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About Conrad Ten Eyck

Conrad Ten Eyck was born July 17, 1782 of Dutch descent and came to Detroit from Albany, New York in 1802. He was an ambitious person and by 1814 he and his brother, Jeremiah, owned a general store located on the southwest corner of Jefferson and Woodward Avenues in Detroit, called Curry’s Corner. By the time the business failed, Conrad had become a land agent and prominent Michigan political figure. He was treasurer of Wayne County, 1817-1825; Village trustee in 1818; Supervisor of Dearborn, 1833 to 1839; and U.S. Marshall from 1837 to 1841.

Ten Eyck moved to Dearborn in 1823, long before the first wave of settlers and built the Ten Eyck Tavern in 1826 along old Chicago Road (currently Michigan Avenue). The tavern was often filled to capacity and thousands of westward bound travelers boarded there. It is written that at the time, Conrad Ten Eyck “…was the richest and most influential man in town.” When the first railroad came through Dearborn in 1837, the amount of travel by wagon and stage decreased rapidly, and the tavern closed. A fire in 1885 burned the building which was then being used for the storage of grain.

Conrad Ten Eyck died on August 23, 1847, at the age of 65 years leaving two sons and five daughters. His sons inherited his large land holdings. These were later sold to Henry Ford and afterwards formed the base area of the Fair Lane Estate. A historical marker currently designates the location where the tavern used to stand.

Today, the Ten Eyck Tavern, a restaurant inside The Dearborn Inn, located at 20301 Oakwood Boulevard, Dearborn, pays tribute to Conrad Ten Eyck by serving home-style fare with a charmingly casual and relaxing atmosphere.

The Conrad Ten Eyck School was built as a five room schoolhouse for a subdivision between Oakwood Boulevard and Outer Drive in 1945. With houses located in west Dearborn growing quickly after postwar years, a school was in great demand. By 1949, Ten Eyck School had an additional kindergarten wing built at the south end of the school. As the neighborhood continued to grow, by 1956, more classroom space was necessary. An addition was added and enlarged the school from 6 to 16 classrooms, with a library, science workroom, kitchen, gymnasium, and multipurpose room. This enlargement increased an enrollment of 240 to over 500 students in grades kindergarten through 6th. The school continued to serve as an elementary school until 1976 when due to a decline in enrollment, it was closed. The building itself was used by the Board of Education as the Ten Eyck Resource Center, and later as administrative offices, classrooms, and workshops for teachers and students. The adjoining neighborhood park was named by the City of Dearborn as Ten Eyck Park.
In Albany, New York, there is a Ten Eyck Avenue, Ten Eyck Insurance Company, Ten Eyck Plaza, and many Ten Eycks in the Albany phone book - the family is still prominent in Albany today!