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Statistics and Facts of Birmingham Michigan

The area comprising what is now the city of Birmingham was part of land ceded by Native American tribes to the United States government by the 1807 Treaty of Detroit. Tiffin's report claimed that "There would not be an acre out of a hundred, if there would be one out of a thousand that would, in any case, admit cultivation." In 1818, Territorial Governor Lewis Cass lead a group of men along the Indian Trail. The Governor's party discovered the swamp was not as extensive as Tiffin had supposed. Not long after Cass issued a more encouraging report about the land, interest quickened in its suitability for settlement.

The earliest land entry was made on January 28, 1819, by Colonel Benjamin H. Pierce (brother of future U.S. President Franklin Pierce) for the northwest quarter of section 36. Colonel Pierce visited his land several times, but never settled on it. In March 1818, John W. Hunter and his brother Daniel left Auburn, New York by sleigh and traveled to Michigan by way of Upper Canada. They waited in Detroit for their father and other family members who arrived by schooner over Lake Erie in July. The family remained in Detroit until spring 1819 when John W. made an entry for the northeast quarter of section 36 now in the southeast section of current-day Birmingham. Lacking a proper land survey, John W. mistakenly built his log house on a tract later purchased by Elijah Willets. That house was later occupied by William Hall, a son-in-law of Elisha Hunter, while John W. Hunter built another log house a short distance to the southeast. On September 25, 1821, Elijah Willets made a land entry for the southwest quarter of section 25. Two days later, Major John Hamilton made an entry for the southeast quarter of section 25. Each of these initial land entries met at what is now the intersection of Maple Rd. and Pierce St.

For a time, all three men, John W. Hunter, Major Hamilton, and Elijah Willets operated hotels and taverns from their houses within a short distance from each other. While Hunter did not continue for very long, Hamilton and Willets continued a rivalry for many years, competing with each other for business from travelers on Woodward Avenue Elijah Willets recorded a plat on his property on December 20, 1837. John W. Hunter followed suit with two plats on his property on January 31, 1840, and June 21, 1842, while Major Hamilton laid out a plat on October 7, 1846. Several other properties were subsequently platted as additions. The plats made in 1836 and 1837 were in anticipation of completion of the Detroit and Pontiac Railroad.

Now known as "Birmingham", the village first received mail through the "Bloomfield" post office. Birmingham established its own post office on April 5, 1838. The settlement incorporated as a village in 1864, comprising the northern half of section 36 and the southern half of section 25 with a total land area of one square mile. The first village elections were held March 1, 1864 and was soon governed by a seven-man board of trustees who appointed a marshal and a treasurer. Birmingham re-incorporated as a city in 1933.

The names of the city's founders are seen throughout Birmingham in places such as Pierce Elementary School, Hunter House Hamburgers, The Hamilton Hotel, The Willets Building and Merrill St. Hall & Hunter Realtors named themselves in tribute to the builder and occupier of Birmingham's first home.

Notable people from Birmingham
Tim Allen, actor (born in Colorado but raised in Birmingham)
Shane Battier, basketball player with the Houston Rockets
Mike Binder, director, screenwriter and actor
Bruce Campbell, actor (attended Groves High School)
Clarence Dayton Hillman, prominent Seattle businessman and land developer
Virgil Exner, automobile designer
Marshall Fredericks, sculptor
Chris Hansen, Host of NBC's "To Catch a Predator"
Laura Innes, actor
Christine Lahti, actress
Alexi Lalas, Former pro soccer player and GM and President of the Los Angeles Galaxy
Elmore Leonard, novelist
Kurt Luedtke, screenwriter and winner of the Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award for Out of Africa
Gerald S. McGowan, US Ambassador to Portugal
Meg Oliver, anchor of CBS's Up to the Minute
Stone Phillips, Host of NBC's "Dateline"
Sam Raimi, director (attended Groves High School)
David Spade, actor and comedian
Noel Stookey, better known as "Paul" of Peter, Paul and Mary
Rick Wagoner, CEO of General Motors
Sheila Young, speed skater and first American Olympian to place first, second and third (receiving a gold, a silver and a bronze medal) while competing at the Innsbruck 1976 Winter Olympics

Population (year 2000): 19,291. Estimated population in July 2006: 19,185 (-0.5% change)
Males: 9,218 (47.8%)
Females: 10,073 (52.2%)

Oakland County

Median resident age: 39.3 years
Michigan median age: 35.5 years

Zip codes: 48009

Estimated median household income in 2005: $83,600 (it was $80,861 in 2000)
Birmingham $83,600
Michigan: $46,039

Estimated median house/condo value in 2005: $401,000 (it was $318,000 in 2000)
Birmingham $401,000
Michigan: $149,300

Ancestries: German (21.7%), English (16.4%), Irish (16.3%), Polish (9.1%), Italian (6.9%), Scottish (6.2%).

Elevation: 770 feet

Land area: 4.78 square miles. Population density: 3993 people per square mile (average).

