Huntington Woods like many other places in Michigan did not become what it is today overnight. It took many years and the efforts of many people to form the city of Huntington Woods. Lets go back to the early days, the days before Michigan was a state. Before Michigan was granted statehood there were a few brave souls claiming the swampy land that made up Huntington Woods. In 1818, land was $1.25 per acre. This land was purchased primarily by New Jersey and New York farmers. Come the 1830s there was quite a movement to claim land inside the borders of Huntington Woods because land grants. J. Lockwood was the first person to receive a land grant that was located in Huntington Woods. However he was not the first person with property located completely within the boundaries of Huntington Woods. The first land grant that was completely within today’s borders of Huntington Woods was owned by Elisha Bergen. He acquired this 80 acre piece of land in 1833. The city’s borders are made up of four main roads: Woodward Avenue, Coolidge Highway, Eleven Mile Road, and Ten Mile Road. During this early settlement in the 1830s the greatest amount of land at 320 acres was own by Douglas Houghton, H.G. Hubbard, and T.H. Hubbard. Instead of farming because the land was so swampy the land was primarily used for raising livestock. In 1872 there had been six home built plus a hotel that was located along Woodward Avenue.
Following this early settlement came the formation of six subdivisions within the small borders of Huntington Woods. The first of the six was the Bronx Subdivision (7) in March of 1915. The Bronx Subdivision was located between the present day streets of Scotia, Ludlow, Wyoming and Eleven Mile. This subdivision potentially could have been larger but when Horace H. Rackham purchased 150 acres from the Baker Land Company it was stipulated that the land must became some form of public park or golf course. A major turn off for people moving into the Bronx was that for nine months out of the year the land was covered by water. The next set of subdivisions came in April of 1916, each one a few days after the other. First was The Banks Park Subdivision (6) located to the west Scotia between Lincoln and Eleven Mile. Then Hannan’s West Royal Subdivision (1) located along Coolidge between Eleven Mile, Talbot, and Henley. Next was the Huntington Woods Subdivision (8) located between Wyoming, Woodward, Eleven Mile and Ten Mile Roads. This is another subdivision that would have been larger had it not been for stipulations in contracts when land was being sold. With this case the land belonged to the Hendrie Family and the deal they made with the subdividers included certain restrictions with who the land could be sold too, how it was to be used and part of the land was used to help create the Detroit Zoo. It just less than ten years before the final two subdivisions were formed. Both were created on the same day in March of 1925. One was the Huntington Park Subdivision (2) located between Coolidge, Lincoln, Henley and Talbot. The other McGiverin-Haldeman’s Huntington Woods Manor (4) located between Coolidge, Ten Mile, Scotia, and Lincoln.
The creation of these subdivisions plus some other lands (Assessor’s Plats) gained for tax reasons, helped to lead to the incorporation as a village. The residences wanted this village status because they feared that they were going to be annexed by the surrounding towns. The village was officially formed in September of 1926 with the majority vote of about the 400 residents living there at the time. These residents would have to live under the village status for another six years until they had a population over 750. Once the village reached this particular number meant that they could be incorporated as a city. In 1932 there was a census taken and they had a population of 835 which meant they finally achieved their goal and were able to become an official city.