|City of Hamtramck
Location in Wayne County and the state of Michigan
|Coordinates: 42°23′52″N 83°3′26″W / 42.39778°N 83.05722°WCoordinates: 42°23′52″N 83°3′26″W / 42.39778°N 83.05722°W
| • Type
| • Mayor
| • Emergency Manager
| • City Manager
| • Total
||2.09 sq mi (5.41 km2)
| • Land
||2.09 sq mi (5.41 km2)
| • Water
||0 sq mi (0 km2)
||623 ft (192 m)
| • Total
| • Estimate (2012)
| • Density
||10,728.7/sq mi (4,142.4/km2)
| • Summer (DST)
|GNIS feature ID
Hamtramck Fire Department
Hamtramck ( ham-TRAM-ik) is a city in Wayne County of the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 22,423. Hamtramck is surrounded by the city of Detroit except for a small portion of the western border that touches the similarly surrounded city of Highland Park.
Known in the 20th century as a vibrant center of Polish American life and culture, Hamtramck has continued to attract immigrants and in 2013 became the first majority Muslim city council in the United States.
- 1 Name
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Culture
- 4.1 Hamtramck festivals
- 4.1.1 Pączki Day
- 4.1.2 Hamtramck Blowout
- 4.1.3 St. Florian Strawberry Festival
- 4.1.4 Hamtramck Labor Day Festival
- 4.1.5 Planet Ant Film & Video Festival in Hamtramck
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 6.1 2010 census
- 6.2 2000 census
- 6.3 Ethnic groups
- 6.3.1 Bengali and Pakistani People
- 6.3.2 Yemeni people
- 7 Government
- 8 Education
- 8.1 Public schools
- 8.2 Private schools
- 8.3 History of education
- 8.4 Public libraries
- 9 Timeline
- 10 Notable people
- 11 See also
- 12 Notes
- 13 References
- 14 Further reading
- 15 External links
Hamtramck is named for the French-Canadian soldier Jean François Hamtramck who was the first American commander of Fort Shelby, the fortification at Detroit. It was originally known as Hamtramck Township.
Hamtramck was originally settled by German farmers, but Polish immigrants flooded into the area when the Dodge Brothers plant opened in 1914. Poles used to make up a large proportion of the population. It is sometimes confused with Poletown, a traditional Polish neighborhood, which used to lie mostly in the city of Detroit and includes a small part of Hamtramck. As of the 2010 American Community Survey, 14.5% of Hamtramck's population is of Polish origin; in 1970, it was 90% Polish.
Over the past thirty years, a large number of immigrants from the Middle East (especially Yemen), South Asia (especially Bangladesh), and Southeastern Europe (especially Bosnia and Herzegovina) have moved to the city. As of the 2010 American Community Survey, the city's foreign born population stood at 41.1%, making it Michigan's most internationally diverse city (see more at Demographics below). The population was 43,355 in the 1950 Census, and 18,372 in 1990.
Hamtramck was primarily farmland, although the Detroit Stove Works employed 1,300 workers to manufacture stoves. In 1901, part of the township incorporated as a village to gain more control over the settlement's affairs, and by 1922 the village reincorporated as a city to fend off annexation attempts by the neighboring city of Detroit. By the mid-1920s, 78% of the residents of Hamtramck owned their own houses or were buying their houses. Around that time, the factory workers made up 85% of Hamtramck's heads of households. Of those factory workers, half were not skilled. In 1910, the newly founded Dodge Main assembly plant created jobs for thousands of workers and led to additional millions of dollars in the city. Dodge Main quickly expanded and became important to the Hamtramck. Before the construction of Dodge Main, Hamtramck was a largely rural town. With the Dodge Main assembly plant also came a large Polish population. The influx of Polish immigrants pushed the incumbent German politicians. It was at this point that Hamtramck was considered a Polish-American town. Elections in November 2015 made the city the first to elect a Muslim-majority council in the country.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.09 square miles (5.41 km2), all land.
Hamtramck is mostly surrounded by Detroit except a small common border with the city of Highland Park, which is in turn surrounded by Detroit. Hamtramck lies about 5 miles (8.0 km) from the center of Detroit. The I-75 freeway roughly runs along this city's western border and I-94 runs near its southern border.
Hamtramck flourished from 1910 to 1920 as thousands of European immigrants, particularly Poles, were attracted by the growing automobile industry. The city has grown increasingly ethnically diverse but still bears many reminders of its Polish ancestry in family names, street names and businesses. A recent survey found 26 native languages spoken by Hamtramck schoolchildren. The city's motto was "A League of Nations". Neal Rubin of The Detroit News wrote in 2010 that despite the demographic changes, "In a lot of ways, Hamtramck still feels like a Polish enclave."
In 1987 Detroit television station WDIV ran one episode of a local sit-com called "Hamtramck" which featured former Detroit Tigers pitcher Dave Rozema and a cameo by manager Sparky Anderson. It was met by poor reviews and protests by many Polish-Americans and was canceled before airing a second episode.
