Dearborn, Michigan 2020


Dearborn is Michigan’s seventh most populous city and home to the nation’s largest Muslim population per capita. Dearborn was founded in 1786 but was not incorporated as a city until 1929. Although it began as a farming community, Dearborn is best known internationally as the birthplace of Henry Ford and automobile and steel manufacturing industries that are still vital to the city. identify. Dearborn has become a regional center for health care and post-secondary education, as well as for the cultural and retail sectors.

Geography and Climate of Dearborn

Aerial view of Dearborn, Michigan in the summer.

Located in Wayne County, Michigan in the southeastern part of the state, Dearborn sits on both sides of the Red River adjacent to Detroit. The Rouge River was widened and channeled near the Rouge plant to allow the smooth navigation of large lake freighters. Dearborn covers a total area of ​​63.49 km2, of which 62.80 km2 is land and 0.69 km2 is water. Dearborn also has a 626-acre park named Camp Dearborn in Milford, located about 56 km from the city.

Dearborn experiences a humid continental climate under the Koppen climate classification, with hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The coldest month is January, with average daily lows of -7.9°C and around 11.7 inches of snowfall. The hottest month is July, with average daily highs of 22.7°C. The average annual precipitation is 35.05 inches and the city receives an annual snowfall of 30.8 inches.

Brief History of Dearborn

Saint Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church, Community Center and Tower in Dearborn, Michigan
Saint Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church, community center and tower in Dearborn, Michigan. Editorial Credit: Captured Photons /

There is evidence that the Clovis people date back around 13,000 years, but most archaeological evidence points to the first humans arriving in the Dearborn area of ​​Michigan around 10,000 years ago, just after the last glaciers retreated. . When the French arrived in Michigan in the early 17th century, they found approximately 15,000 Native Americans in present-day Michigan. In the Dearborn-Detroit area, the Potawatomi tribes were the most populated.

Native Americans became embroiled in the French and Indian War and the Anglo-French Wars. Eventually, Native Americans were forced west via treaties with the new American government when Michigan became a US territory in 1796. Dearborn began as an agricultural colony, founded in 1786 by European settlers (largely French ) as agriculture began to develop along the Red River. . The settlement began as a stagecoach stop with the original name of Ten Eyck or Bucklin, located on a trail between Detroit and Chicago. The city’s growth was slow for the first five decades or so.

View of the bell tower of the Henry Ford Museum
View of the bell tower of the Henry Ford Museum. Editorial credit: Fsendek /

Detroit’s rapid growth in the early 19th century forced the United States military to move the Detroit arsenal. In 1833, during the Civil War, an American arsenal was installed in an area then sparsely inhabited. The area was named Dearborn after Revolutionary War hero General Henry Dearborn. The old Arsenal, closed in 1875, is now part of the Dearborn Historical Museum. The Arsenal was a complex of 11 buildings, with stables and pastures extending out to the floodplain of the Red River. Gradually, a village developed around her. It became the Village of Dearbornville in 1838 and later the City of Dearborn in 1897.

About 6.5 km east of the Arsenal, in the township of Springwells, another small village was taking shape. It officially started as a village in 1919 and a town in 1923. Henry Ford was born in Springwells Township in 1863, and he began building a huge factory on the Red River in Springwell in 1917. Springwell was renamed Fordson in honor of Henry and son Edsel in 1925. In 1929, voters approved the merger of Fordson and Dearborn (as suggested by Henry Ford), creating the consolidated city of Dearborn. After decades of growth as a hub of industry, the automotive sector experienced a downturn in the late 20th century that slowed the city’s upward momentum. The 21st century has been a time of renewal for the city, including new downtown development.

The population of Dearborn

Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan
Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan. Editorial Credit: Captured Photons /

Dearborn’s population surges have been fueled by its economy. Its place as the headquarters of the Ford Motor Company’s corporate headquarters shielded it from some of the downturns experienced by other municipalities in the Greater Detroit area at the start of the 21st century. In 2000, Dearborn’s population was 97,775, and that of the Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn metropolitan division was 2,061,162. By 2010, Dearborn’s population had grown to 98,153, while the metropolitan division of Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn had fallen to 1,820,584. The city is home to one of the oldest and most established Arab communities in the United States. According to the last US census, Dearborn has a population of 109,976.

Economy of Dearborn

The Ford Motor Company World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan
The Ford Motor Company World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. Editorial credit: Katherine Welles /

The city’s economy was marked first by the institution of the Arsenal, which attracted soldiers and military business, and in the late 19th century by Henry Ford and his manufacturing plant. The Ford Motor Company River Rouge Assembly Plant was built in Fordson in 1917 and renamed the River Rouge Plant in 1929 when Dearborn was incorporated. The city’s relationship with the auto industry has had its ups and downs, including the Ford Hunger March of 1932, where unemployed workers marched to the Dearborn factory and were met by police. Five workers were killed. The 1941 strike closed the factory for ten days.

In 1942, due to wartime production, Ford assembly lines ceased production for three years. Henry Ford operated experimental farms between the two former towns of Dearborn and Fordson. After his death in 1947, the Ford Motor Company turned the property into Ford’s world headquarters, renowned for its research and development facilities, as well as a shopping mall complex and conference hotel. The area divides the city’s downtown into eastern and western halves.

Attractions in Dearborn

Commanders' quarters at the Dearborn Historical Museum, Michigan
Commanders’ quarters at the Dearborn Historical Museum, Michigan. Image credit: Andrew Jameson, via Wikimedia Commons

Visitors can learn about the city’s unique history at the Dearborn Historical Museum. Two of the main buildings date from the 1830s and were part of the original Detroit Arsenal in Dearbornville (1833-75). The entire museum complex also includes the three-room Gardner House, dating from 1831. The Spirit of Ford is a science and technology museum for children. The huge Ford Rouge factory is also open to the public for tours.


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