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Trenton, Michigan

Trenton is a small city in Wayne County in the southeast portion of the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 19,584. The city is part of Downriver, a collection of mostly blue-collar communities south of Detroit on western bank of the Detroit River, thus "down-the-river."

Many residents are employed in the city's factories such as the Chrysler Trenton Engine Plant, Solutia, and the Detroit Edison Trenton Channel Power Plant. Oakwood South Shore Hospital (formerly known as Seaway Hospital) is located within city limits and has 203 beds. The McLouth Steel (Detroit Steel Company) Trenton Plant is currently undergoing sales talks with other companies. In 2006 it was said to provide 500 jobs if it was operated only as a cold-rolling steel mill. Norfolk Southern and Canadian National provide rail service to the city. The city operates the Trenton Veterans Memorial Library, constructed in 1997 for $4 million, and a historical museum. Trenton has 15 churches of 10 denominations.

The Battle of Monguagon also took place in Trenton on the site of Elizabeth Park, which is part of the Wayne County Park System/Department of Parks and Rec. and is the first county park in Michigan, designated in 1919.


The "founder" of Trenton is considered to be Abram Caleb Truax, a member of the territorial militia in attendance when General William Hull surrendered Detroit to the British General Isaac Brock early in the War of 1812. After the war in 1816, Truax acquired a large tract of land in the Michigan Territory along the Detroit River from the U.S. government and constructed a sawmill, church and store in what is today downtown Trenton. When Territorial Governor Lewis Cass organized Monguagon Township in 1827, Truax became the first Township Supervisor. He laid out the village of Truaxton in 1834. A post office had been established there named "Monguago" in 1828 with Truax as the first postmaster. The post office name was changed to "Truago" in 1837, and to "Trenton" in 1847, after a type of limestone mined from a local quarry. The village was platted and recorded under the name Trenton in 1850 by Abram's son and daughter George Brigham Truax and Sophia Slocum, the wife of industrialist Giles Slocum. The Slocum family estate was given to the county, becoming what is known as Elizabeth Park, named after Elizabeth Slocum.

In 1834 an industrialist, Giles Bryan Slocum, constructed a dock, making Trenton a major hub of steamboat traffic. In 1846, Capt. Arthur Edwards founded the Detroit & Cleveland Steamboat Company in Trenton. Through the late 1880s Trenton, like several Downriver communities, was known for its extensive shipyards.

Trenton incorporated as a village in 1855.

A Detroit businessman and later Michigan's first U.S. attorney, Solomon Sibley, started a limestone quarry near Trenton, near what is today Fort Street and Sibley Road. Materials from the quarry were used to construct structures in Detroit, most notably Fort Detroit along the Detroit River. The quarry was later sold to Austin Church, who used limestone to make baking soda, which he sold under his family's nameplate, Arm & Hammer. In 1900 the quarry was the site of the Sibley Quarry Explosion.

Through the late 1880s and even early 1900s, Trenton prospered because it was roughly a days journey between both Detroit and Monroe, Michigan, which meant people travelling between the two cities would have to stop overnight in Trenton.

Trenton annexed the village of Sibley (along the modern Riverview border) in 1929, extending the city's northern boundary to modern-day Sibley Road. Trenton incorporated as a city in 1957. In th 1920 a small light rail ran along West Jefferson to Wyandotte. The rail services ended in 1934, The tracks were removed in 1942 for the war effort.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.5 square miles (19.4 km²), of which, 7.3 square miles (18.9 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) of it (2.67%) is water. The city is located between Detroit, Michigan, and Monroe, Michigan in the state's southeastern lower peninsula. The city is located on the western bank of the Detroit River and is bounded by Grosse Ile, Michigan to the east, Riverview, Michigan to the north, Brownstown Township, Michigan to the west and south and Woodhaven, Michigan to the west.


As of the census2 of 2000, there were 19,584 people, 8,137 households, and 5,590 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,682.8 per square mile (1,035.8/km²). There were 8,345 housing units at an average density of 1,143.2/sq mi (441.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.92% White, 0.37% African American, 0.41% Native American, 0.78% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.23% from other races, and 1.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.99% of the population.

