The township of Vevay lies near the geographic center of the County of Ingham. It is bounded on the north by Alaiedon Township, on the east by Ingham Township, the south by Leslie Township, and west by Aurelius Township. (map) The principal meridian of the state is also the eastern boundary line of the township. It was surveyed in 1824 and 1825 by Joseph Wampler and John Mullett; the section lines were surveyed in 1826 by Hervey Parke.
The first settlement in the township was accomplished early in 1836 in Sections 29 and 30 by embers of the Rolfe family; hence, the name of “Rolfe Settlement.” Ira Rolfe was the first farmer, in early 1836. The landscape was similar to what one sees today. Portions of the township were level; notable in the southern part, and in the east and north along Mud Creek and Sycamore Creek the surface was rolling and hilly. Occasional swamps abounded and springs were numerous in most parts of the township. A high gravel ridge extended from northwest to southeast across the township near the Sycamore Creek, and was identified as the Mason Hogsback.
By an act of the Michigan Legislature approved March 6, 1838, the portion of Ingham County designated in the United States Survey as township two north of range one west, formerly a part of Aurelius, was set off and organized into a separate township by the name of Vevay. Vevay Township is said to have been named after Vevay Township, Switzerland County, Indiana.
The first township meeting was held April 2, 1838. At this organizational meeting, an election of officers was voted by ballot. Elected as Supervisor was Peter Linderman, as Clerk was Anson Jackson, and as Collector, Henry A. Hawley. After the meeting, it was “Resolved that the meeting be adjourned for one year to the schoolhouse in the village of Mason.” In that same year many roads were surveyed and recorded. The Board met again in 1839 and, after that meeting, held meetings in various homes of township officers, the Clerk’s office and courthouse in the village of Mason until, in 1859, they were held in the town hall of Mason. Notable dates in Vevay’s formative years include the following:
September 25, 1838. The Town Board met at County Registration Office in the village of Mason for the purpose of auditing the accounts.
October 2, 1838. The Town board met to raise a tax of $25 to defray contingent expenses, one of which was to make a ballot box for the November election at $1 and the use of A. Blair house on election day, $1.
April 1, 1839 – Town Meeting held for the purpose of choosing township officers.
The Jackson, Lansing and Saginaw Railroad ran through the township from north to south and had two stations – one at Mason Centre and one at Eden, established in 1844 and once called Chapin’s Station, because of its location near the Chapin homestead. A small post office, store, school, church, blacksmith shop and shoe store were located there. The name Eden was appropriate, however, as the vicinity was one of great beauty and here were found some of the finest farms in the township. The post office was established in 1844, with William Hopkins as the first postmaster.
The first township hall was a wooden building on the corner of Hull and Kipp Roads on land bought from Charles J. Rayner et al on July 9, 1890. It is not clear when the building was erected, but it is surmised that it was between 1890 and 1903. This frame building was replaced by a new cement block building in 1913, built by Charles Merrylees, with suppliers being Dear & Cross Hardware and C.P. Mickelson Lumber Supplies. This building had outside toilets and was a one-room hall. There were built-in voting booths in the front with a wooden rail across the front of the hall. There were gates on each end and, during elections, had gatekeepers. Voters would enter by one gate and exit by another after voting. The hall was heated by a round oak stove. In 1952, an addition was built onto the building. This addition was three rooms (kitchen, storeroom, and cloakroom, including toilets). Richard Kilburn was the builder. Also, an agreement was signed with the City of Mason for water to be piped into the hall. The approximate cost of the project was $6,554. On July 5, 1977 a contract was awarded to build a new township hall on South Eden Road. The Board of Trustees at that time were: Thomas W. Plumhoff, Supervisor; Blanche A. Wheeler, Clerk; Sarah L. LoVette, Treasurer, John H. Coy and Joseph D. Stid, Trustees. The new hall and Township offices opened on May 1, 1978.
150 Years in Vevay Township. Ford Stevens Caesar. 1988.
The Bicentennial History of Ingham County, Michigan. Ford Stevens Ceasar. 1976.