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DETROIT IN 1838

BY HENRY A. FORD

Its only villages were "Dearbornville, " which had about sixty families and the United States arsenal, just completed; Plymouth (or Plymouth Corners"), about 300 population; Northville and Flat Rock, about 250 each; Redford "small, " and Gibraltar, fifteen to twenty families. Detroit had yet no suburb of Springwells, except as a farming settlement, and Hamtramek is set down as "three miles" from the city. The Central railroad was running across the country as far as Ypsilanti; the "Pontiac road" was in operation to Royal Oak, and the "railroad to Shelby" was in course of construction. The depot was upon the Campus Martius, where the opera house now stands. The county sent two senators and seven representatives to the state legislature. Detroit was in 1838 not only "port of entry" and "seat of justice for Wayne county, " but also "capital of the state of Michigan. " The state house, otherwise the county court house, now built around by the high school building, is named as a "commodious edifice of brick, constructed in the Ionic order 90 feet by 60. The portico in front is supported by six columns and the entablature at the sides by pilasters. The steeple, crowned with a dome, is 140 feet high. " The view from this was thought to be exceeded by but two others in the country, those from the state house in Boston and from St. Michael's church in Charleston. On the 1st of January of that year the Place had a population of 9, 278 against 4, 968 in 1834, 2, 222 in 1830, 1, 517 in 1828, 1, 442 in 1826, 1, 110 in 1820, and 770 in 1810. Thus within a decade the population had once increased by 50 per cent, had once more than doubled, and again nearly doubled.

DETROIT MICHIGAN


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