Detroit is one of the oldest cities in the United States. While we would love to put Detroit’s full history here, it would take up too much space. Instead, we’d liked to go over some highlights for you.
•July 24, 1701: Detroit is established by Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac as one of the first settlements in southeast Michigan. He builds Fort Pontchartrain du détroit. The goal of this is to protect the French fur trade in the Great Lakes region from the English and the Iroquois. Détroit is French for “the straits”. •February 1, 1802: Territorial Governor Arthur St. Clair approves the city charter for Detroit. It is incorporated as a city of about a third of a square mile (20 acres). The city of Detroit is incorporated by the Michigan Territorial governor, William Hull as a city. •February 24, 1809: The Governing Council repeals Detroit being included in the Michigan Territory. It will later be reincorporated back as a city in 1815 with 850 residents. •January 26, 1837: Michigan becomes the 26th state of the United States of America. Detroit will be its first capital (present day, it is Lansing). •1848: The first telegraph is transmitted between Detroit and Buffalo. •1850: Shipping becomes Detroit’s biggest industry in and its population reaches 21,000. •1879: Detroit becomes the first city to assign individual telephone numbers. •1880: Detroit’s population is 116,342 and it is a multicultural city with over 40 nationalities represented. •1884: Belle Isle Park opens to the public. It will be the largest island park in the nation at that time. •1898: Henry Ford organized the Detroit Automobile Co. with backing from local investors. It fails three years later after only producing two cars. •1900: The Detroit Tigers become members of the new American Baseball League. •1901: Henry Ford establishes his second automobile company, called the Henry Ford Co., Ransom E. Olds produces the first practical American car which can reach speeds of 18 miles per hour and costs $650, and Detroit celebrates its bi-centennial with parades and a recreation of Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac’s arrival. •1902: The Cadillac Automobile Company comes into business. •1918: Millions are infected, Detroit is no exception, to the Influenza Pandemic. •1929: The Ambassador Bridge to Windsor, Ontario, Canada is completed after two years of construction. •1930: The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is completed going under the Detroit River. It will also connect Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, Canada. •1958: “The Spirit of Detroit” statue is dedicated. •1960: Motown Records starts business and the population booms at 1,670,144. •2013: Detroit goes bankrupt, which is the largest ever in American history. It comes out of bankruptcy one year later.
Today, Detroit is divided into seven districts, and each district is divided into several neighborhoods. For more information on how Detroit neighborhoods/districts are broken up, please visit “The Neighborhoods”.
Through Detroit’s 300+ year history, it has had its successes and downfalls, just like any city in the world. With the problems problems its had, especially within the last 25 years, it is making a wonderful comeback. We encourage each group that visits us to take an evening/afternoon to experience our great comeback city. Included in the further sections of this website are a number of places learn about the history of Detroit, places to eat, and also lots of places to have fun.