What things, you ask?

1) The first operating railroad in Michigan was a horse-drawn train running from this Michigan Town and Toledo way back in 1836.
2) In 1888 it became the first Michigan city to approve an electric railway.
3) In the late 1800s it was also known as “The Fence Capital of the World”
4) One of the first automobiles was created here in 1900.

These remarkable accomplishments all come from the Lenawee County city of Adrian. The town was founded in 1826 by Addison Comstock after purchasing 1,100 acres of land. When the town was platted it was called 'Logan' until Addison's wife persuaded him to name it 'Adrian' after her historic hero, Emperor Hadrian of Rome. (Why of all people was she a fan of this guy?)

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Post Office begins operating
1836: Incorporated as a village
1838: State legislature changes the name back to 'Adrian'
1853: Incorporated as a city

J. Wallace Page invented the first successful wire fence, and soon Adrian became the 'wire fence' center of the universe – from the late 1800s to the early 1900s.

As far as creating one of the first automobiles, Adrian's Church Manufacturing Company cranked out the the Lenawee car, the Lion automobile, and the Murray Motor Car from 1900-1912. In that final year, a fire broke out in the Church Manufacturing Company plant, bringing to an end the hopes of Adrian becoming a world leader in auto manufacturing.

One of Michigan's most notorious criminals, Sile Doty, lived in Adrian during the 1800s, and Allen Lee Haff from the TV show Auction Hunters was from Adrian as well.

To this day, Adrian's heritage is still an impressive thing to look back on, and the city is doing very well, thank you. The gallery below takes yo back to Adrian's early days, from 1898-1922.

Vintage Photos of Adrian, Michigan: 1898-1922


Vintage Photos of Mulliken

Vintage Michigan Boarding Houses

Vintage Michigan Graveyard Photos

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