Next Meeting - Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at
7:00 p.m. in the Mayor's conference room.



Erin Keem/
Carol Perrin

Mary Petlichkoff,  President

Cindy Polakowski,
Vice President


Jean Joseph, Treasurer



Dearborn Federation of Neighborhood Associations


Dearborn, Michigan

City of Dearborn
Hyatt Regency Dearborn
Hyatt Regency Dearborn
Location in Michigan
Location in Michigan
Coordinates: 42°18′40.79″N 83°12′48.53″W / 42.3113306, -83.2134806
Country United States
State Michigan
County Wayne
Settled 1786
Incorporation (village) 1893
Incorporation (city) 1927
 - Type Strong Mayor-Council
 - Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr.
 - Total 24.5 sq mi (63.3 km˛)
 - Land 24.4 sq mi (63.1 km˛)
 - Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km˛)
Elevation 591 ft (180 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 97,775
 - Density 4,013.7/sq mi (1,549.7/km˛)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 313
FIPS code 26-21000[1]
GNIS feature ID 0624432[2]

Dearborn is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located in the Detroit metropolitan area and Wayne County, and is the tenth largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, it had a population of 97,775. The city is the hometown of Henry Ford and the world headquarters of the Ford Motor Company, and the site of a University of Michigan campus as well as Henry Ford Community College. Dearborn is the home of Michigan's leading tourist attraction, The Henry Ford (also known as the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village), the nation's largest indoor-outdoor American history museum and entertainment complex. Notable buildings in the city skyline include the Hyatt Regency Dearborn located across from Fairlane Town Center mall.


Museum clock tower at The Henry Ford in Dearborn.
Museum clock tower at The Henry Ford in Dearborn.

The Dearborn area was first settled by Europeans in 1786.[1] The village of Dearborn was established in 1836, named after patriot Henry Dearborn, a General in the American Revolution and Secretary of War under President Thomas Jefferson. Its origins as a city trace back to a January 1929 consolidation vote which established its present-day borders by merging Dearborn and neighboring Fordson (previously known as Springwells) which feared being absorbed into Detroit. The area between the two towns was, and still remains in part undeveloped. This, once farm land, was bought by Henry Ford who built his estate, Fair Lane, and Ford Motor Company World Headquarters on it. Later developments in this corridor were the Ford airport, (later converted to the Dearborn Proving Grounds), other Ford administrative and development facilities, The Henry Ford village and museum, the Henry Ford Centennial Library, Fairlane Town Center and the Dearborn Civic Center. Some of the land remains open as of 2005 and is planted with sunflowers and often in Henry Ford's favorite soybeans, presumably for property tax reduction purposes. The crops are never harvested.

Dearborn was known nationally for its de facto racial segregation under Mayor Orville L. Hubbard, whose 36 year tenure ended in 1978. Hubbard became the most famous segregationist north of the Mason-Dixon line and openly admitted to allowing the use of intimidation tactics against African-American families looking to move to Dearborn.

This unsubtle policy is, in part, responsible for the minute black population in Dearborn today. Hubbard was known for running a highly effective government, so residents overlooked or laughed at his politically incorrect statements, which also targeted Irish and Italians (who make up much of the city's population). Hubbard was never as powerful or influential as Henry Ford or the Ford Motor Company. Ford was known to treat African-Americans well, which attracted them to Detroit to work at his factories. Even into the late 20th Century, many felt municipal "residents only" policies in Dearborn parks were racially motivated.[3]

In the early 1960s, Dearborn began to see a rapidly growing Arab population, the vast majority of them being Lebanese. Most had been newly arrived immigrants, but many others were second and third generation Arabs fleeing Detroit, which was beginning to see massive White Flight and decline. Today, Arabs are over a third of Dearborn's population, and although some groups such as the Lebanese have stabilized, others such as the Iraqis have been coming in larger numbers. The vast majority of these Arabs are Muslims, different from the predominately Christian Arabs who populated Metro Detroit in the first half of the twentieth century.

Since 2000 the number of African-Americans in the city of Dearborn has grown by over 100%, showing that the legacy of Hubbard is no longer as dominant on Dearborn as it once was.[4]

Historical timeline

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1900 844
1910 911 7.9%
1920 2,470 171.1%
1930 50,358 1938.8%
1940 63,589 26.3%
1950 94,994 49.4%
1960 112,007 17.9%
1970 104,199 -7.0%
1980 90,660 -13.0%
1990 89,286 -1.5%
2000 97,775 9.5%

European exploration and colonization

  • 1603 French lay claim to unidentified territory in this region, naming it New France.
  • July 24, 1701 Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac and his soldiers first land at what is now Detroit.
  • November 29, 1760 The British take control of the area from France.
  • 1780 Pierre Dumais clears farm near what is today's Morningside Street in Dearborn's South End. First non-Native American activity in present-day Dearborn.

