Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Hubbard Farms Historic District

The Hubbard Farms Historic District is located in Southwest Detroit along the Detroit River and is bounded by West Vernor Highway, West Grand Boulevard, West Lafayette, and Clark Street. The land on which the district is located was originally a village and burial ground of the local Pottawatomie tribe. In the 1700s, it was colonized by the French and the land was granted to Robert Navarre, who was the royal notary at Fort Pontchartrain. Navarre then split the land into five ribbon farms along the Detroit River. After the War of 1812, English immigrants began to purchase some of this land. Whitmore Knagg, who was the first American to own land in the area, was one of the purchasers of a portion of the land. In 1835, he in turn sold some of his land to the Hubbard Family, which included Bela Hubbard, a prominent local geologist and realtor for whom the district is now named.

During the 1830s, Hubbard surveyed the area and discovered that it had once been a Pottawatomie village and burial ground, and he soon created excavation sites where many artifacts were found. In 1837, when the State of Michigan was founded, Hubbard was named the state’s first assistant geologist. After this time as a geologist, Hubbard became more interested in law and real estate and so he became the primary developer of this district.

 In the mid-1800s, the district saw an increase in housing development due to the great number of manufacturing jobs in the area. One of the companies providing these jobs was the Hiawatha Tobacco Works factory, whose owner David Slotten was one of the more notable residents who built a home in the district. In 1885, the district became part of Detroit proper.

Much of the architecture in Hubbard Farms Historic District has a Victorian aesthetic because a lot of the designing and construction of the homes took place between the 1880s and World War I, although there are homes with Romanesque, Beaux Arts, and Colonial Revival designs as well. The district is also home to some of the few row houses built in Detroit in the early 20th century.

Today the neighborhood is home to many of Detroit’s Latin American residents and as a result, many Latin American and Mexican restaurants and establishments can be found in the district, including Mexican Town Bakery.

 


RELATED ITEMS IN THE COLLECTION

Photo of a home in Hubbard Farms, 1910 - 2012.020.499

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