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Situated in the southeastern Lower Peninsula, the City of Center Line, Michigan is surrounded by the City of Warren, in southwestern Warren County.

The primary routes through the city are I-696, which serves as the city's northern boundary, and M-53 (Van Dyke Avenue), which bisects the city into west and east sections. East 11 Mile Road parallels the Interstate, and East 10 Mile Road passes through the city's lower quadrant in an east-west direction. Stephens Road forms a portion of the city's southern border.

Center Line is in the Detroit Metro Region. The City of Detroit is 23.3 miles to the south. Other nearby cities include Eastpointe (5.1 miles east), Madison Heights (5.9 miles northwest), Hazel Park (7.0 miles southwest), Fraser (7.7 miles northeast), Ferndale (8.8 miles west), and Sterling Heights (9.1 miles north).

Center Line was settled more than a hundred years after Detroit. There were no roads through the area, and it was rumored to an impassable, snake-infested swamp, a story that may have been exaggerated by French fur traders, who has an interest in keeping the wilderness intact. Before the late 18th and early 19th centuries, travel in Michigan was primarily conducted on rivers and lakes, and there are no rivers and lakes in Center Line. Up until the 1820s, travelers detoured around the area that was to become Center City.

As available land became scarce, Belgian, French, Irish, and German immigrants began clearing trees and draining the swamp. The settlement that formed there was originally known as Beebe's Corners, for John L. Beebe, who operated the toll gate on the plank road that led to Detroit. The first permanent settler was Charles Groesbeck, who came around 1830 and was later joined by his brother, Louis Groesbeck, father of Alex J. Groesbeck, who became the 30th governor of Michigan in 1921, and a man named Charles Rivard.

The community later became the village of Warren, which incorporated as a village in 1893, and a city in 1957.

Another settlement was formed a few miles to the south, in an area that had been newly cleared. Although there are other theories regarding its name, it is generally accepted that Center Line was named for its location as the center of three Indian trails leading from the fort at Detroit to other trading posts in the wilderness. The first was a river trail that followed the river to Port Huron. Another was the Saginaw Trail that ended at Mackinaw at the Straits of Mackinaw. Through the center of these two trails, was another that the French referred to as the center line. It became the main road between Utica and Detroit. Now known as Sherwood Avenue, portions of the road were known as Center Line Road until the 1940s.

Eventually, the village of Warren annexed the remainder of the township, surrounding Center Line.

Joseph Buechel opened a store in Center Line in 1863, and Hieronymous Engelmann became its first postmaster when a post office was established in Center Line on July 19, 1878, although the post office was spelled, Centre Line. The post office was closed on July 31, 1906, but later restored as Center Line.

Originally, the community consisted mostly of farms that were carved out of the wilderness and the swamp. A saloon was opened near Buechel's store, at the corner of Sherwood Avenue and 10 Mile Road, forming a neighborhood that was known as Kunrod's Corner.

To avoid the long trek to Detroit in winter weather, a Catholic Church was constructed in 1854.

Center Line was incorporated as a village in 1925 and became a city in 1936.

Tracks for a streetcar were built from Detroit to Center Line during the 1920s, easing the community's isolation considerably. As the tracks stopped. As the streetcar went only as far as 10 Mile Road, travelers would have to walk for about a block before encountering any buildings. After walking a block, they would reach a barbershop operated by Gus Miller, Buechel's General Store, and St. Clement Church, as well as Rinke's Hardware Store, and Wilke's Butcher Shop and Drug Store, which made up Center Line's first business district.

The population of Center Line grew rapidly until 1970 but has been declining since. Its peak population was 10,379 in 1970, and its population as of the 2010 census was 8,257.

The focus of this category is on the City of Center Line, Michigan. Websites representing the city or any businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attraction, or events within the city are appropriate resources for this category.


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