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Orchard Lake Village, Michigan is actually a city, and a northern suburb of the Metro Detroit region in Oakland County.

Generally known simply as Orchard Lake, the city borders Cass Lake to the north, Upper Straits Lake to the southwest, Mirror Lake to the south, and it includes all of Orchard Lake, the body of water for which it was named. Within the isthmus of land between Orchard Lake and Cass Lake, there is a small body of water called Dow Lake, a 16-18-acre body of water with a maximum depth of sixty feet. Approximately forty percent of the city's land area is water.

The city is mostly surrounded by West Bloomfield Township, although it has a border with Keego Harbor to the northeast. Other cities and villages within twenty miles of Orchard Lake are Sylvan Lake, Bloomfield Hills, Pontiac, Farmington Hills, Franklin, Walled Lake, Bingham Farms, Wolverine Lake, Beverly Hills, Birmingham, Farmington, Wixom, Lake Angelus, Southfield, Lathrup Village, Novi, Auburn Hills, Troy, Clawson, Milford, Clarkston, Royal Oak, Huntington Woods, Oak Park, Northville, Pleasant Ridge, Rochester Hills, Ferndale, Rochester, Hazel Park, Sterling Heights, Madison Heights, Utica, and Plymouth, with Detroit about twenty-five miles to the southeast.

Orchard Lake depends on its upscale residential development for its tax base. There are only two small commercial areas within the city, and they make up only about one percent of its land area.

Making up about thirty percent of the city's land area, Orchard Lake includes two islands, Apple Island and Cedar Island. The larger of the two, Apple Island is a 37-acre island situated near the center of the lake. Its highest point rises to about thirty-one feet above the normal elevation of the lake. The island has yielded a great deal of evidence of having been inhabited by Native Americans over a long period of time, possibly as far back as two thousand years. It is believed that Chief Okemos was born on Apple Island, and local tradition has it that Chief Pontiac was buried there. After the island was ceded to the United States under the terms of the Treaty of Detroit, Apple Island was in the hands of several private owners until 1970, when it was acquired by the West Bloomfield School District, for use as a nature center. The island was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018. Cedar Island is a much smaller, narrow island in the northwestern part of the lake. It is owned by the city.

Prior to the European-American settlement of the region, the Ottawa people hunted and fished the area, and Chief Pontiac may have planned the 1764 siege on Fort Detroit from Apple Island.

The Ward family played a significant role in the European-American development of Orchard Lake. Dr. David Ward, who was also a surveyor, lumberman, and farmer, acquired three hundred acres of land in the area, and his two sons became important figures in the history of the community, as well as Oakland County. His first son, Henry Clay Ward, built a large home at the intersection of Commerce Road and Old Indian Trail, which was demolished in the 1960s. His younger son, Willis C. Ward, was a lifelong resident of Orchard Lake. Willis was the last private owner of Apple Island as, after he died, his son-in-law, General Strong, donated the island to the school district.

The Orchard Lake Hotel opened in 1872, and a post office was established in the hotel on March 18, 1873, with General Joseph Copeland as postmaster. The Ottawa had called the lake Menahsagorning, which means "apple place," for the prominence of apple trees and orchard, so the town was named Orchard Lake, and the island in the lake became Apple Island.

The Grand Trunk Railroad and the Interurban Railway facilitated travel to Orchard Lake from Detroit, bringing visitors to the Orchard Lake Hotel.

Due largely to the economic panic of 1873, the hotel didn't last long, however. It was sold to Colonel J. Sumner Rogers, who established the Orchard Lake Military Academy. The first military academy in Michigan, it became a Polish seminary in the early 1900s, and is now St. Mary's Preparatory, St. Mary's College, and S.S. Cyril and Methodius Seminary, which are commonly known as The Orchard Lake Schools, and situated between Orchard Lake and Pine Lake.

The Orchard Lake Community Church - Presbyterian, was founded by Colin Campbell in 1871, with the building completed in 1874. At the time, it was the only church in the area.

Before 1928, the community was part of West Bloomfield Township. It was incorporated as a village on March 19, 1928, and became a city on December 8, 1964, although the city retained its name as Orchard Lake Village.

Early cottages and cabins were replaced by year-round residences, and these were remodeled, remodeled, or rebuilt as higher-end residences.

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