Highland Park, Michigan

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Highland Park is a city in Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 16,746 at the 2000 census, and is estimated to be 13,850 as of 2009.[1] The city is completely surrounded by Detroit except a small portion that touches the city of Hamtramck, which is also surrounded by Detroit.



The area that was to become Highland Park started off as a small farming community, on a large ridge, six miles north of Detroit in the early 19th century. In 1818, prominent Detroit judge Augustus B. Woodward bought the ridge, and platted the village of Woodwardville in 1825. The development of the village failed. Another Detroit judge, Benjamin F.H. Witherell, son of Michigan Supreme Court justice James Witherell, attempted to found a village on this site in 1836, but this plan also failed.

By 1873, the settlement was given a post office under the name of Whitewood. After a succession of closures and reopenings of the rural post office, the settlement was finally incorporated as a village within Greenfield Township and Hamtramck Township under the name of Highland Park in 1889.[4]

Upon the completion of Highland Park Ford Plant in 1909, the area's population dramatically increased just a few years later in 1913, when Henry Ford opened the first assembly line at the Highland Park Ford Plant. The village of Highland Park was incorporated as a city in 1918 [5] to protect its tax base, including its successful Ford plant, from Detroit's expanding boundaries.

In 1910 Highland Park, then a village, had 4,120 residents. Between 1910 and 1920 Highland Park's population grew to about 46,500, an increase of 1,081 percent. The growth of Highland Park and neighboring Hamtramck broke records for increases of population; both municipalities withstood annexation efforts from Detroit.[6]

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