Westland, Wayne County, Michigan
During the 18th century, the area was inhabited by the people of a Potawatomi Indian village. Other tribes, particularly three Algonquian tribes, used the area as hunting territory.
Before becoming Westland, the area had several other names. Though white settlers did not begin to settle the area until about 1824, they began passing through at the beginning of the 19th century.
Bucklin Township was first organized in 1827 and included what is now the cities of Westland, Livonia, Garden City, Inkster, Wayne, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights and Redford Township.
By an act of the Michigan Territorial Legislature, October 20, 1829, Bucklin was divided into Lima and Richland townships. However, due to a naming conflict under postal regulations at that time, Lima was renamed Nankin Township, after the Chinese city Nanking, and Richland as Pekin Township, named after Peking, though Pekin became Redford Township in 1833.
In 1835, Livonia Township was split off from Nankin. Wayne incorporated as a village in 1869 and as a city in 1960. Garden City incorporated as a village in 1927 and as a city in 1933. Inkster incorporated as a village in 1926 and as a city in 1964.
Nankin Mills (located at 33175 Ann Arbor Trail) was built in 1842 as a gristmill and used by area farmers who once farmed this area. In 1916, Henry Ford purchased the mill and restored it as part of his Village Industries project devised as a way to allow farmers to work in the growing auto industry without having to move off their farms. Once restored, the mill was used to make stencils for Ford Motor Company. The automaker eventually sold the mill to Wayne County, and the historic building is now home to Wayne County Parks, which houses an interpretive center with exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the area and also hosts community events.
Eloise in the far southeast of the city began when the County Home for the poor was relocated here in 1839 from Gratiot Avenue. It later evolved into a sanitorium largely for treating tuberculosis and then was made Wayne County General Hospital in 1945. It had a post office named Eloise starting in 1894.