A Brief History of Farmington And Farmington Hills

Farmington and Farmington Hills are located at the southern border of Oakland County, a suburb of Metropolitan Detroit. Though they are really two separate cities, they are often associated with each other and sometimes even thought of as one because aside from a small area in the south, Farmington is completely landlocked by Farmington Hills. Farmington was founded in 1824 by Arthur Power who like many other early Oakland County pioneers hailed from the state of New York. Power was a Quaker, as were the settlers who joined him, and the town was first known as Quakertown. In 1826, the name Farmington was officially chosen because it was the name of Power’s hometown, Farmington, New York. As the town grew larger and more people began to settle, the area expanded north into present day Farmington Hills, which at the time was called the Village of North Farmington. It wasn’t until 1972 that a vote was held that declared the two separate townships.

The current day city of Farmington is made up of 2.66 square miles and as of the 2010 census is home to 10,372 residents. Even though it’s nearing 200 years of existence filled with periods of massive expansion and change, Farmington has still maintained its quaint, small town vibe. It is still laid out in a rather older fashion with a “main street” style downtown that remains the heart of the city. The downtown area includes a number of wonderful small businesses, is home to a thriving farmers market, and is surrounded by Victorian style houses and a number of historic landmarks that earned parts of the city a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

Farmington Hills, on the other hand, is a much larger city that consists of 33.31 square miles and as of the 2010 census home to a whopping population of 79,740 residents. Farmington Hills is a much more suburban style city cut up into individual square miles filled mostly with subdivisions and businesses. Farmington Hills is consistently ranked as one of the safest cities in the nation, in 2010 coming in at number 30 on the list.

The two cities both experienced a rapid change in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Before the World War II the area was largely made up of farms, but after the war ended and people began moving away from the city and into the suburbs the Farmington area began to prosper. Populations skyrocketed and the areas urbanized quickly. Soon enough, Farmington and Farmington Hills became some of the wealthiest cities in the nation in addition to sharing one of the best public school systems in the state, Farmington Public Schools.


This is the oldest known photograph of Downtown Farmington, believed to have been taken in the early 1870s.


Canterbury Commons History

Originally, in medieval England, the commons system was developed where manor lords held ownership and certain subjects or classes of individuals had limited rights for communal usage.  With the industrial revolution and urbanization, the commons concept developed into a system of shared gardens or parklands in more affluent areas.  When Canterbury Commons was developed in the mid-1960’s by the Thompson-Brown Company it was one of the first premier residential communities in Michigan to have commons areas belonging equally to each homeowner and featured heavily in the sales documents provided to potential buyers. During construction, Canterbury Commons offered 17 different models with various options and elevations that were built by seven different luxury homebuilders.  At the time of initial sale, base prices including the lot ranged from $29,950 for the “Burlington” model to $41,950 for the “Provincial” model.


Source: http://michiganhistory.leadr.msu.edu/farmington-hills/