Dexter Ferry Elementary

The original Ferry Elementary was a small schoolhouse built on Ferry Avenue in 1887 and added onto several times. As with other early schools, the building left much to be desired in amenities and cleanliness. In a letter to the school board in 1889, an inspector noted that "…the basement of Ferry School, notwithstanding the heat and unusual drouth of this summer, was impossible only by means of planks and boards laid down for that purpose. Under one room the ground is covered with a beautiful green moss; under the hall, clover from three to six inches in height grows (not in sufficient quantities to harvest, but still it is there)." By 1906 the school was operating on half-days due to overcrowding, but a permanent replacement building wouldn’t be started until 1922.

The new school kept the Ferry name but switched the significance from the street on which it was built to businessman Dexter M. Ferry, proprietor of one of Detroit’s early businesses. Ferry Elementary opened in March of 1924. By the 1960’s the school was again overcrowded, with 1,200 students attending. A history of the school from this time found that "…The nature of the community has changed steadily since 1950. Many of the old families have moved to the suburbs. The opening of the Edsel Ford Expressway dislodged others. Homes have been divided into apartments and newcomers from the South and from rural districts have moved in. A sizable number of families is receiving agency assistance. At present the student body is composed of various nationalities, predominantly Slavic, and there is representation from both the Caucasian and Negro races."

As the industries of the east side closed and moved out, population began to drop, and the old neighborhoods started to empty out. Ferry closed in 2005 due to low enrollment, and the building was demolished in 2010.