11. Biddle Ave and Oak Street, earliest business intersection
Biddle and Oak were Wyandotte’s main business arteries from its earliest days. Oak Street connected the river to the east with the railroad terminal several blocks to the west.
Merchants consolidated along Biddle, with many social and cultural activities located here as well. Downtown has served as Wyandotte’s center since the 19th century, but because of its location on the far east side of town, numerous corner stores and several secondary commercial districts are scattered throughout town in closer walking distance to homes. Zoning ordinances and economic change have threatened these stores existence.
The original village plat of 1854 shows streets running horizontal to the river named after trees and fruits, intersected by numbered streets running north and south, locally called the Philadelphia Plan.
Biddle Avenue is the main street of Wyandotte an extension of Jefferson Avenue, running from Detroit to Trenton. Biddle is named after Major John Biddle, Wyandotte’s first white settler whose house once stood where the Ford-MacNichol house is today.
Annexation is the method that Wyandotte used to grow from its original boundary in 1854 to the current area that the city covers today. In many areas that have been annexed, streets and neighborhoods are named after land owners who developed the land.