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President - Kim Culbertson
Secretary - Mary Minich-Carwell

Treasurer - Sally Johnson 

8240 Alden Nash, PO Box 35
Alto, MI 49302

Open May 4th 11am-5pm & May 5th 12pm-4pm as well as the 2nd  Sat. of the month June thru September from 2pm-4pm. Also by appointment. Please contact Kim C at 616-890-6740/, or Sally J at 616-868-6424 /



Schoolhouse Info.

Newspaper Collection


History of Bowne Township In April of 1849 the first officials were elected and Bowne Township was born.


The first elected officers were: Supervisor Roswell C. Tyler; Clerk-Daniel McVean; Treasurer-Justus G. Beach; Justices of the Peace-Jared Miller, and Norman Foster; AssessorsAbijah Poole, John a Campbell; Commissioners of Highways-Loren B. Tyler, James A Truax, Asa R. Tyler; School Inspectors-Jared Miller, William Gibson; Overseers of the Poor-Roswell F. Tyler, John Underwood; Constables-Salmon E. Platt, Henry C. Foster.

Over the last 155 years, the Township evolved from an area of woodlands and plowed fields with a population of approximately 27 to our present times with farms, businesses, and housing developments. With a population of 2,743 (according to the last census) we still remain primarily a farming community. Every home has at least one car and access to highways and freeways which can take you (in minutes or hours) to near and far places that these original 27 could not and most likely did not dream of.


Over these 155 years, the evolution of the township was recorded on paper, in photographs, and memories. Today most of these things have disappeared. Papers and photos packed away or lost forever. Memories of events and times have been passed on from father to son and mother to daughter and most have been added to or changed in the passage. Still, there are some that have been recorded in diaries and letters and picture albums, and newspaper articles are pasted in scrapbooks. Who dreamed that one day these would be valuable links to our heritage?


In the mid-1980s, the Township moved and restored the Historic Township Hall at Bowne Center. Old records were found deteriorating in the old building; old voting booths were falling down and the building itself was in disrepair.


After moving the building to its present location, an interest in preserving other buildings and historical artifacts began to surface. As a result, the Bowne Township Historical Society was formed. In the years since we became an organization, we have obtained, moved, and restored the former Ladies Aid Hall at Bowne Center. It is now our museum. We have also secured the Bowne Center one-room school at 84th and Alden Nash. This building has also been restored and now house the artifacts and memorabilia from the 8 one-room schools that were located in sections 4,7,12,20,22,24,28, and 29 of Bowne Township.


As the township works to keep our rural look with its pristine farmlands the Historical Society keeps gathering history to preserve our past for future generations.

News and Events

Bowne Township Historical Commission invites everyone to our Spring into The Past, Feeding The Family event on Saturday May 6th and Sunday May 7th. See how early settlers cooked over an open fire and taste foods from the past.

Annual Membership Dues

Individual                                               $12.00

Family (h/w, child under 18)               $25.00

Student (full time)                                $10.00

Business/Professional                         $100.00

Life, Individual                                      $250.00

Life, Couple                                           $400.00

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