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About Wayne

In 1824, George M. Johnson, first built his log home on what is now the center of the City of Wayne's commercial district.

Two years later, in 1826, Stephen G. Simmons bought Johnson's property and operated a hotel on the site. In 1830, Ezra Derby, acquired all of Simmon's holdings and in 1834, he recorded the first plat of the community. This settlement first became known as Derby's Corners. In 1869, the new municipality was incorporation, with an the area of one square mile and a population of 833.

The City's name, Wayne, was adopted in honor of Revolutionary War hero, General Anthony Wayne, whose military expertise secured the area for the United States.

The City of Wayne was one of the first towns in Wayne County, outside of Detroit, to have an established newspaper. The Weekly Review, published by J.N. Steers, distributed its first issue in 1871.

In 1887, the Prouty & Glass Carriage Company developed the industrial division of Wayne. By 1906, the first telephone was installed, and in 1909, Detroit Edison Company, began to furnish the town with electricity. In 1927, the Graham-Paige Motor Corporation bought the Harroun Motors Plant and enlarged the structure and began the production of automobile bodies.

The Stinson Aircraft Corporation headed by Eddie Stinson, one of aviations early "greats", built its new plant on the Wayne Industrial Airport.

During World War II, the City of Wayne was home to tremendous industrial expansion. Tthe Federal Government bought out Graham-Paige, remodeled and entered into lease with the Bendix Corporation, for the production of military aircraft motors and landing struts.

Willow Run Airport, only eight miles away, became the site of B-24 bomber production and thousands of people came to the area for jobs.

A quick perusal of the Wayne History Mural is an excellent way to become more acquainted with the history of the City of Wayne.

The theme of the History Mural is, A Road Runs Through It and is clearly seen in the top section of the mural.The dark brick bands of the building are thought of a roadway presenting a transportation timeline history of Wayne. The mural is big, coverning the majority of the east wall of the State-Wayne Theater.

The mural panels are painted in shades of the brick building color to create the illusion that they are ornamental carvings used in art-deco architecture. This painting style is called, “Trompe L’oeil Grisaille.”

The mural depicts Wayne through four categories:

The Wayne History Mural is the result of the hard work and dedication of many, including the Wayne City Council, the Downtown Development Authority, the 2020 Committee and many friends. The artists are David Fichter and Joshua Winer with the help of Anthony Ivezaj.

The State-Wayne Theater is a community icon with its beautiful art deco marquee and dancing lights announcing this week’s feature presentations. The theater was purchased by the City in 1991 and completely renovated and made into a multiplex theater with four auditoriums. The building also boasts a stage for live theater, produced by local community theater groups.

The mural was dedicated on October 16, 2007 and rededicated on October 28, 2008, following the completion of two final panels.

Please download our brochure, A Complete Guide to the Wayne History Mural. (PFD)


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City of Wayne
3355 South Wayne Rd. • Wayne, MI 48184 • 734-722-2000


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Official website for the City of Wayne, Michigan