At the time of the 2000 census, Hamtramck was again experiencing considerable growth, with over 8,000 households and a population of almost 23,000.
The 8,000-square-foot (740 m2) Hamtramck Historical Museum and the Polish Art Center are next door to one another.
In 1997, the Utne Reader named Hamtramck one of "the 15 hippest neighborhoods in the U.S. and Canada" in part for its punk and alternative music scene, its Buddhist temple, its cultural diversity, and its laid back blue-collar neighborhoods. And in May 2003, Maxim Blender selected Hamtramck as the second "Most Rock N' Roll City" in the U.S., behind Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York City. Hamtramck is home of several of Michigan's most distinguished music venues.
In January 2004, members of the Al-Islah Islamic Center requested permission to use loudspeakers for the purpose of broadcasting the Islamic call to prayer. This request set off a contentious debate in the city, about the noise that would be caused by the call to prayer, eventually garnering national attention. Ultimately, Hamtramck amended its noise ordinance in July 2004 regulating all religious sounds.
Hamtramck Disneyland, an art installation, is in the city.
Polish immigrants and residents of Hamtramck and southeastern Michigan celebrate Fat Tuesday (known locally as Pączki Day]) by lining up at the city's numerous Polish bakeries to purchase pączki. On Pączki Day, several local bars host parties with live entertainment, some starting as early as 7 A.M.
The "Hamtramck Blowout" is an annual Indie music festival held in March in Hamtramck. It is currently sponsored by the Metro Times. Similar festivals are held in Austin, Texas (Sxsw) and Milwaukee, WI (Summerfest). In 2011 almost 200 bands played the Blowout at 14 venues over four days.
St. Florian Strawberry Festival
Held annually in the first weekend in May at grounds at St. Florian Church.
Hamtramck Labor Day Festival
Held Labor Day weekend, ending with the Polish Day Parade on Labor Day. Live music on two stages, carnival area, beer, and food tents line a half-mile (1 km) stretch of Joseph Campau Street, from Caniff to Carpenter.
Planet Ant Film & Video Festival in Hamtramck
Held at the Planet Ant Theater, the festival celebrates independent movies and the people who make them, featuring comedies, dramas, documentaries, animation and music videos.
General Motors' Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly plant, one of the automaker's premiere facilities, produces the Chevrolet Volt, the Cadillac DTS, and the Buick Lucerne.
Detroit Axle maintains a plant there. However, in April, 2009, American Axle & Manufacturing announced that it planned to close it plant at the Hamtramck/Detroit border and move production to Mexico, resulting in the elimination of several hundred jobs.
The Polish Art Center, at 9539 Joseph Campau Street, is a local institution in Hamtramck. There, one can find many Polish art objects, books, foods, and art from other areas of Europe. The center's selection of Communist-era Polish theatrical and operatic posters is unusual.
The Ukrainian American Archives & Museum of Detroit is located at 11756 Charest Street. The Museum's purpose is “to educate and inform the general public about the culture, art, and history of Ukrainians, their immigration to the United States and the contributions of Americans of Ukrainian descent to America; to engage in research in these areas; to maintain archives for the deposit of documents and other records relating to these topics; to acquire, preserve, exhibit artifacts of artistic, historical, and scientific value relating to these subjects; to sponsor public programs in order to study and preserve the heritage of Ukrainian Americans.”
For more than 85 years, Kowalski Sausage Co. manufactured meat products at 2270 Holbrook Street, which are distributed in the metropolitan Detroit area.
Notwithstanding the statement in the credits that it was filmed "in Detroit, Michigan", the 1998 Indie film Polish Wedding was filmed mainly in Hamtramck, and particularly at a house on Wyandotte Street. Theresa Connelly, who wrote and directed the film, had spent her childhood in Hamtramck.
As of the census of 2010, there were 22,423 people, 7,063 households, and 4,615 families residing in the city. The population density was 10,728.7 inhabitants per square mile (4,142.4/km2). There were 8,693 housing units at an average density of 4,159.3 per square mile (1,605.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 53.6% White, 19.3% African American, 0.3% Native American, 21.5% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 4.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.
There were 7,063 households of which 43.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.3% were married couples living together, 18.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.7% were non-families. 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.09 and the average family size was 3.98.
The median age in the city was 28.8 years. 31.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 12.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.9% were from 25 to 44; 20.7% were from 45 to 64; and 7.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 51.6% male and 48.4% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 22,976 people, 8,033 households, and 4,851 families residing in the city. The population density was 10,900.5 per square mile (4,208.7/km2), making it the most densely populated city in Michigan. There were 8,894 housing units at an average density of 4,219.6 per square mile (1,629.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 60.96% white (which includes people of Middle Eastern ancestry), 15.12% African American, 0.43% Native American, 10.37% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 1.14% from other races, and 11.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.31% of the population.
In the 2000 census, major ancestry groups reported by Hamtramck residents were as follows:
U.S. Decennial Census