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Franklin, Michigan is one of three villages in Southfield Township, the others being Beverly Hills and Bingham Farms.

Bingham Farms borders the village to the east, and it is bounded by Farmington Hills to the west and south.

Although the population of Franklin is just over three thousand, it is an outer suburb of the Detroit Metro region, with several larger cities and villages within twenty miles, including Southfield, Orchard Lake, Birmingham, Berkley, Bloomfield Hills, Farmington, Sylvan Lake, Oak Park, Royal Oak, Walled Lake, Pontiac, Troy, Livonia, Ferndale, Novi, Hazel Park, Northville, Lake Angelus, Madison Heights, Wolverine Lake, Wixon, Auburn Hills, Highland Park, Center Line, Hamtramck, Rochester Hills, Dearborn, Plymouth, Dearborn Heights, Sterling Heights, and Warren, with the center of Detroit being just over twenty miles from the center of Franklin.

Although Franklin was not incorporated as a village until 1953, it was founded as a distinct community in 1824. Known today for its large, estate-style homes, the Franklin downtown district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969, the first district in Michigan to be listed on the National Register.

Although Detroit had been a population center for more than a century, Oakland County and the area north of there was believed to be covered by swamps and bogs, perhaps because the surveyors had not ventured past the southern swamps. assuming that they were indicative of the entire area. Another factor that affected the settlement of Michigan, as a whole, was the difficulty in getting there from the East.

The completion of the Erie Canal in 1826 brought thousands of people to Michigan. In 1820, when Oakland County was organized, there were fewer than twenty families. By 1830, that number had increased to nearly five thousand, and to more than twenty thousand by 1840.

The first European-American settler in Southfield Township was John Daniels, who acquired land in the area that would later become Franklin in 1824. Later that year, Dillucena Stoughton bought land on the east side, building a home there the following year. In 1825, Elijah Bullock bought land on the west side, and brought his four sons, and his son-in-law, George Gage. Stoughton was joined by his father, Amaziah, and four brothers. For a time, the settlement was known as the Stoughton and Bullock Settlement.

Dr. Ebenezer Raynale established a medical practice there in 1828, the only physician in a large area. He arranged to have a post office established on September 19, 1828, with himself as postmaster. As Stoughton and Bullock Settlement was too long for a post office name, the post office was named Franklin, for Benjamin Franklin, and the community took that name.

Within ten years, the community included the doctor's office, a blacksmith shop, a shoemaker, a carpentry shop, a mason and bricklayer, flour and feed mills, a lumber mill, a brick and tile yard, a wagon shop and sleigh maker, cooperage, distillery, and small factories and shops producing soap, shoes, and harnesses.

In 1830, the Pontiac & Detroit Railroad began laying track between those two cities. The proposed route was supposed to pass through Franklin, and land was set aside for a depot. However, the railroad commissioner decided to pass through Birmingham instead.

Elijah Bullock opened a tavern in Franklin in 1830. That same year, William Houston opened the first store. Peter Van Every built a grist mill on the river just north of town. For a while, it was the only grist mill in the county where farmers could sell wheat for cash. That gristmill was converted to a cider mill in 1949, and is currently known as the Franklin Cider Mill.

By the turn of the 20th century, Franklin remained a small town. With the development of the automobile and roads by the 1920s, people could commute from Franklin to Detroit. To provide for some control over the development of the area, a plan was laid out by a local developer that called for curving roads and large single-family building lots. Building restrictions were soon enacted to require a high quality of construction, which has led to the stately homes for which the village is known.

To avoid annexation by a larger neighbor, and to gain further control over the development of the community, Franklin was incorporated as a village in 1953. With minor fluctuations from one decade to another, its population has remained stable.

the focus of this guide is on the village of Franklin, Michigan. Appropriate topics include online resources representing the village itself, or any individuals, businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, or events within the village.



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