History of Dundee

The Dundee area has a history that dates back to October 1822 when William Comstock’s land purchase was recorded. On March 31, 1838 Dundee established itself as a township. Many miles of the scenic River Raisin travels through the Dundee area. The river was lined with lofty trees around whose trunks climbed the wild grape vines, hence the name “River Aux Raisin”.

The Village of Dundee’s history dates back to 1823 when William H. Remington made a land entry which included both sides of the River Raisin. A ford to cross the river was at the site of the present bridge with a rope ferry to bring the early settlers across. A bridge was built in 1833.  On June 5, 1832 Sybrant Van Nest founded the village and platted the land on the north side of the river with his friend Ebenezor Dustin. Mr. Dustin is given credit for naming the Village of Dundee, remembering his native Scotland. The Village was incorporated in 1855.

The commercial section of the downtown is located just above the north bank of the river. The layout was largely determined by the informal pattern of the five roads that met there. Dundee’s form evolved like a New England town, defined by the existing Indian trails, early road and natural features. The roads came together in a randomly angled intersection made up of Tecumseh, Monroe, Riley, Main and Ypsilanti Streets which formed Dundee’s distinctive downtown layout. In later years, Dundee due to this distinctive layout, was known as the Hub of the Highways. The randomly angled intersection in the downtown commercial district resulted in a pivotal triangular open space. This triangle in the center of the district was given to the Village in 1865 by its early owners, Mr. & Mrs. Israel Drew, with the stipulation that there was to be no place of business on the site and that it remain a site of beauty and a gathering place for the community. The present memorial bandstand was built on this site in 1913. The commercial section of Dundee has slowly progressed down Tecumseh Street with the newest section located on the west side of US 23.

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