Much of Hampton Township’s history is associated with events that have happened in Bay City and Essexville. The Township’s past is also linked to the growth of Bay County during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Back then, the economic fate of the area was dependent on wood, salt, coal and agriculture.
Beginning in the 19th Century, in 1855, the Dutch arrived and began farming after the trees were cleared and the land was drained. The town of Essexville, located just west of Hampton Township, was built on a site where Nabobish, a Chippewa Indian chief and his people, had settled.
In the 1800s, this area was a popular place for fur trading, given its strategic location where the Saginaw River empties into Lake Huron. Carriere & Company build a saw mill on the Saginaw River in 1867 and employed 30 people. The Atlantic Salt Company was established shortly thereafter. Together, these operations attracted laborers who purchased land to build their homes.
Ransom Essex too great interest in this development a served as Hampton Township supervisor during the Civil War. After the Civil War, a growing force of laborers settled the area, and in 1868, eight acres were platted.
Other highlights from the 19th Century include:
1843: Hampton Township’s first supervisor, Sidney S. Campbell, elected.
1859: Portions of Hampton Township were detached when Portsmouth Township was organized.
1873: Another portion of Hampton Township was detached and added to Portsmouth Township.
1875: Dr. Augustus J. Harris opened the Essexville Drug Store.
1883: Essexville was formed in 1883 from a portion of Hampton Township.
1898: The first successful beet sugar plant in Michigan built in Essexville by the Michigan Sugar Company.
Moving forward to the middle of the 20th Century, many improvements were made in the Township during the 1960s. Included was the expansion of a water distribution system, construction of a sanitary sewage collection system, creation and staffing of a Department of Public Works, and expansion of the administrative offices at the Township Hall. As development continued, a Planning Commission for Hampton Township was created in 1969. Hampton Township Master Plan: 2011 – 2031
Hampton Township is located in southern Bay County, Michigan, which is in east central lower Michigan along Lake Huron. The Bay County region is largely rural with the majority of the land being used for agricultural purposes.
Develop a balanced community-wide land use pattern to ensure diversity and stability, while serving residents’ needs.
Preserve those characteristics and aspects of the township that make it a desirable place to live.
Preserve and protect land and shoreline.
Maintain attractive residential neighborhoods, provide adequate quality commercial facilities and provide for industrial development in appropriate locations to grow the township’s economic and employment base.