History

Dating back to 1832, when the first settlers came from Ireland, Mr. John Lathers received a deed signed by Andrew Jackson for 160 acres of land that is now bound by Ford Road, Harrison and Marquette. The original developers of our Garden City pictured it as an independent community containing enough industry to support its citizens. They subdivided large lots, in many cases a full acre, to provide residents ample space for small-scale farming. They patterned the town after the "Garden City" concept that became popular in England during the 19th Century.

In 1927, the area was incorporated into a village with an estimated population of 900 and an area of 3,600 acres. In December 1933, the big step was taken to incorporate Garden City into a city, having an area of 5.8 miles with a population of 2,500. A charter was adopted that year that provided for a mayor-council non-partisan form of Government.

November 1975 saw the installation of a City Manager to join with the existing government. Today, the City has a population of just under 27,000.

Garden City was home to the first K-Mart in the world 1962 and first ever Little Caesars in 1959.  
Straight Farmhouse
Downtown GC 1940s

Straight Farmhouse
6221 Merriman Road,
Garden City, MI 48135



The Straight Farmhouse, c.1866, is now the home of the Garden City Historical Museum, the Lathers General Store, and the Grande Parlour. The property was purchased in 2004 by the Friends of the Garden City Historical Museum to create a new home for our city's Museum, previously located in the Log Cabin in Garden City Park at Cherry Hill and Merriman. Due to deterioration of the building, the collection had to be moved in order to preserve it for the future. The Lathers General Store is a replica of the original, built on Ann Arbor Trail in Nankin Township, also serving as the Post Office and whose Postmaster was Oscar Straight in the 1860's. The Grande Parlour is a rental facility for various kinds of events, helping to provide financial support for the entire property. The Museum's collection features our city's heritage, pioneers, residents, and businesses and welcomes all visitors, including school groups, Boy and Girl Scouts, Red Hat Ladies, senior citizens and especially -- volunteers! Admission is free but donations are greatly appreciated. We are open Wednesdays and Saturdays, noon to 3pm, and are available for appointments.