Ferndale, Michigan

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Ferndale, Michigan
City of Ferndale
View down 9 Mile in Downtown Ferndale
View down 9 Mile in Downtown Ferndale
Location in the state of Michigan
Location in the state of Michigan
Coordinates: 42°27′38″N 83°8′5″W / 42.46056°N 83.13472°W / 42.46056; -83.13472Coordinates: 42°27′38″N 83°8′5″W / 42.46056°N 83.13472°W / 42.46056; -83.13472
Country United States
State Michigan
County Oakland
Incorporated 1918 (village)
  1927 (city)
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Mayor David Coulter
 • City Manager April Lynch
 • City 3.88 sq mi (10.05 km2)
 • Land 3.88 sq mi (10.05 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 646 ft (197 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • City 19,900
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 20,053
 • Density 5,128.9/sq mi (1,980.3/km2)
 • Metro 4,296,250
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 48220
Area code(s) 248
FIPS code 26-27880[4]
GNIS feature ID 0625911[5]
Website http://www.ferndalemi.gov

Ferndale is a city in Oakland County of the U.S. state of Michigan. It forms part of the Detroit metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 19,900.[6]

Ferndale is primarily residential, with a smaller commercial and industrial sector in the southeast part of the city. Ferndale's business district is anchored by the intersection of Woodward Avenue and 9 Mile Road, where privately owned shops, storefronts, dance clubs, bars and numerous restaurants are featured. Ferndale is well known in the Detroit area for its LGBT population and progressive policies.[7]


Native Americans were early inhabitants of the area now known as the City of Ferndale. In the 1800s farmers began cultivating the land. After the invention of the automobile and the development of the automotive assembly line, the population of Ferndale increased rapidly.[8]

Ferndale was incorporated into a village in 1918.[8] It was then incorporated into a city on March 7, 1927, by vote of the citizens of the village.[9] It became a bedroom community for Detroit workers, with most of its growth in housing from 1920-1951. Through the early 1950s there were trolley (interurban railroad) lines in the median strip of Woodward Avenue from downtown Detroit to Pontiac. These helped the northern suburbs of Detroit grow as bedroom communities as people could take the trolley to shop or work in Detroit.

In the 1970s, the Ferndale suburban community emerged as a place for families to raise children during the "Baby Boom" era, with its elementary schools, a downtown, city parks, active churches and civic groups.[10] Ferndale High was completed in 1958.

Ferndale's downtown shopping area, 9 Mile Road, featured many busy, popular stores in the 1940s to 1960s, including A & P Supermarket, State Supermarket (which later became Food Fair, and eventually Farmer Jack), Federal Department Store, Cunningham's Drugs, Hagelstein's Bakery, F & M Drugs (the first store in the chain), Sanders Bakery, Western Auto, several clothing and shoe stores, Ferndale Lanes (a 20-lane second-story bowling alley over a group of stores on 9 Mile west of Woodward), Kresge's, Woolworth's and Neisner "dime stores." A movie theater, Radio City, was located on Woodward, one block north of 9 Mile. More information can be found by visiting the Ferndale Historical Museum at 1651 Livernois.[11]

The city has a revitalized downtown. Ferndale's downtown is formed by two major thoroughfares, Nine Mile Road and Woodward Avenue. Circa 1997 the city made the downtown more pedestrian-friendly by narrowing West Nine Mile Road, the heart of the downtown, to one lane in each direction and adding on-street parking.[12] The result has been a return of pedestrian traffic and an influx of new stores and restaurants. The city has continued to make itself more accessible to people by reducing traffic lanes on Hilton Road and Pinecrest Road, two major local north/south streets, and adding bicycle lanes.


Ferndale utilizes the Council-Manager form of government,and is governed by a city council consisting of a mayor and four council members. The city council appoints a city manager, who manages the day-to-day operations of the city. The current mayor of Ferndale is Dave Coulter. Current city council members are Mike Lennon, Greg Pawlica, Melanie Piana and Dan Martin, who is also Mayor Pro Tem. The current city manager is April Lynch, Ferndale's first female manager.


Ferndale is located at 42°27′40″N 83°7′44″W / 42.46111°N 83.12889°W / 42.46111; -83.12889.[13]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.88 square miles (10.05 km2), all land.[1]

Ferndale is adjacent to the cities of Detroit to the south, Oak Park to the west, Hazel Park to the east, Pleasant Ridge to the north, Royal Oak Township to the southwest, and Royal Oak to the north.

Ferndale is bordered to the south by 8 Mile Road, to the north (west of Woodward Avenue) by Oakridge Street, and (east of Woodward Avenue) by 10 Mile Road. To the west it is bordered by Republic Street (south of Nine Mile Road), and Hyland Street (north of Nine Mile). To the east it is bordered by West End, Pilgrim Street, and Lennox Street.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 2,640
1930 20,855 690.0%
1940 22,523 8.0%
1950 29,675 31.8%
1960 31,347 5.6%
1970 30,850 −1.6%
1980 26,227 −15.0%
1990 25,084 −4.4%
2000 22,105 −11.9%
2010 19,900 −10.0%

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 19,900 people, 9,559 households, and 4,349 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,128.9 inhabitants per square mile (1,980.3/km2). There were 10,477 housing units at an average density of 2,700.3 per square mile (1,042.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.7% White, 9.6% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 3.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.8% of the population.

There were 9,559 households of which 20.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.3% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 54.5% were non-families. 39.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.08 and the average family size was 2.85.

