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Shelby Township was set off by an act of the Michigan Territorial Legislature on April 12, 1827 and a civil government was organized the following May. It originally included the area that is now Sterling Heights, which was set off March 17, 1835, as the township of Jefferson, renamed to Sterling on March 6, 1838. Utica, located on the southern edge of the township, originally incorporated as a village on March 9, 1838, although that corporation was dissolved soon afterwards. The village incorporated a second time on May 10, 1877.
The village of Disco (42°41′02″N 83°02′04″W) was located at what is now the junction of 24 Mile Road and Van Dyke Road. and was platted in 1849. 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. Only a few homes and a namesake on old county road maps remain of this now forgotten historic place. See also: "The Lost Village of Disco" on the Shelby Township Historical Society website.