Allen Park's history begins when Native Americans hunted, fished, and paddled their canoes along the banks of Ecorse Creek. The French were among the earliest settlers, and after the land was cleared, German farmers arrived. Ecorse Township, known today as Downriver, was divided into seven different cities, and Allen Park was born. Once characterized as a "lazy, farming hamlet," Allen Park's residents were the most influential in developing the Village of Allen Park out of Ecorse Township, in 1927, and worked to become the City of Allen Park in 1957. Henry Ford's $5 workday prompted many farmers to sell to developers and go to work for Ford. Hungarians, Poles, Italians, and Armenians moved in, becoming the major ethnic groups within the community. Among the city's celebrities there have been writers, radio and sports personalities, cartoonists, and fashion designers. Towering over the Interstate 94 corridor in Allen Park, the Uniroyal Giant Tire has become an American icon, and although the Veterans Administration medical center is gone, it will forever live in residents' hearts. Enjoy the city's story, gathered from the files of the Allen Park Historical Museum.
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