Orangeville takes great pride in it’s township hall and community center with adjoining park, walking paths and veteran’s memorial. It also takes pride in its fire department and well-maintained roads and cemeteries.
The population of 3,311 (2010 census) is descended mainly from German, English, Dutch, Irish and Polish roots. It is still primarily an agricultural township with the rural beauty of standing farms and grain fields. But, it is a township mindful of its rich, again mature, forest land and its water resources including the south section of East Gun Lake, The Gun River and Fish Lake. It still holds claim to the tiny Orangeville Island affectionaty known as “Sandy Island”.
Orangeville’s glory days were the early 1900s. Then the slogan, “Come to Orangeville, the most prosperous place in Michigan,” held sway. The settlement here began with George Brown in 1835. Soon the village portion claimed a blacksmithery and hardware store, a general store, a saw mill, a gristmill, a grade school, a wagon shop, a church, and the famous Dodge Tavern. The old stage road from Battle Creek to Grand Rapids ran through the eastern portion. The village was located on the Orangeville Creek which runs between Orangeville Pond and the Gun River. Here the saw mill, essential for growth, took shape in 1851. Orangeville Township, sitting in the western border of Barry County was the first forest wetland and hardwood forest with savanna. Too soon it was barren. Logging ceased. Homes were abandoned. Government money would drain the Gun Swamp and create the finest of onion marshes. Orangeville’s early 1900s reflect this period. (Bernard, Bernard Historical Society)
Today, the community is beautiful, a great place for family, a good place to retire and a good place for recreation whether it be biking, hiking, kayaking, boating, or hunting and fishing.