For population 25 years and over in Birmingham
High school or higher: 97.2%
Bachelor's degree or higher: 67.1%
Graduate or professional degree: 29.6%
Unemployed: 2.3%

Mean travel time to work: 22.6 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Birmingham city
Never married: 25.2%
Now married: 57.3%
Separated: 0.4%
Widowed: 5.4%
Divorced: 11.7%

1,437 residents are foreign born.
This city: 7.4%
Michigan: 5.3%

Median real estate property taxes paid for housing units in 2000:
Birmingham: 1.4% ($4,308)
Michigan: 1.3% ($1,461)

Nearest city with pop. 50,000+: Southfield, MI (4.9 miles, pop. 78,296).

Nearest city with pop. 200,000+: Detroit, MI (13.4 miles, pop. 951,270).

Nearest city with pop. 1,000,000+: Chicago, IL (310.6 miles, pop. 2,896,016).

Nearest cities: Beverly Hills, MI (1.9 miles), Bloomfield Hills, MI (2.8 miles), Lathrup Village, MI (3.8 miles), Berkley, MI (3.9 miles), Bloomfield Township, MI (4.2 miles), Clawson, MI (4.5 miles), Bingham Farms, MI (4.8 miles), Southfield, MI (4.9 miles).

Latitude: 42.54 N, Longitude: 83.22 W

Daytime population change due to commuting: +5,269 (+27.3%)
Workers who live and work in this city: 1,996 (19.3%)

Area code: 248

Full-time Law Enforcement Employees in 2006: 51 (35 officers).
Officers per 1,000 residents here: 1.83
US city average: 3.00

Hospitals/medical centers near Birmingham:

Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Birmingham:
DETROIT CITY (about 18 miles; DETROIT, MI; ID: DET)

Other public-use airports nearest to Birmingham:
OAKLAND/TROY (about 4 miles; TROY, MI; ID: 7D2)
BERZ-MACOMB (about 20 miles; DETROIT, MI; ID: UIZ)
COBO HALL (about 21 miles; DETROIT, MI; ID: 84G)

Amtrak station:
BIRMINGHAM (449 S. ETON ST.). Services: public payphones, free short-term parking, free long-term parking, call for taxi service, public transit connection.

Local government website:

College/University in Birmingham:
BIRMINGHAM BIBLE INSTITUTE (Location: 280 E LINCOLN ST; Private, not-for-profit)

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Birmingham:
UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX-DETROIT CAMPUS (about 6 miles; TROY, MI; FT enrollment: 2,090)
OAKLAND UNIVERSITY (about 9 miles; ROCHESTER HILLS, MI; FT enrollment: 11,424)
SCHOOLCRAFT COLLEGE (about 14 miles; LIVONIA, MI; FT enrollment: 4,780)
MACOMB COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 16 miles; WARREN, MI; FT enrollment: 11,057)
HENRY FORD COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 16 miles; DEARBORN, MI; FT enrollment: 6,572)

Public high school in Birmingham:
ERNEST W. SEAHOLM HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 1,144; Location: 2436 W. LINCOLN ROAD; Grades: 09 - 12)

Private high schools in Birmingham:
ROEPER CITY & COUNTRY UPPER (Students: 630; Location: 1051 OAKLAND AVENUE; Grades: PK - 12)
ETON ACADEMY (Students: 175; Location: 1755 MELTON; Grades: 1 - 12)

Public elementary/middle schools in Birmingham:
DERBY MIDDLE SCHOOL (Students: 745; Location: 1300 DERBY ROAD; Grades: 06 - 08)
PIERCE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 575; Location: 1829 PIERCE STREET; Grades: KG - 05)
QUARTON ELEMENTARY (Students: 398; Location: 771 CHESTERFIELD; Grades: KG - 05)

Private elementary/middle schools in Birmingham:
HOLY NAME ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 444; Location: 680 HARMON AVENUE; Grades: PK - 8)
OUR SHEPHERD LUTHERAN SCHOOL (Students: 416; Location: 1658 EAST LINCOLN; Grades: PK - 8)
BIRMINGHAM COMMUNITY MONT (Students: 44; Location: 2225 EAST 14 MILE ROAD; Grades: PK - KG)

Library in Birmingham:
BALDWIN PUBLIC LIBRARY (Operating income: $2,848,166; Location: 300 WEST MERRILL STREET; 136,313 books; 8,800 audio materials; 6,802 video materials; 410 serial subscriptions)

Average household size:
This city: 2.1 people
Michigan: 2.6 people

Percentage of family households:
This city: 55.6%
Whole state: 68.0%

Percentage of households with unmarried partners:
This city: 3.3%
Whole state: 5.3%

Residents with income below the poverty level in 1999:
This city: 2.9%
Whole state: 10.5%

Residents with income below 50% of the poverty level in 1999:
This city: 1.5%
Whole state: 4.8%

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