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Pleasant Ridge is a northern suburb of the Detroit Metro Region, about a mile and a half from Detroit, and the fifth-smallest city in Michigan by land area.

I-696 forms the northern boundary of Pleasant Ridge, and M-1 (Woodward Avenue) traverses the city. Pleasant Ridge is abutted by Ferndale, Huntington Woods, Oak Park, and Royal Oak. Other cities and villages within twenty miles include Hazel Park, Berkley, Clawson, Madison Heights, Detroit, Lathrup Village, Southfield, Birmingham, Center Line, Highland Park, Warren, Hamtramck, Beverly Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Troy, Franklin, Eastpointe, Roseville, Farmington Hills, Fraser, St. Clair Shores, Rochester Hills, Sterling Heights, Farmington, Orchard Lake, Rochester, Harper Woods, Dearborn, Grosse Pointe Woods, Dearborn Heights, Grosse Pointe Shores, Utica, Sylvan Lake, Grosse Pointe Park, Keego Harbor, Melvindale, Grosse Pointe, Novi, Grosse Pointe Farms, Mt. Clemens, Livonia, Allen Park, and Auburn Hills.

When the area was first surveyed in 1817, much of Oakland County was known as the Great Swamp. However, there were a few beach ridges parallel to the Great Lakes and the connecting waterways and channels, and these were used by people traveling the area on foot and on horseback.

One of these pathways became known as Ridge Road and, by 1912, there were about ten families living there. A farm, known as Mayday Farm, was subdivided by Burt Taylor in 1913.

A core group of residents began talking about development, forming a name for the community by combining the name of Ridge Road with Pleasant Valley, the childhood home of Mrs. Leila Kennedy, who had grown up in Kentucky.

One of the first residents was Virgil Rose, who once owned the Mayday Farm, and ran a tavern along Woodward Avenue from the 1840s to 1880. Alfred F. Wilcox acquired most of Rose's land in 1894, and built a home there.

Early residents were largely well-off, and included doctors, lawyers, and executives of public corporations headquartered in the Detroit Metro Region. They included Fred H. Johnson, president of the Progressive Welder Company, the Reverend Edgar Dewitt Jones, pastor of the Central Woodward Christian Church in Detroit, Dr. Edward J. Martin, head of Physics and Instrumentation at General Motors, Dr. Ben Goodrich, the physician in charge of the Pulmonary Disease section of Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Dr. Myra Babcock, head of Anesthesiology at Grace Hospital in Detroit, Louis H. Fead, a former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, and Ernest Fletcher, who became the first mayor of Pleasant Ridge.

Pleasant Ridge was incorporated as a village in 1921 and, under threat of annexation by either Ferndale or Royal Oak, the village incorporated as a city in 1927.

Today, the Pleasant Ridge Historic District is a primarily residential area west of Woodward Avenue. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992, the boundaries of the district were increased in 2010 to expand the district to the city limits of Ferndale, Huntington Woods, Oak Park, and Royal Oak. The district includes residences built between 1910 to 1930, and representing several architectural styles.

The Pleasant Ridge Historical Museum is located in a building that originally served as the city's 1929 Police Booth, which was moved to avoid demolition during the I-696 construction and restored.

According to a study by the Williams Institute, Pleasant Ridge has the highest same-sex housing ratio in the state, ranking as the seventh-highest same-sex household ratio in the nation.

The Detroit Zoo is just north of the western half of Pleasant Ridge, being on the opposite side of I-696. The zoo and the village of Pleasant Ridge came about at about the same time.

The focus of this portion of our guide is on the city of Pleasant Ridge, Michigan. Appropriate topics include online resources representing the municipality, any other governmental entities within the city, and local businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, entertainment venues, and recreational opportunities.



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