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About Our Town


Town History

In the early 1730's, a branch of the Huron Indians called the Wyandot Indians settled on the banks of the Detroit River. Their village stood between what is now Oak Street and Eureka Avenue. Less than a hundred years later, the Wyandot Indians agreed to relinquish this land to the United States Government, and eventually settled in Oklahoma.

In 1835, Major John Biddle built his "gentleman's farm" on 2,200 acres and called it "The Wyandotte" in remembrance of the Indians who had inhabited the land. In 1854, the Eureka Iron Company purchased Biddle's estate and hired John S. VanAlstyne to handle the company's real estate matters. VanAlstyne began laying out street patterns and selling land for homes and other businesses. The name Wyandotte was kept for this new town, and in 1867 Wyandotte became a city and VanAlstyne the first Mayor. 

While the Eureka Iron Works Company prospered for some time, in the 1880's the iron market took a turn for the worse and fuel sources for the factory became scarce. The company began drilling in and around Wyandotte seeking fuel alternatives. While drilling produced no fuel, it did reveal a large salt bed under the town. When Eureka Iron Works closed in 1892, Captain Ford, a pioneer industrialist who worked for Eureka Iron Works, recognized the potential of the recently discovered salt bed. Salt was a required ingredient in the manufacturing of soda ash used to make plate glass. The discovery of the salt bed lead to Captain Ford's chemical business, and in the early 1890's the Michigan Alkali Company began producing a variety of chemicals. In the 1940's, the name was changed to the Wyandotte Chemicals Company. The company still exists today, but under the name BASF.

Soon other industries began to take shape in Wyandotte. Eber B. Ward started a shipping business and produced over 200 ships in Wyandotte. E.H. Doyle Hoop & Stave Works provided Wyandotte's first electrical power. The Regeant Stove Company, the McCord Corporation, and the Beals & Selkirk Trunk Company pushed Wyandotte into the thriving industrial age. In 1860 Wyandotte's population was 1,700. In 1960 the town population reached a peak of 43,000, and today it is about 30,000.

Today Wyandotte is a primarily residential neighborhood, but the town still maintains an independent atmosphere. Wyandotte has its own electric and water plants, cable company, and a plethora of city parks. It is a vibrant, bustling, can-do kind of place, drawing inspiration and appeal from a diverse mix of residents. From business leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, realtors, engineers and bankers, Wyandotte is growing, learning, and working together. The town of Wyandotte is a splendid place to live and raise a family. 

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