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Historic Garden City, Michigan

Updated on July 2, 2022
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has 30 years experience in medicine, psychology, STEM instruction, history, and aerospace education for USAF Civil Air Patrol.

Pizza! Pizza!
Pizza! Pizza! | Source

A City of Firsts

Three "Firsts" in the Dining and Retail Industries.

  • Innovative food services include the first drive-thru McDonalds, the first Little Ceasar's Pizza Treat opened by Mike (Detroit Tigers shortstop) & Marian Ilitch in 1959; and the very first KMart store.

Some people report that the first McDonald's drive-thru window was opened in Arizona in 1974 and old timers in Garden City remember the McDonald's drive-thru in their hometown launching in the late 50s. Garden City was first.

"First Addresses"

  • McDonald's: 2205 Middle Belt Rd, Garden City, MI 48135
  • BigK KMart: 29600 Ford Rd, Garden City, MI 48135
  • Little Ceasar's: 32594 Cherry Hill, Garden City, MI 48135. NOTE: my first job was in the insurance industry and I remember seeing hundreds of policies for the popular Little Ceasar's Pizza Treat ("Pizza! Pizza!")

The cities joining Garden City as suburbs of Detroit include Dearborn Heights, Romulus, Farmington, Canton, Wayne, Westland, Livonia, Redford, and Inkster. Garden City itself was patterned after 19th century English gardens and was begun on 160 acres of land received by a private individual from Andrew Jackson in the 19th century.

KMart First Store

In Garden City in 1962, Kmart #4000 was the very first Kmart to open. Why it was numbered at "4000", we do not know. The store opened on March 1st, 1962 and remains open today.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
First area KMart, now a BigK.The McDonald's now has a food truck as well as a drive-thru window. The company also ordered a multi-million dollar renovation of its Michigan shops in the late 2010s.
First area KMart, now a BigK.
First area KMart, now a BigK. | Source
The McDonald's now has a food truck as well as a drive-thru window. The company also ordered a multi-million dollar renovation of its Michigan shops in the late 2010s.
The McDonald's now has a food truck as well as a drive-thru window. The company also ordered a multi-million dollar renovation of its Michigan shops in the late 2010s. | Source

Increasing Jobs

This town benefits from increasing job numbers in the metro area that includes tens of thousands of job listings advertised daily.

The Healthcare and Social Services Industries make up the bulk of the local economy. However, Retail Sales accounts for over $4 million of the local economy and the Accommodations Industry contributes about $270K.

From 2008 - 2016, the cost of living index in Garden City has been about 80, indicating a lower cost than average. This is below the national average of the US of 100 (%) and 71% of workers earn between $30,000 - 90,000 yearly; 30% earn between $50 - 75K annually.

Housing is the most economical segment of the low cost of living index, scoring a 46 against the national 100.

Major Employers Of The Garden City Area:

  • Botsford Hospital: Also called Beaumont Hospital, affiliated with the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. This includes eight separate medical facilities in three counties.
  • Cimarron: Trucking and Freight
  • Garden City Hospital
  • Garden City Osteopathic Hospital
  • St. Mary's Hospital: Livonia, Michigan
  • Ford Motor Company: Livonia
  • Crestwood Dodge Inc.: Famous for their TV commercials.

Good Things About Garden City: Arts and Culture, Professional Sports, Low Cost of Living.

— Sperling's Best Places
Historic Preservations: This is the f ormer residence of Arnold Folker, 1st village president of Garden City.
Historic Preservations: This is the f ormer residence of Arnold Folker, 1st village president of Garden City. | Source

Garden City was patterned after 19th century English gardens.

Top 10 Local Jobs

  1. Over 7,000 engineering positions, and additional technician jobs; especially at Ford Motor Company, Harman International, ZF TRW, and the United States Navy Reserve.
  2. Truck Drivers - CDL; company and owner-operator.
  3. IT positions with major companies
  4. Occupational and Physical Therapists
  5. Store Managers and Assistant Managers, Retail Salespeople
  6. Computer Equipment Mfg. jobs
  7. Healthcare and related jobs in hospitals
  8. Market Researchers
  9. Retail Sales & Marketing Representatives
  10. Account Executives - sales related positions such as in Financial Services.

Garden City enjoyed access to over 40,000 job postings in or nearby the town during March 2016. These jobs involved healthcare, trucking jobs, retail sales, food service - and work with the University of Michigan in over 400 positions alone.

Postsecondary Education

Special Needs Schools

Burger School For Students With Autism: This facility supports preschool through high school grades for Wayne County, Michigan. Ages 3 through 26 are accepted, with ages 3 through 16 instructed in as separate building.

  • 30300 Maplewood, Garden City, MI 48135
  • 28865 Carlysle, Inkster, MI 48141

Burger School for Students with Autism is committed to maximizing the potential of each student to gain independent and self-fulfillment.

— Masthead of Burger Bulletin

Garden City Area Attractions

  • Best Place: Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village - This is America's largest museum complex.
  • Dearborne Valley Golf Course
  • Hawthorne Valley Golf Course
  • Maplewood Community Center: This complex includes the Family Resource Center, the Senior Center, the Community Resources Department and many programs for residents and visitors like sports, a community garden, food distribution, and volunteer slots.
  • Prettiest Porch in Garden City contest annually by the Garden City Garden Club.
  • Westland Mall: 35000 W. Warren in Westland, MI 48185. Special events fill the year, including unique programs like the Work N Gear-Big Boot Trade-In Event, where your old boots can be traded in for cash value against a new pair.

Some Great Performances

  • Local Hungarian Citera Performance by Edina Teglasi (Please see video below):

Community Corner Recipe

The following recipe is one submitted by an anonymous cook to a Garden City Michigan newsletter. These popcorn balls could be adapted for any season or holiday of the year, by your choice of appropriate colors.



  • 9 cups of popped popcorn
  • 1/4 cup (4 ounces) of butter or margarine
  • 1 bag (10 ounces) of large marshmallows - white or colored
  • 6 Tablespoons of fruit-flavored gelatin mix, your choice


  • Put popcorn into a large bowl and set aside.
  • In a saucepan, melt your butter and marshmallows over low heat.
  • Stir in gelatin until completely dissolved.
  • Pour gelatin over popcorn and toss to coat evenly.
  • When cool, lightly butter your hands and quickly shape the mixture into popcorn balls, either large or small or both.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2008 Patty Inglish MS


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