Early U.S. history

  • 1783 By terms of the Treaty of Paris ending the American Revolutionary War, Great Britain cedes territory south of the Great Lakes to the United States, although the British retain practical control of the Detroit area and several other settlements until 1797.
  • 1786 Agreed year of first permanent settler in present-day Dearborn.
  • 1787 Territory of the US north and west of the Ohio River is officially proclaimed the Northwest Territory.
  • December 26, 1791 Detroit environs become part of Kent County, Ontario
  • 1795 James Cissne becomes first settler in what is now west Dearborn.
  • 1796 Wayne County is formed by proclamation of the acting governor of the Northwest Territory. Its original area is 2 million square miles, stretching from Cleveland, Ohio to Chicago, Illinois and northwest to Canada.
  • May 7, 1800 Indiana Territory, created out of part of Northwest Territory, although the eastern half of Michigan including the Dearborn area, was not attached to Indiana Territory until Ohio was admitted as a state in 1803.
  • January 11, 1805 Michigan Territory officially created out of a part of the Indiana Territory.
  • June 11, 1805 Fire destroys most of Detroit.
  • November 15, 1815 Current boundaries of Wayne County drawn, county split into 18 townships.
  • January 5, 1818 Springwells Township established by Gov. Lewis Cass
  • October 23, 1824 Bucklin Township created by Gov. Lewis Cass. The area ran from Greenfield to approximately Haggerty and from Van Born to Eight Mile.
  • 1826 Conrad Ten Eyck builds Ten Eyck Tavern at Michigan Avenue and Rouge River.
  • 1827 Wayne County's boundaries changed to its current 615 square miles (1,593 km˛).
  • April 12, 1827 Springwells and Bucklin townships formally organized and laid out by gubernatorial act.
  • October 29, 1829 Bucklin Township split along what is today Inkster Road into Nankin (west half) and Pekin (east half) townships.
  • March 21, 1833 Pekin Township renamed Redford Township.
  • March 31, 1833 Greenfield Township created from north and west sections of Springwells Township, including what is now today east Dearborn.
  • April 1, 1833 Dearborn Township created from southern half of Redford Township south of Bonaparte Avenue (Joy Road).
  • 1833 Detroit Arsenal built.
  • October 23, 1834 Dearborn Township renamed Bucklin Township.
  • March 26, 1836 Bucklin Township renamed Dearborn Township.
  • January 26, 1837 Michigan admitted to the Union as the 26th state. Stevens T. Mason is first governor.
  • 1837 Michigan Central Railroad extended through Springwells Township. Hamlet of Springwells rises along railroad.
  • April 5, 1838 Village of Dearbornville incorporates. Village later unincorporated on May 11, 1846.
  • 1849 Detroit annexes Springwells Township east of Brooklyn Street.
  • April 2, 1850 Greenfield Township annexes another section of Springwells Township.
  • February 12, 1857 Detroit annexes Springwells Township east of Grand Boulevard
  • March 25, 1873 Springwells Township annexes back section of Greenfield Township south of Tireman
  • May 28, 1875 Postmaster general changes name of Dearbornville post office to Dearborn post office, hence changing the city's name.
  • 1875 Detroit Aresenal closed.
  • 1875 Detroit annexes another section of Springwells Township.
  • 1876 William A. Nowlin writes The Bark Covered House in honor of country's 100th birthday.
  • June 20, 1884 Detroit annexes Springwells Township east of Livernois.
  • 1889 First telephone installed in Dearborn at St. Joseph's retreat

