Why is it called the Center of the World? It's our history...
New Troy has been known as the Center of the World since 1860, when Hosea Tirrell drove a stake into the ground in front of his general store and pronounced it The Center of the World. Hosea was a bit of a philosopher who believed that "wherever you are is the center of the world," and "if you can't find it at the Center, seek no further."
Later residents played on the theme. For a time in the mid-twentieth century, tourists visited New Troy to view a machine that had been declared the engine that made the world go 'round--thus confirming new Troy as the center of the world.
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Rooted in our past
In 2005, New Troy was a dying town. The high school had been demolished, and the elementary building sat empty. Then a handful of residents formed Friends of New Troy (FONT). Our vision was the rebirth of our community.
Since then, FONT members have repeatedly proven their commitment to the community at large, their steadfastness in holding to a dream, and their unfailing belief in the strength of people working together. Many said it couldn’t be done, yet in 2006 FONT raised $24,000 for the deposit on what has since become the New Troy Community Center and (now separate) Township Park. Since then, FONT has raised more than $100,000 for mortgage and interest payments, repairs, improvements, and utilities.
Today, as a result, the community enjoys the New Troy Community Center and adjacent *Weesaw Township Park.
The Community Center receives NO government funding.
It is supported entirely through memberships, donations, and fund-raising events.
In a town of 400-odd people, this is a remarkable achievement.
What FONT has brought to the community:
Annual timed 5K/10K Race & 5K Fun Walk
Local history presentations
Electronics & tire recycling events
Lighting of the Christmas Tree, with Santa Claus, carols & cookies
Hunter Safety classes
Weight loss classes
Meet The Candidates forum
Indoor Winter Flea Markets
World Premiere of the documentary, New Troy: the Center of the World
Winter Coat Drive, and more
Today, the Center houses a free lending library with WiFi, 1000s of books, and kids’ reading programs. The playground has been restored, and an outdoor classroom, nature trail, and demonstration rain garden have been constructed.
All volunteers! No tax dollars!
We are building a community, one neighbor at a time!
Branching out today
Much has been accomplished by FONT through the New Troy Community Center. Our achievements include:
Esther Steckelberg Book Room — With more than 4,000 titles, computers, free Wifi, Preschool Story Hour, and a Summer Reading Program (in partnership with River Valley Schools).
New Troy History Collection — Local historical memorabilia, including books, photos, musical instruments, and more.
Memorial Garden — A delightful place to sit and relax. Engraved brick paths are anchored by our country’s flag and enhanced by our former school’s historic planter. This is the place to commemorate your family, friends, business, or class.
Renewable Energy Literature Collection — includes books, magazines, and pamphlets — a treasure trove for any do-it-yourselfer.
The Community Center also provides space for community service programs and events, including:
Free tax preparation services
Facilities for family memorial services, reunions, showers, and more
Apple Cider Century (volunteers and facilities for sag stop)
*The new Weesaw Township Park would not have been possible without Friends of New Troy.
In 2010, FONT sold 8.5 acres of land adjoining the Community Center to Weesaw Township to be used as a township park. FONT members were instrumental in helping the Township receive a $51,988 Land Acquisition Grant from the State of Michigan for the purchase, with the result that the Township took possession of an 8.5 acre park in the center of town for the remarkably low expenditure of $23,422.
From 2006 to 2010, FONT members raised approximately $22,500 to pay for the interest on the property that would become the park. FONT members also mowed and otherwise maintained the property until the Township Board was ready to commit to the purchase and take possession.
Thriving into the future
As you may have expected from our brief four-year history, FONT has BIG dreams for the future. Can we do it?