True, Highland Park ain't what it used to be, but in my own humble opinion, I think it gets a worse rap than it deserves. So-called 'experts' and their 'conclusive data' are one thing.....but how the residents see it is another.

In a brief nutshell, Highland Park was originally farmland back in the very early 1800s. In 1825 the area was platted under the name Woodwardville. The village flopped and never came to fruition.

In 1836 it was attempted again under the new name of Cassandra. That failed as well. In 1860, the settlement now had a post office called Whitewood. When the village finally became incorporated in 1889, it was dubbed Highland Park.

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Then Henry Ford built his automobile plant there in 1907 on 160 acres. Thanks to this, the population grew and the village became a city in 1918. Peaking in 1927, the decline began when sections of the Ford Motor Plant were demolished in the late 1950s. No jobs meant less population.

In the 1990s, Chrysler moved out, more jobs were lost, and the crime rate went up. In August 2011, the majority of neighborhood street lights were taken down, due to the city's inability to pay the monthly sixty thousand dollar bill. Residents were encouraged to leave their porch lights on at night.

According to, Highland Park currently has a crime rate of 54 per thousand residents. That makes it one of the highest crime rates in the entire country compared to all communities big and small.

1) Highland Park has one of the highest murder rates in the nation.
2) The chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime is 1 in 44.
3) The chance of becoming a victim of property crime is 1 in 32.
4) The chance of getting your car stolen is 1 in 147.

This accumulated data helped give Highland Park the rep it has today. Some sites lead you to believe the whole area is rundown, but it is not. Sure, there are a good number of crumbling houses and buildings, but there are also some pretty well-kept ones, too.

I'm hoping there can/will be a re-growth and renewal sometime in the near future for Highland Park...

Take a look at the gallery below of some old & new images...

Highland Park - Then and Now


Michigan Meat Markets & Butchers, 1900-1920s

Pine Knob, 1972-2000

Four Characters From Michigan's Copper Country

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