Our History – Celebrating Over 75 Years Of Promoting Business & Community!
In the minutes of the Village of Ferndale’s commission meeting of May 27, 1918, first reference is made to a “Board of Commerce.” They were a group of local businessmen originally called the Ferndale Boosters prior to the creation of the municipality of Ferndale. These businessmen worked together to promote programs for the betterment of the business community of Ferndale, such as, a branch of the Detroit Post Office and proper zoning within the village. They also played a role in Ferndale’s incorporation as a City.
Some of the actions of the early Board of Commerce included petitioning the name change of Rockwell Avenue back to Nine Mile Road and work for the widening of Woodward Avenue to 180 feet. At a regular meeting of the Board of Commerce in 1925, some of the ambitious and forward-thinking objectives and aims of the Board included opening Livernois, the lighting of Woodward Avenue in Ferndale, securing gas for Ferndale, better Railroad facilities and rapid transit.
Although shortly after 1925, organization of such service clubs as the Rotary rendered less necessary the Board of Commerce, recovery from the effects of the Great Depression and the restoration of business in the community resulted in the revival of the Board of Commerce. On May 14, 1936 the Ferndale Board of Commerce was incorporated as a non-profit in the State of Michigan. By 1942, it became apparent that the Board of Commerce required a full time executive. Harvey S. Jacobs was hired as the first executive secretary.
Since then, the Board of Commerce has evolved as members’ needs have changed due to economic and political conditions. Sometime between 1951 and 1965, the name was changed to the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce.
On October 5, 2009, to reflect the growing trend of regional collaboration and the make-up of Chamber members that included 40 percent non-Ferndale businesses, the Board of Directors of the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce voted to change the name to Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce. A committee was formed to create a new logo and brand image for the Chamber and on February 25, 2010, the new name and logo was unveiled.
In early 2012, the Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce met with City officials from Oak Park, Michigan to discuss a partnership to assist in promoting and developing Oak Park’s business community. Oak Park has never had a Chamber of Commerce. In May 2012, the Ferndale Area Chamber officially became the endorsed Chamber of Commerce for the City of Oak Park.
Today, the Chamber is equally active, effective and forward-thinking as it was in its early days, still working together to promote programs for the betterment of the Ferndale, and now, Oak Park business communities.