Incorporation as village

Henry Ford's estate Fair Lane lies in a large area of land owned by Ford between Dearborn and Springwells
Henry Ford's estate Fair Lane lies in a large area of land owned by Ford between Dearborn and Springwells
  • March 24, 1893 Village of Dearborn incorporates.
  • 1906 Detroit annexes another section of Springwells Township.
  • 1916 Detroit annexes more of Springwells Township, forming Dearborn's eastern boundary.
  • 1917 Rouge "Eagle" Plant opens.
  • November 1, 1919 The first house numbering ordinance in Dearborn starts. Residents required to place standard plate number on right side of the main house entrance five feet up.
  • December 9, 1919 Springwells Township incorporates as village of Springwells.
  • October 16, 1922 Springwells Township annexes small section of Dearborn Township east of present-day Greenfield Road.
  • December 27, 1923 Voters approve incorporation of Springwells as a city. It officially became a city April 7, 1924.
  • September 9, 1924 Village of Warrendale incorporates.
  • November 1924 Ford Airport opens.
  • April 6, 1925 Warrendale voters and residents of remaining Greenfield Township approve annexation by Detroit.
  • May 26, 1925 Village of Dearborn annexes large portion of Dearborn Township.
  • December 23, 1925 Springwells changes name to city of Fordson.
  • February 15, 1926 First U.S. airmail delivery made, going from Ford Airport in Dearborn to Cleveland.
  • September 14, 1926 Election approves incorporation of village of Inkster. Unincorporated part of Dearborn Township split into two unconnected sections.
  • October 11, 1926 Only dirigible to ever moor in Dearborn docks at Ford Airport.

Reincorporation as city

  • February 14, 1927 Village of Dearborn residents approve vote to become a city.
  • June 12, 1928 Voters in Dearborn, Fordson and part of Dearborn Township vote to consolidate into one city.
  • January 9, 1929 Clyde Ford elected as first mayor of Dearborn.
  • 1929 Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village opens.
  • July 1, 1931 Dearborn Inn opens as one of first airport hotels in world.
  • 1936 John Carey becomes mayor of Dearborn.
  • June 19, 1936 Montgomery Wards opens in Dearborn.
  • May 26, 1937 Harry Bennett's Ford "service" men beat United Auto Workers (UAW) official Richard Frankensteen in the Battle of the Overpass
  • June 21, 1941 Ford Motor Company signs its first union contract.
  • January 6, 1942 Orville L. Hubbard takes office as mayor of Dearborn for first time.
  • April 7, 1947 Henry Ford dies.
  • October 20, 1947 Dearborn City Council approves purchase of land near Milford, Michigan for what would become Camp Dearborn. First section of camp opens following year.
  • October 21, 1947 Ford Airport officially closes.
  • 1950 First Pleasant Hours senior citizen group formed.
  • 1950 Dearborn Historical Museum formally established.
  • January 1952 Oakwood Hospital formally opened and dedicated.
  • April 22, 1958 Election held to annex part of South Dearborn Township to Dearborn. Proposal fails.
  • 1959 University of Michigan (Dearborn Campus) opens.
  • April 6, 1959 Election held to annex part of North Dearborn Township to Dearborn. Proposal fails.
  • 1962 St. Joseph's retreat closed and razed
  • 1962 New Henry Ford Community College campus dedicated.
  • November 9, 1962 Ford Rotunda burns down
  • 1967 Dearborn Towers in Clearwater, Florida opens.
  • March 2, 1976 Fairlane Town Center opens.
  • 1978 John B. O' Reilly, Sr. becomes mayor of Dearborn
  • November 6, 1981 Cable Television reaches first home in Dearborn, on Abbot Street.
  • December 16, 1982 Orville Hubbard dies.
  • 1986 Michael Guido becomes mayor of Dearborn.
  • 1993 Michael Guido is the first mayor to run unopposed.
  • 2006 Michael Guido dies at the age of 52 during his 6th term, the only mayor to die in office.
  • 2006 John B. O'Reilly, Jr. is to become temporary Mayor. O'Reilly's father was the mayor who had preceded Mayor Guido.
  • 2007 John B. O'Reilly, Jr. is elected mayor of Dearborn winning 93.97% of the vote.
  • 2008 John B. O'Reilly, Sr. dies at the age of 89, he was Mayor of Dearborn (1978-1985) and also served as Chief of Police for 11 years.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.5 square miles (63.3 km˛), of which, 24.4 square miles (63.1 km˛) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km˛) of it (0.37%) is water. The River Rouge runs through the city with an artificial waterfall/low head dam on the Henry Ford estate to power his 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 freighter access.

Dearborn is among a small number of municipalities that owns property in other cities (Camp Dearborn in Milford, Michigan) and is possibly unique in holding property in another state (the Dearborn Towers apartment complex in Clearwater, Florida). These holdings are considered part of the city of Dearborn, and revenues generated by camp admissions and rent collected are used to bolster the city's budget.


In 2006 Dearborn had a population of 92,382 people. This represented a 5.5% decline in the population since 2000.

As of the census˛ of 2000, there were 97,775 people, 36,770 households, and 23,863 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,013.2 per square mile (1,549.7/km˛). There were 38,981 housing units at an average density of 1,600.0/sq mi (617.8/km˛). The racial makeup of the city was 86.86% White, 1.28% African American, 0.26% Native American, 1.47% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.73% from other races, and 9.38% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.00% of the population.