The median age in the city was 35.6 years. 16.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 41.2% were from 25 to 44; 25.2% were from 45 to 64; and 8.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.9% male and 50.1% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 22,105 people, 9,872 households, and 5,103 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,697.9 people per square mile (2,199.7/km²). There were 10,243 housing units at an average density of 2,640.3 per square mile (1,019.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.46% White, 3.42% Black or African American, 0.55% Native American, 1.32% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.64% from other races, and 2.58% from two or more races. 1.81% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 9,872 households out of which 23.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.8% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.3% were non-families. 35.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.4% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 41.2% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 9.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 99.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $45,629, and the median income for a family was $51,687. Males had a median income of $40,392 versus $30,859 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,133. About 7.2% of families and 8.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.0% of those under age 18 and 9.6% of those age 65 or over.

LGBT population[edit]

The 1980s and 90s saw the growth of the LGBT population in Ferndale, coinciding with a migration from neighborhoods in Detroit to communities north along Woodward Avenue, including Royal Oak, Pleasant Ridge and others. In 1999 a proposed non-discrimination ordinance was introduced in Ferndale, but was defeated. The Motor City Pride festival moved to Ferndale from Royal Oak in 2001. In 2006 the city passed an anti-discrimination ordinance protecting LGBT people from discrimination in public accommodations, housing, and business, with 70% in favor and 30% in opposition. Affirmations, a 17,000-square-foot (1,600 m2) LGBT community center in Downtown Ferndale, opened its new, expanded building on Sunday June 3, 2007,[14] the same year the city elected the first openly-gay mayor in Michigan. In 2011 Motor City Pride moved to Detroit. Ferndale Pride was started that year.[15]


The Metro Times and Metro Parent Publishing Group have their headquarters in Ferndale.[16]


Crime rates (2003)
Crime type Rate*
Homicide: 0
Forcible rape: 50.2
Robbery: 118.6
Aggravated assault: 255.4
Total Violent crime: 424.2
Burglary: 665.8
Larceny-theft: 1,960.8
Motor vehicle theft: 738.7
Arson: 13.7
Total Property crime: 3,379.0
* Number of reported crimes per 100,000 population.

Source: 2003 FBI Report of Offenses Known to Law Enforcement

The crime rate in Ferndale is relatively neutral. Crime is significantly lower than inner communities such as Detroit, Dearborn and Hamtramck, and its neighbors such as Hazel Park, Oak Park and Warren.[17][18][19] However, other outer communities have a lower crime rate. Larceny theft was the most common crime in Ferndale, making up 51.7% of the crime rate. Six known homicides have been recorded in Ferndale since 2000; one being in 2001, one in 2005, one in 2007, one in 2008,[20] one in 2009,[21] and one in 2010.[22]


Ferndale has its own school district, Ferndale Public Schools,[23] including elementary, middle, and high schools. Ferndale High School and University High School are both part of Ferndale Public Schools.[24]

Notable people[edit]

Ferndale in popular culture[edit]

  • Undateable, a 2013-14 American television show, is set (but not filmed) in Ferndale.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Ferndale, Michigan
  6. ^ "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Ferndale city, Michigan". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Retrieved August 18, 2011. 
  7. ^ Case, Wendy. "Affirming Ferndale". Metro Times. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  8. ^ a b "History, Community, City of Ferndale, Michigan". Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Ferndale Historical Society - History: Chronology of Ferndale". Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  10. ^ "History of St. James Church". Retrieved February 20, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Ferndale, Michigan 48220". Ferndale Historical Society. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  12. ^ "Funky Ferndale | The Detroit News | detroitnews.com". The Detroit News. 2007-05-15. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  13. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  14. ^ Case, Wendy. "Affirming Ferndale." Metro Times. May 30, 2007. Retrieved on January 24, 2013.
  15. ^ Rupersburg, Nicole. "From Blue Collar To Rainbow Flags: How Ferndale Got Its Gay Groove." (Archive) Metro D Media. Thursday October 13, 2011. Retrieved on December 1, 2013.
  16. ^ "Home." Metro Times. Retrieved on January 1, 2014. "1200 Woodward Heights Blvd Ferndale, MI 48220"
  17. ^ "Detroit Profile | Detroit MI | Population, Crime, Map". Idcide.com. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  18. ^ "Dearborn Profile | Dearborn MI | Population, Crime, Map". Idcide.com. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  19. ^ "Hamtramck Profile | Hamtramck MI | Population, Crime, Map". Idcide.com. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  20. ^ "Ferndale Profile | Ferndale MI | Population, Crime, Map". Idcide.com. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  21. ^ "Detnews.com | This article is no longer available online | detnews.com | The Detroit News". [dead link]
  22. ^ "Ferndale Store Owner Was Shot To Death - Detroit Local News Story - WDIV Detroit". WDIV Detroit. Retrieved 2010-12-11. [dead link]
  23. ^ "Ferndale Public Schools website". Ferndaleschools.org. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  24. ^ "Schools - Ferndale Public Schools - Ferndale, MI". Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  25. ^ "Violent J says Insane Clown Posse determined to win FBI lawsuits; he's eager for new Fuse TV show". July 18, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Screenwriter who won Oscar for 'Milk' may speak to Hope College students about film-making, but not gay rights". The Grand Rapids Press. October 30, 2009. 
  27. ^ 1 Pitch At A Time - Sports Illustrated Vault

External links[edit]