Wright Township is located in northeast Ottawa County. It has some of the richest soil in the county and is mainly used for agriculture. Beautiful herds of cattle, fields of various grain crops, and a multitude of fruits and vegetables can be seen.
Early families began moving into Wright Township between 1838 and 1845. Many descendants remain. Early settlers came from Germany, Ireland, Holland, England, Prussia, France, Canada, Austria and Poland.
Wright Township was separated from Tallmadge by an act of the legislature in 1847. Named for the Wright family, the township held its first meeting at the Charles Roberts' home. The first supervisor was Sylvius Waters. The Village of Wright derived its name from the township and is located on 8th Avenue near Wilson Street. Its first postmaster was Leonard Roberts. The original post office closed in 1864, was restored in 1877 and served until 1803.
Berlin was Wright's foremost village, and soap making was one of its first industries. There was also a blacksmith shop, wagon shop, saw mill and grist mill. Saw mills provided work for families and pine forests furnished lumber for log homes. Families cleared wooded land, planted crops and raised sheep. Sheep helped clear the land as they consumed large amounts of grass. In the spring, wool buyers traveled the Grand Rapids, Grand Haven and Muskegon Interurban Railroad to purchase wool.
Several business were located near the Old Mill Dam which was built by Mr. Ford along Sand Creek. Two businesses were the Blink Lumber Company and a mill owned by Mr. Berlin. The citizens named the village after Berlin. During World War I, the village changed its name to Marne because of the name association with Germany. Marne came from a small river in France.
Located a short distance from Marne is the Berlin Fair Grounds. The Berlin Fair is reported to be Michigan's oldest since its inception in 1856. The Wright township hall built in 1876 is still in use; it is a visible reminder of bygone days.
Transcriber: Leslie Coulson
Created: 17 November 2005