Detroit was a small city surrounded by an expanse of wilderness in 1827 when Edwin Jerome arrived from New York. Jerome came with his father and three brothers, who intended to go into the lumber business. Edwin opened a school at the corner where Larned and Randolph now meet and taught during the winter. The city had a population of 2,000.
To keep busy during the summer Edwin, with a penchant for math, a compass and a 100-link chain, started surveying land for sale in and around the Detroit area.
Since then Detroit has grown to cover 135 square miles of land, expanded to a population of over a million and become a titan among the world's industrial cities. And the company Edwin Jerome founded has been a part of it all.
George G. Jerome Sr., and a DAC member since 1972, is the fifth generation Jerome to run the company.
Now known as George Jerome & Co., the firm boasts of having, "participated in almost every 'new' building that you can see on the Detroit skyline," including the City-County Building, Ford Auditorium, the Detroit Bank and Trust Building, the People Mover and the National Bank Building. The company also helped in the alignment of the Detroit-Windsor tunnel.
Edwin's work is a permanent fixture in the city. It was Edwin who first parceled land at "Gross Point" in 1835, mapping the area on the back of a shopping list. He also laid out Shelby, Cass, Wayne and Congress roads.
The Historical Society of Michigan recognizes the company as Michigan's oldest continuously operating business. It was established in 1828 on Woodward Ave. and has seen five Jerome men run it. A sixth generation, George Jerome Jr., is now working for the company.