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Plymouth History

Plymouth History in Brief:

The first settlers, Allen and William Tibbits among them, arrived in this area in 1824, and by 1825, there were enough people here to make up a small settlement.

The name Plymouth was suggested by William Bartow, the first Township Supervisor, since many of the original settlers had ancestors who lived near Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts.

The first schoolhouse was built in 1830.

The village of Plymouth was incorporated in 1867.

In 1882 the Plymouth Iron Windmill Company was organized. This later became the Daisy Air Rifle Company.

In 1918 Plymouth became a home rule village.

For more details, please see the Plymouth History Guide

Index of Plymouth Mail Newspaper, fully searchable 1887-1914 
For the past twenty-five years, dedicated volunteers at the Plymouth District Library have abstracted information from the Plymouth Mail and created an electronic index of the resulting names, events, and dates. The index covering the years 1887 through 1914 is now fully searchable from the Portal page.

Plymouth Cemetery Listings, fully searchable
Plymouth has three cemeteries, two of which are inactive (Shearer Cemetery and Old Baptist Cemetery) and one active - Riverside Cemetery.  The cemetery search on the Portal page covers all three.

Search:  Plymouth Observer newspapers, 2001 - 2013

Search: Plymouth's Community Crier newspaper, 1974 through 1998

Funding for this project and past Plymouth Observer and Community Crier digitization efforts is possible thanks to grant funding through the Wilcox Foundation, in memory of Johnston "Jack" Wilcox.

View: Plymouth Historical Photographs on the Making of Modern Michigan


Print and Microform Resources for Plymouth Local History: 

The Plymouth District Library Maintains:

Plymouth Mail/Observer Newspaper - 1887 to 2001 on microfilm, current year in print. (See above for links to 2001-2013 online access.)

Microfilm of the Community Crier Newspaper from Feb. 1974 - December 30, 1992.  1993 - 1998 is on CD-ROM.

Riverside Cemetery burial records on microfilm and in print (years vary)

Plymouth High School Year Books (years vary)

Prints from the Charles Draper Photograph Collection (Historical Museum has originals)

Prints from the John Gaffield Photograph Collection (Historical Museum has originals)

Plymouth City Directories (1933, 1946, 1953, 1968, and 1979)

Vertical File Materials on Plymouth History and Businesses

Historic Plat Maps of Wayne County (reproductions)

The Plymouth Historical Museum Maintains:

Plymouth births from 1906 to 1960

Plymouth deaths from 1907 to 1974

Schrader Funeral Home Records 1901-1928

Assessment Rolls of the Village of Plymouth from 1879

Land Abstracts (years vary)

Mortgage surveys (years vary)

City Directories, 1927 - 1974

Plymouth high school yearbooks, 1913 - present

Plymouth Mail/Observer Newspaper, 1887 - 1954

For a more detailed look at their holdings, see Museum's Archive Web Page

Local History Resources

Plymouth Historical Museum

Canton Historical Society

Esek Pray Trail - Driving Tour of 19th and 20th Century Settlements and Farms in Washtenaw County, Michigan.

Northville Historical Society - Find out the history of Mill Race Village and their calendar of events.

Northville Library - Local History and Genealogy Index