There was still snow on the ground on April 3, 1871 when the Springdale Township Board of Supervisors convened for the first time in the home of Titus Glover. Less than half a decade had passed since the first settlers ventured into the white pine and hardwood forests of Springdale Township to farm, tend cattle, and raise children. It had been just six months since the Manistee County Board of Supervisors had decided there were enough residents in Springdale to merit its being formally designated a township.
In the years since, Springdale Township has benefited and been buffeted by three distinct economic and cultural eras: the decades of boom and bust logging around the turn of the century, the Great Depression, and the modern-day development that has been most pronounced along the Betsie River. Throughout this long stretch of continuous change, the Township has retained its matchless natural landscape, and fostered an independent spirit in its citizens
More people who owned weekend homes are choosing to settle permanently in Springdale, most of them to retire. To some extent, the growth is also due to new homeowners who are commuting to Cadillac for work.
The largest factor, though, appears to be Traverse City, which is experiencing record population growth and a rapidly expanding economy. As land values and taxes rise in Traverse City and its neighboring townships, middle income families are being pushed out. Some are settling in Springdale, an easy commuting distance, where taxes and living costs are lower.
This migration is the first in the Township’ s history to come from the north rather than from the south. It is evidence that growth is likely to accelerate as the Township becomes drawn into Traverse City’s sphere of influence. The Township’s reasonable land prices, splendid natural resources, open space, and friendly people are an attraction for new residents, and a magnet for growth.