Congratulations to Hamtramck,
You’re the WCSX City of the Week!
- Paczki Day began as a way to avoid food waste. Like many things in Poland, Paczki have roots in Catholicism. They were created as a way to use up all the available sugar, eggs, butter, lard, and other goodness before Lent, during which folks give up an indulgence for 40 days. The Polish bakeries of Hamtramck are the go to spot for the best Paczki every year.
- It was originally settled by German farmers, but Polish immigrants moved into the area when Dodge opened up their plant in 1914. Factory workers made up 85% of Hamtramck’s heads of households.
- Hamtramck is named for the French-Canadian soldier Jean François Hamtramck, who was the first American commander of Fort Shelby, the fortification at Detroit.
- Hamtramck was primarily farmland, although the Detroit Stove Works employed 1,300 workers to manufacture stoves. In 1901, part of the township incorporated as a village to gain more control over the settlement’s affairs, and by 1922 the village reincorporated as a city to fend off annexation attempts by the neighboring city of Detroit.
- Over the past thirty years, a large number of immigrants from the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeastern Europe have moved to the city. Hamtramck is Michigan’s most internationally diverse city, with a foreign born population of more than 40%. Their slogan is a world in two square miles.
- By the mid-1920s, 78% of the residents of Hamtramck owned their own houses or were buying their houses. The newly founded Dodge Main assembly plant created jobs for thousands of workers and led to additional millions of dollars in the city. With the Dodge Main assembly plant also came a large Polish population. It was at this point that Hamtramck was considered a Polish-American town.