Port Sheldon is celebrating centennial while looking to the future

While celebrating its 100-year history with a car and tractor show, picnic, and historical and art exhibits, Port Sheldon Township officials are also looking to the future.

Festivities for the township’s 100th anniversary kicked off last weekend with a ribbon cutting for the new township playground. 

“It’s important people understand where they live and how far we come,” says centennial committee member Melissa Steenwyk.

She relays stories about preservation of the township’s natural land and of an era when the postman had to walk to Grand Rapids and back each week to collect the township’s mail.

CourtesyPort Sheldon Fire Chief Wells Penna is shown in a historical photograph that will be part of the township's centennial exhibit.


Those details will be part of the exhibits in the Port Sheldon Township Hall leading up to the centennial celebration.

Historical and art exhibits will grace the township hall. 

Items gathered from residents, pictures, and accounts of the township’s rich history will create a mini museum in the township hall with art, history, and a commemoration of the township’s veterans.

The art show will feature local artists and Port Sheldon-themed art and runs Tuesday, May 28, through Monday, June 3, during township hall open hours. Submissions are still being accepted online at portsheldontwp.org/centennial/. A car and tractor show is planned for 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 31. 

“We have a lot of ag operations in our township, so we wanted to highlight that as well, because it’s a part of our heritage,” Township Supervisor Mike Sabatino says. “I figured with all the drama and negativity in the world, let’s focus on the positive and the beautiful township we get to live in.”

The centennial committee started planning about a year ago, Sabatino says. 

The centennial celebration picnic will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 1. The picnic will also have games, fire trucks on display, a bounce house, games, and food catered by Hog Wild Barbecue. Live music is planned for both the Friday and Saturday events.

CourtesyPort Sheldon Township Supervisor Mike Sabatino.

Master Plan

This also happens to be the year Port Sheldon is required to revisit its master plan.

Some pretty big changes are coming to Port Sheldon Township, starting with the early decommissioning of Consumers Energy’s Campbell power plant next year.

“As we look forward to the future, it’s important to remember where you came from. Some of the values we espouse as a community are important going forward,” Sabatino says. “It’s important to remind folks we are committed to those values as we chart a path forward. We have to come together as a community that works together for a common goal.”

Residents can also learn more about where they live with the Tour the Township scavenger hunt by picking up a paper copy at the township offices or downloading one from the website.

The township’s website has two new tabs — one for the centennial celebration and one for the master plan information. A survey has been sent out to township residents, requesting their feedback. 

The centennial celebration will also have a kiosk where people can fill out that survey.

“We all live together,” Sabatino says, “and we have to work together.”
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Read more articles by Andrea Goodell.