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Disco, Michigan (42°41′02″N 83°02′04″W / 42.68389°N 83.03444°W / 42.68389; -83.03444 (Disco)) was located at the intersection of Whiskey Road (now 24 Mile Road) and Van Dyke Road in what is now Shelby Township, Michigan. and was platted in 1849. It was first populated by non-Native Americans around 1830, by settlers who primarily migrated from New York State. Their homesteads were near the common corner of sections 9, 10, 15 and 16 of Shelby Township, then referred to as the “Utica Plains” vicinity. By coincidence, the offices and township hall of the Charter Township of Shelby are now located in the Southeast quadrant of this same roadway intersection.
Disco got its name from two possible origins: from the Latin “Discare” meaning ‘to learn’; or as a contraction of District of Columbia.
The community never incorporated, although the local high school, the “Disco Academy” gained some recognition and a post office operated named Disco from May 5, 1854 until July 31, 1906.
The village was made up of two general stores, wagon shops, blacksmith shops, a harness shop, a paint shop, and a hotel named The Halfway House – as the village was at the midpoint of the Concord Coach Line running between Royal Oak and Almont. Industries included a feed mill, cider mill, wooden bowl mill, and a planing mill.
The Disco Methodist Church was established by Orestes Millerd, who had settled in the area as early as 1827. The Mennonite Church, built in the late 1890s, was used as a house of worship until the early 1930s. In 1988 the building was moved, and reconstructed into a home not far from its original site.
Today, a smattering of old homes and a namesake location on county road maps are all that remain of this early Shelby Township historic village.
See also: “The Lost Village of Disco” on the Shelby Township Historical Society website.
^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Disco, Michigan & GNIS in Google Maps Retrieved 2014-03-25
^ Romig, Michigan Place Names, p. 159
^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Shelby Township Townhall, Michigan & GNIS in Google Maps Retrieved 2