At a community picnic on August 22, 1935, J. Robert Crouse Sr. suggested forming a Community Council in Hartland.

Such a council would consist in general of those who are actively connected with various organizations. The function of the Community Council would be to meet when there are important matters of community policy to consider. Such a Community Council could not and would not wish to bind any organization to a specific course of action but rather supply a many sided judgment on such subjects for useful, helpful guidance and formation of enlightened public opinion. Such a Community Council could represent the Hartland Consolidated Schools to the Hartland Area as a whole depending on the nature of the subject for consideration. It is believed that such an organization would tend toward unity of purpose, plan and action in the development of the Hartland Area Project and the community in general.

From this concept came one of the finest examples of cooperation in the community. After surveying the community for an adequate place for recreation, a plan for a new building was inaugurated. In 1937 the Hartland Area Recreation Cooperative was formed and shares of stock were sold at a price of $10 each. Mr. J. Robert Crouse Sr. agreed to match the purchase of the shares on a 2 to 1 basis for an amount up to $10,000. The building of the “Rec” Hall was truly a cooperative effort. A large portion of the excavation and building was done by volunteer labor. The recreation center opened in September 1938. Through the years it was used as a site for basketball games, roller-skating, community parties, Boy Scout meetings and as a cafeteria for hot lunches for Hartland students. The building is now used as a church.

Hartland Burying Ground

The Hartland Cemetery is located in the village across Avon from Cromaine District Library. The Burying Ground was established in 1840; the first burial was Thomas Hall who died April 24, 1840. Graves of soldiers who served in the War of 1812 and the Civil War as well as Hartland’s early citizens (Crouse, Parshall, Tremaine, Whalen, etc.) are located in the oldest parts of the cemetery.

In 2007 the Burying Ground was designated a Michigan Historic Site. Hartland Stagecoach Inn Questors performed the research necessary to obtain the historic site designation. Additional information about Hartland’s Cemeteries can be found in Hartland: Weaving the Past with the Present (page 551).

Hartland's Connection to the Civil War

A feature of the 2005 Memorial Day activities was a presentation at the Music Hall, prior to the Luminary Walk, by Claire Kluskens, an archivist at the National Archives and Records Administration. The presentation was entitled Hartland’s Connection to the Civil War. Many soldiers from Hartland were a part of the Civil War; detailed information of more than 175 soldiers can be found here. Ms. Kluskens has a personal interest in Hartland since her great-great-grandfather was Dr. Hayford, one of the first physicians in Hartland Township.

The book, Hartland: Weaving the Past with the Present (page 373), also has information about Hartland soldiers in the Civil War, including letters relating to Sergeant Richard E. Parshall.