Updated: Sep 9, 2021
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Most of the manufacturers of the 1830s were gone by the 1860s and so were the visions of Birmingham as a major industrial center. Instead the quiet Village of Birmingham emerged as a local commercial and agricultural hub for area farmers. The Eccentric Newspaper, banks, merchants, shop owners and other professionals such as doctors, dentists, and lawyers established successful practices in town. By the 1890s, long-time residents who had worked toward infrastructure, education, and cultural improvements began to see better roads, the development of interurban street car lines, quality public schooling, the establishment of a paid fire department, a clean water supply and a new public library.
These improvements made Birmingham both quaint and progressive, and its location on Woodward Avenue continued to offer commercial and business opportunities into the 20th century. Farms evolved into small subdivisions and the growing automobile industry in Detroit and Pontiac made Birmingham especially appealing as a place to live. In 1933, after more than a decade of preparation, Birmingham successfully made the transition from a Village to a city governmental structure. Today, Birmingham's business district and residential areas still enjoy many of the small town charm that characterized days gone by.
Explore more about Birmingham's History at the Birmingham Museum.