Facts About Dearborn
Dearborn is a city in the State of Michigan. It is located in Wayne County and is part of the Detroit metropolitan area. Dearborn is the eighth largest city in the State of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 98,153 and is home to the largest Muslim population in the United States. First settled in the late 18th century by French farmers in a series of ribbon farms along the Rouge River and the Sauk Trail, the community grew with the establishment of the Detroit Arsenal on the Chicago Road linking Detroit and Chicago. It later developed as a major manufacturing hub for the automotive industry, as Henry Ford built his Rouge River Ford Complex here.
Henry Ford was born on a farm here and later established an estate in Dearborn, as well as his River Rouge Complex, the largest factory of his Ford empire. He developed mass production of automobiles, and based the world headquarters of the Ford Motor Company here. The city has a campus of the University of Michigan as well as Henry Ford College. The Henry Ford, the United States’ largest indoor-outdoor historic museum complex and Metro Detroit’s leading tourist attraction, is located here. Dearborn residents are Americans primarily of European or Middle Eastern ancestry, descendants of 19th and 20th-century immigrants. Because of new waves of immigration from the Middle East in the late 20th century, the largest ethnic grouping is now composed of descendants of various nationalities of that area.
Before European encounter, the area had been inhabited for thousands of years by varying indigenous peoples. Historical tribes belonged mostly to the Algonquian-language family, especially the Council of Three Fires, the Potawatomi and related peoples. In contrast, the Huron were Iroquoian speaking. French colonists had a trading post at Fort Detroit and a settlement developed there in the colonial period, as well as on the south side of the Detroit River in what is now southwestern Ontario. France ceded all of its territory east of the Mississippi River to Britain in 1763 after losing to the English in the Seven Years’ War. Beginning in 1786, after the United States gained independence in the American Revolutionary War, more European Americans entered the region, settling in Detroit and the Dearborn area. With population growth, Dearborn Township was formed in 1833 and the village of Dearbornville in 1836, each named after patriot Henry Dearborn, a general in the American Revolution who later served as Secretary of War under President Thomas Jefferson. The town of Dearborn was incorporated in 1893. Through much of the 19th century, the area was largely rural. Stimulated by industrial development in Detroit and within its own limits, in 1927 Dearborn was established as a city. Its current borders result from a 1928 consolidation vote that merged Dearborn and neighboring Fordson (previously known as Springwells), which feared being absorbed into expanding Detroit. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.5 square miles (63 km2), of which 24.4 square miles (63 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.37%) is water. The city developed on both sides of the Rouge River. An artificial waterfall/low head dam was constructed by Henry Ford on his estate to power its powerhouse. The Upper, Middle, and Lower Branches of the river come together in Dearborn. The river is widened and channeled near the Rouge Plant to allow lake freighter access.
Fordson Island (42°17′38″N 83°08′52″W) is an 8.4 acres (3.4 hectares) island about three miles (5 km) inland from the Detroit River on the River Rouge. Fordson Island is the only major island in a tributary to the Detroit River. The island was created in 1922 when engineers dug a secondary trench to reroute the River Rouge to increase navigability for shipping purposes. The island is privately owned, and public access is prohibited. The island is part of the city of Dearborn, which has no frontage along the Detroit River. Dearborn is among a small number of municipalities that own property in other cities. It owns 626-acre (2.53 km2) Camp Dearborn in Milford, Michigan, which is located 35 miles (56 km) from Dearborn. Dearborn was among an even smaller number of cities that hold property in another state: for a time the city owned the “Dearborn Towers” apartment complex in Clearwater, Florida, but this has been sold. Camp Dearborn is considered part of the city of Dearborn. Revenues generated by camp admissions are incorporated into the city’s budget.
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