There were 36,770 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.0% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.42.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.8% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 19.1% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 99.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $44,560, and the median income for a family was $53,060. Males had a median income of $45,114 versus $33,872 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,488. About 12.2% of families and 16.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.4% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 and over.

Dearborn's population includes 30,000 Arab-Americans, [2] [3]. Arabs first settled here to work in the automotive industry. In January 2005, a new Arab American National Museum opened as a result of this large concentrated population. The city is also home to the Islamic Center of America, the largest mosque in North America and the Dearborn Mosque.

Dearborn's population is estimated, as of the 2006 estimate, to have fallen to 92,382, a fall of 5.5%. Over the same period of time, though, SEMCOG, the local statistics agency of Metro Detroit, estimates the city to have grown to 99,001, or an increase of 1.2% since 2000. The number of African-Americans is estimated by the Census Bureau to have reached 4.1% of the total population of the city for 2005.

Dearborn is home to the Ford River Rouge Plant, built by Henry Ford to make Ford Model T components, and later the birthplace (and former production line) of the Ford Mustang. It currently produces Ford F150 trucks. At one time the plant employed 120,000 people and produced finished vehicles from iron ore and sand. Dearborn is also home to Fordson High School, the first million dollar high school within the nation.

Besides the normal mixture of national origins, Dearborn has historically had large German, Polish and Irish communities. Among the Arab population, the largest group by far is Lebanese but other groups include Iraqi, Yemeni and Palestinian[4]. The Arab population is primarily found in the city's eastern side, though in recent years it has expanded west. Dearborn also contains a large Armenian community.

Rail transportation

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Dearborn, operating its Wolverine three times daily in each direction between Chicago, Illinois and Pontiac, Michigan via Detroit. Baggage cannot be checked at this location; however, up to two suitcases in addition to any "personal items" such as briefcases, purses, laptop bags, and infant equipment are allowed on board as carry-ons. Currently there are two rail stops in Dearborn - the ordinary Amtrak station and a rarely used station at Greenfield Village.


Dearborn residents, along with a small portion of Dearborn Heights residents attend Dearborn Public Schools, which operates 34 schools including 3 major high schools. Divine Child Elementary School and High School are in Dearborn as well; the high-school is the largest private co-ed high-school in the area. Dearborn Schools also operates the Clara B. Ford High School inside Vista Maria, a non-profit residential treatment agency for girls in Dearborn Heights. Schools website:

Notable current and former residents

  • Doug Ross — college hockey coach with the most wins south of the Mason-Dixon line in the Southern United States.
  • Brian Berris — host of the radio show Wreckless Media Radio
  • Frankie Andreu — professional cyclist
  • Paul Butcher — former NFL linebacker
  • Jim Cummins — National Hockey League player
  • Gary Danielson — quarterback for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League
  • William Dear — director of the films Harry and the Hendersons (1987), Angels in the Outfield (1994), and Santa Who? (2000)
  • Chad Everett — actor known for his role as Dr. Joe Gannon in the 1970s television drama Medical Center.
  • Henry Ford — businessman, founder of Ford Motor Corporation, Henry Ford Hospital, and the Henry Ford Museum
  • Bill Freehan — Former Major League Baseball player
  • James Finn Garner — author of Politically Correct Bedtime Stories and Apocalypse Wow
  • Russ Gibb — disc jockey & teacher of video and media production at Dearborn High School, known for his role in the "Paul is dead" phenomenon
  • Orville L. Hubbard — longest serving mayor of any American city at the time of his death
  • Elizabeth Jarosz, Divine Child High School Class of 1991 — One of the candidates on season two of The Apprentice
  • Al Iafrate - Retired NHL Defenseman
  • John C. Kornblum — U.S. Ambassador to Germany under President Bill Clinton, 1997-2001
  • Derek Lowe — Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Bill McCartney — college football coach and a founder of Promise Keepers
  • George Peppard — Actor most recently known for portraying John "Hannibal" Smith on NBC's television series The A Team
  • Brian Rafalski — National Hockey League player, 2002 & 2006 Olympic hockey team member
  • Bob Seger — singer-songwriter of Turn the Page, Night Moves, and Like a Rock
  • Eddie Slovik — only U.S. Army soldier executed for desertion since the American Civil War
  • Jim Snyder — Major League Baseball player and manager
  • Ross Ian Mackenzie — Prominent historian at MIT
  • Anna Sui — fashion designer
  • John Vigilante — National Hockey League player
  • Windy & Carl — Ambient musicians