THE TOWN OF DIXBORO
1824, Captain John Dix, a retired ship captain from the Eastern
Seaboard, arrived in Washtenaw County and purchased
about 450 acres of land in Ypsilanti Township, at a cost of $1.25
per acre. A portion of the land (legally known as Section
Eighteen, Township Two in the District of Detroit and Territory of
Michigan) would one day become the Village of Dixboro.
Geddes, a prominent Ann Arbor Township settler, wrote that John
Dix built his house in May of 1824 and raised his barn in July
1825. It was the first frame barn built in the township, and
probably in the county. He also points out that Dix built a
sawmill in 1826 and a grist mill some months later.
1827, Dix filed a plat with the County of 64 lots around the present
village square and he named the sectioned land Dixborough.
Consisting of about 25 acres, the
village grew to include at least two sawmills and two gristmills,
three taverns (one owned by Dix), an ashery, where potash or lye was
made, a cooperage (barrel factory), a general store, a blacksmith shop,
a creamery, a brick kiln and a post office located in the general
Dixboro postmark appeared on letters mailed from the hamlet into
early 1900s. The late Ivan Parker had an envelope in his
collection that was mailed in 1904 which had a cancelled Dixboro
postmark. The envelope had contained a letter written and mailed
at the Dixboro Store by his grandfather.
The envelope traveled by horse and buggy to Ann Arbor and
then to Detroit where the addressee received the letter in just
the future looked promising and some thought the village might
outstrip Ann Arbor, growth was slow. A strong reason for
this could have been the railroad. It had been hoped that
second Michigan railroad line, chartered between Detroit and St.
Joseph, would pass through Dixboro helping to create a flourishing
city. Instead, a route along the Huron River caused the
railroad to pass through Ypsilanti instead.
setback, along with the fact that he had become "the most unpopular man in
Washtenaw County” (having
been raised in Boston, Dix apparently didn’t mix well with the “extra friendly”
pioneers) John Dix
sold out his remaining claims to Dixboro in 1833 and went to
Dix, a forceful and ambitious man, stayed in Washtenaw county,
Dixboro might have become a larger more enterprising
community. But many of the present residents like its slow,
quiet growth, and are happy that it remains a friendly, residential
Dixboro historian Carol Freeman said of her life in Dixboro, “It
was a happy place to live.”
of the information found on this page, as well as the photos, was
obtained from Dixboro resident Dale Leslie, some was obtained from Carol Freeman's book "Of Dixboro: Lest We