Early History

At a brief intersection between the Shiawassee, Grand River and Orchard Lake Native American trails, there began a settlement originally known as Farmington. The city-to-be was founded by Arthur Power who migrated West from Farmington, New York after being widowed twice, placing him in search of a new beginning and a new location for himself and his family’s future. After losing his second wife in 1823, Power visited Michigan and saw vast potential in the area sitting roughly 20 miles northwest of Detroit. All of the natural resources needed to uphold a fully functioning town were present; trees for timber were in quite an abundance, the Rouge River that could be used to power mills was in close proximity to the Grand River Trail, and the soil was ideal for farming. Before heading back to New York, Power purchased 2,000 acres of land in Sections 22, 27 and 28 of Oakland County. After briefly returning back East, Power came back to begin building his settlement early in the March of 1824 with two of his sons and two other men hired to help assist him build his new home. The men began clearing land to build a home for themselves around where the present day 11 Mile and Power Road intersection is located. Named after Arthur Power’s previous city of residence, Farmington was thus born as a new settlement in the Michigan Territory.

Michigan's Native American trails
Map of the Native American trails that run through Farmington