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An outer suburb of Detroit, about twenty miles to the southeast, the city of Farmington Hills surrounds the city of Farmington, except for a small strip in the south.

Besides Farmington, Farmington Hills abuts Livonia, Novi, and Southfield. The main route through the city is I-695, which runs largely east-west through the center of the city. I-275 runs north-south along the lower western portion of the city, and M-5 cuts diagonally across the southern portion, passing through Farmington, while M-10 crosses the northeastern corner of Farmington Hills.

As might be expected, Farmington Hills and Farmington share a history. Farmington Hills is the larger part of the former Farmington Township that was left after Farmington separated from the township to become a city in 1926. Actually, a few other communities were absorbed by Farmington Hills. The history goes back further.

The first people in the area are believed to have come from Siberia, crossing a land bridge into Alaska, and eventually into other parts of North America, including Michigan. Their descendants were the Potawatomi people, who lived in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois. The three main routes through Farmington follow the trails left by the Potawatomi: the Orchard Lake Trail, the Grand River Trail, and the Shiawassee Trail.

The first Europeans to settle the region were the French, who came in the early 1700s. Unlike the British and, later, the Americans, the French lived peacefully among the Native Americans who were there first. After the land was ceded to the United State of America following the Revolutionary War, the British were slow to leave the Michigan Territories and were largely still in control of the region during the War of 1812. By 1820, however, the Potawatomi were given no choice but to cede their land to the federal government, which set the stage for large-scale European-American settlements.

The first American settlers in the area that was to become Farmington Hills were Quakers. Thus, the settlement became known as Quakertown. However, when a post office was established in February of 1826, it was named Farmington, for the New York hometown of Arthur Power, a Quaker, and the first settler of the land. When Farmington Township was organized in 1827, it included all of what is now known as Farmington and Farmington Hills.

In 1867, Farmington (Quakertown) was incorporated as a village and became a city in 1926. In the southeastern corner of the township, bordering Livonia, another settlement was formed. When a post office was established there in 1850, it was named Livonia, but renamed Clarenceville in 1897. Another community developed in the northern part of the township and named North Farmington. Now a neighborhood of Farmington Hills, it had a post office from 1847 to 1902. East Farmington had a post office from 1839 to 1842.

Besides Farmington Hills and Farmington, two other communities within the township were once incorporated villages. A subdivision known as Quaker Valley Farms was incorporated as the village of Quakertown in 1959, and another subdivision, developed in 1937, became the village of Wood Creek Farms in 1957. These villages, along with the remainder of Farmington Township, with the exception of the city of Farmington, were incorporated into the City of Farmington in 1973.

Today, Farmington Hills and Farmington, although separate cities are often associated with one another, although Farmington Hills is by far the larger, both in land area and population. Before World War II, Farmington Township was largely rural and agricultural. After the war, people began moving out of Detroit and other nearby larger cities, forming what became suburbs in the area surrounding Detroit, including Farmington Township. In the process, farmland was turned into subdivisions and businesses, and Farmington Hills, by the time it became a city, was suburban rather than rural.

Today, Farmington Hills consists mostly of subdivisions and commercial areas. Its population is roughly 80,000, as compared to Farmington's population of 10,000, although the former is spread out over a much larger area.

The focus of this guide is on the city of Farmington Hills, Michigan. As such, appropriate resources include websites representing the city itself, or any individuals, businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, and events, within the city.

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