” was organized in July of 1837. They purchased a tract of land on the Looking Glass River and proceeded to plan the town of Wacousta. Twelve thousand dollars was spent for improvements. This company traded hands many times. In 1848, Waterloo was ended and Wacousta began. This unincorporated village is governed by the township now.

Recollections of early township resident, Cornelia Hazard:

The Early History of Wacousta
The First School - Reminiscence of Early Pioneer Days

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