Charter Township of Commerce or more commonly Commerce Charter Township is a charter township of Oakland County, and suburb of Detroit, located in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 40,186 at the 2010 census. The terrain is rolling hills, but there are large expanses of flat land on which farms and, more recently, subdivisions are built. The Huron River runs mostly north-south through the township. Commerce was formerly a weekend and summer resort for Detroiters because of the area's small inland lakes and peaceful seclusion, but due to recent development the cottages are now all permanent homes.
There has been a sharp increase in population in the last few years, mostly on or near the several lakes and golf courses. Much of Proud Lake State Recreation Area is within the township. The northern terminus of M-5 is in Commerce. The busy highway would have continued north to Interstate 75, but because of the area's high property value and the many lakes that dot the landscape such a project would have been far too costly.
In 1994, David Hahn, a 17-year old Eagle Scout, constructed a makeshift nuclear reactor in his backyard in Commerce Township, exposing himself and his neighbors-and maybe even as many as 40,000 people in the area-to radioactive materials and drawing the attention of the EPA. The event became a short-lived media sensation, and a book by Ken Silverstein called The Radioactive Boy Scout was written about the incident and published in 2004.
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