Bertrand Township is beautifully located in Southwest Michigan. Our community is a combination of rural, agricultural, residential, commercial and industrial. However, a large farming community remains.
Built in 1890 the community building is available for rental on a first come first serve basis. Paid rent secures use of facility. The hall has 75 chairs and 11 tables. There is also an outside pavilion that has 4 large picnic tables.
Community hall rental fees are: $50.00 for residents $100.00 for non-residents For more information or to rent the hall please call the township 269-695-5001
Bertrand Township Fire Department
Station 1 - 4770 W US 12 Buchanan, MI 49107 Station 2 - 1895 Foundation Dr. Niles, MI 49120
Chief - Bill Knisely
Burning Permit - please call the Township office at 269-695-5001 during regular business hours of Monday to Thursday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm to leave your name, address, phone number and date you intend to burn. You will also receive the "burn permit requirements". On the weekends please contact the fire department at 269-695-6191 and leave all of the above information on the answering machine.
*As a community service the fire dept. will burn brush piles or grass fields.For more information please call the fire dept.
Cemeteries Please click on the link below to obtain cemetery information for Bakertown, Howe and Mt. Zion Cemetery.
Bertrand Township owns and maintains Bakertown Cemetery, Howe Cemetery, and Mt. Zion Cemetery. To purchase a burial plot please contact Don Vite, Clerk at the township hall.
Joseph Bertrand Founder of Bertrand 1778-1865
History of Bertrand Township:
In the early 1800's Joseph Bertrand realized the potential of the land controlled by the Potawatomi Indians. Around 1804 he married Madeline Bourassa who was part Potawatomi. On an ideal piece of land south of where the Great Sauk Trail crossed the St. Joseph River and lying south of what is now Niles, Bertrand opened a trading post.
Officially, in 1808, he settled here, marking the birth of "Village of Bertrand". The village grew rapidly and is said to have numbered almost 1,000 people at one time and boasted three hotels, a warehouse, seven dry-goods stores, and a post office.
By 1833 Native American trade was dwindling and land speculation promised a golden future. The Bertrand Association was formed to take advantage of this opportunity. Gradually, the village began to decline. A colorful tale in history attributes its decline to a Native American curse. The story is told that in the early 1830's a Native American was refused liquor at a local Inn and, in his rage, swore that..."South Bend will grow, Niles will grow, but Bertrand will die." Although a colorful tale, the village's downfall was because of economic, not mystic conditions. In fact, Bertrand's decline came about because the village's proprietors raised the prices of the lots too high and the Michigan Central Railroad was routed through Niles thus bypassing Bertrand.
The village declined, but Bertrand Township flourished as settlers moved in to claim land after the Chicago Treaty of 1833. In April of 1836, Bertrand Township held its first election at the new Union Hotel where Fredric Howe, originally form New York, was elected Supervisor. Until 1910 the township experienced a steady increase in population and became a main agriculture area. Over the past three decades, the population has stabilized because of the scarcity of available land.
Angie Kirby Sara Bell Bill Knisely David Swanstrom Ron Michaelis Ray Cole Nancy Lentsch Jean Wolf Eileen Glick
Board of Review Chair Board of Review Board of Review Planning Commission Chair Planning Commission Secretary Planning Commission Ex-Officio Planning Commission Member Planning Commission Member Planning Commission Member Planning Commission Member
Patti Albert Kyle Smith Anna Norton Mark Wagner Rhonda Hicks David Kuhn Mary Dee Duis Lisa Marsh McCarty Cindy Bauer Rick Racht