Troy is a suburb of Detroit, and as of the 2006 census had an estimated population of 81,118, which ranked it as the 12th largest city in Michigan. Troy began as a settlement in 1821 and was named Troy Corners when Johnson Niles purchased 160 acres in what is now the north-central portion of the city. In 1825, Ira Smith built the first house at Big Beaver Corners and the first public school opened its doors in Troy Corners. The city wasn't officially formed until 1955 and was prompted by residents who wanted to prevent neighboring cities from annexing lands that comprised their community.
Residents and visitors can learn about the city's progression through history at the Troy Historical Museum. This museum is unique with complete structures of the city's past which patrons may enter and observe how they functioned and were decorated, as all buildings are full of artifacts from that period. Each structure is original and was relocated from its original location to the museum intact. Starting with a log and mud structure used by the first settlers, there is also an 18th century schoolhouse and estate, a general store, a blacksmith's shop, a church along with the pastor's home, and the old city hall, which acts as a general museum. There is a gazebo in the center of the square which hosts parties and period bands during annual festivities.
In 1966, I-75 was completed in Troy, which increased access to and from the city. This gave a major boost to Troy's economy, leading to the development of its civic center, school district, and recreation system. Troy has become a business and shopping destination in the Metro Detroit area, with numerous office centers and the upscale Somerset Collection mall. Troy is also a thriving center of business, particularly in the automotive and financial sectors, and is home to a number of major companies. These include Altair Engineering, ArvinMeritor, Behr America, Inc., Budd Company, Collins & Aikman, Decoma International (US Headquarters), Delphi Corporation, DuPont Automotive, Entertainment Publications, Flagstar Bancorp, Inc., Huffmaster Companies, Inc., Kelly Services, Magna Powertrain Part of Magna International, and National City Corp.
In 2003, Troy was named Michigan's Sportstown by Sports Illustrated magazine for having the top community sports programs in the state. In both 2005 and 2006, Troy was chosen by City Crime Rankings as one of the "Safest Cities in America," coming in at #5 in the United States both years and first in the state of Michigan, respectively. The beaver is the symbol of Troy, with Big Beaver Road as the city's main commercial thoroughfare. In the summer of 2005, to commemorate the city's 50th anniversary, four foot tall ceramic beaver statues were displayed at various locations in the city.