Farms & Farming
In terms of animal husbandry, sheep represented a definite success story for West Bloomfield. In the township’s pioneer period, sheep furnished wool and meat as well as grease and tallow. When not laboring at the hearth or in the fields, women could be found carding, spinning, and weaving wool so as to provide clothing for the family. Fortunately the early arrival of dry goods and clothing stores in nearby towns eased their burden in this regard. Although the argument has been advanced that wool production was a promising substitute for the fluctuating profitability of wheat in Oakland County, this did not appear to be the case in West Bloomfield. From 1840 until the end of the century, wheat ranked either first or second in township agricultural production. Simultaneously, census records show that just about all farmers here participated to one degree or another in sheep raising. Between 1850 and 1880 the number of sheep in West Bloomfield nearly tripled, reaching a total of 14,494 in that latter year.
Accordingly, the amount of wool produced in the township rose dramatically from 16,186 pounds in 1850 to 38,977 pounds in 1880.
Excerpt from the "Song of the Heron" Reflections on the History of West Bloomfield by Charles Martinez.
By 1980, five separate school districts continued to operate within township boundaries: West Bloomfield, with six schools; Walled Lake, three; Bloomfield Hills, three; Birmingham, one; and Farmington, one (a total of 14). There were, by the late 1980s, 18 schools operating within West Bloomfield Township. Excerpt from: Song of the Heron: Reflections on the History of West Bloomfield by Charles Martinez.