The area now known as Aviation Subdivision was settled by German immigrant farmers in the early 1800's who left the over-worked soil of the Rhineland. Some parcels of land were conveyed by President John Quincy Adams.

A 160-acre parcel was purchased by George Campbell in 1820, an 80-acre parcel was purchased by William Steers in 1826. By the 1840's, the western portion was owned by the Esper and Theisen families and the eastern portion was owned by the Thayer and McDonald families.

As the decendants of these families married, other names appeared, like Reuter, Horger, Miller, Spencer, Plantner, Gallagher, Haggerty and Howard. Subdivision streets bear these names.

In 1851, the Esper family deeded 4 acres to establish St. Alphonsus parish and cemetary.


Once Farms | Home Values Up

German Immigrant Farmers
With Henry Ford's real estate developer, Robert E. Oakman, the Ford Highway Land Company bought up the farm property. The Esper heirs received $100,000. in 1919.

Aviation Sub was Haggerty Field, later renamed Morrow Field after Lt. Karl Morrow's accidental death  in an air show over Detroit the day after the WWI armistice. 

The industrial supply air center for Ford Motor Co.  become obsolete and in 1922, the land was sold to  Robert E. Oakman.

When developed for housing, streets were laid out following the landing strips. Esper Boulevard and Littlefield were once runways for aspiring pilots.

By 1924, Robert Oakman Land Co. sold parcels to the Union Trust Co. for $3 million.

APOA Annual Candidates' Forum
A beautiful sampler of aviation subdivision homes, sketched by Tim Briody
Historic Aviation Property Owners' Association
Dearborn, Michigan USA
Elegance and Architecture Unmatched

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Sketches by Tim Briody


The first aviation property association formed in 1940. For over 25 years, the Historic Aviation Property Owners' Association, APOA, has continued to highlight and preserve the unique beauty and character of this elegant neighborhood.

Historic Aviation Property Owners'  Association,
Dearborn, Michigan 48126   |
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