There were 8,137 households out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.6% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.3% were non-families. 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 24.3% from 45 to 64, and 19.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $49,566, and the median income for a family was $61,891. Males had a median income of $52,123 versus $31,892 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,288. About 4.0% of families and 5.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.1% of those under age 18 and 4.1% of those age 65 or over.

City government

City Hall is located at 2800 Third St.

The current city officials are:

  • Mayor: Gerald R. Brown (2007)
  • Mayor Pro-Tem: William LeFevre (2007)
  • City Council: Timothy Taylor (2009), Timber R. Baun-Crooks (2009), W. Dan Gillespie (2007), Mary Ellen McLeod (2007), Terrence Teifer (2009)
  • City Assessor: John Dahlquist (2007)
  • City Clerk: Kyle F. Stack (2007)
  • City Treasurer: Randy Schoen (2007)
  • City Offcial: Anita Gofforadump

Trenton has its own city wastewater treatment plant and fire and police departments.

Public schools

Trenton has five public schools with more than 3,000 students total. The schools are Anderson Elementary School, Taylor Elementary School, Hedke Elementary School, Arthurs Middle School (Formerly known as Monguagon) and Trenton High School.


Trenton features an active community revolving around sports and the arts and its downtown area along West Jefferson Avenue features an annual art fair, called the Mid-Summer Festival.

The recently-remodeled Trenton Village Theatre is also located in the downtown area (The art deco theater was designed by Charles N. Agree, who also created the Grand Ballroom in Detroit among many others)

Trenton also operates the Bridge Cultural Center at 2427 West Road, a former farmhouse that now houses an array of yearly activities including the annual Christmas fair, arts and crafts events.


Trenton has several festivals throughout the year.

Parks and recreation

The city recently spent $8.4 million to renovate the Kennedy Recreation Center, a complex along West Road that includes an ice rink, meeting rooms and Sports Services, a sporting goods shop. It is also home to the Trenton, Riverview, Grosse Ile and Gibraltar Carlson High School hockey teams.

Adjacent is the Kennedy Outdoor Aquatic Center, a pool and water park that opened in 2005. The facility includes a 25-meter, 8-lane competitive pool with two diving boards, a 15-meter lap pool, a waterslide with separate splash area and a leisure pool.

The city has of parks including 22 operated by the city and six at schools. The city and Wayne County each also operate boat launches. The city of Trenton launch is located in Rotary Park, the Wayne County launch is located at the south end of Elizabeth Park.

Along the Detroit River, Elizabeth Park, operated by Wayne County is a popular destination for picnic-goers, fishermen, and boaters.

The city also runs the Westfield Activities Center at 2700 Westfield, which hosts meetings and houses the city's senior citizen program; the Teifer Building; and the Haas Park Building.

Notable Trenton Residents

  • Scott Solo, Kyle Cash
  • Former U.S. President George H. W. Bush and his wife Barbara Bush lived briefly in Trenton in 1945 while Bush was stationed at nearby Naval Air Station Grosse Ile.
  • Bradley A. Smith Law professor, a Clinton appointee to the Federal Election Commission, and one of the nation's foremost experts on campaign finance, was born and raised in Trenton, elected Senior Class President, and graduated Trenton High in 1976.
  • Mary Lynn Rajskub, comedian and actress, was born and raised in Trenton, and graduated from Trenton High School in 1989.
  • J.J. Putz, a relief pitcher for the Seattle Mariners, was raised in Trenton, and graduated from Trenton High School in 1995.
  • Comedian Tim Slagle was raised in Trenton, and graduated from Trenton High in 1976.
  • Psychobilly frontman Jim Leedy, of the cult band Elvis Hitler, was born and raised in Trenton, and graduated from Trenton High in 1979.
  • Radio host Kelly Rinne WRCJ graduated from Trenton High in 1983.
  • Steven Ward, a member of the 2002 Colavita Professional Cycling Team, was born and raised in Trenton, and graduated from Trenton High School in 1990.
  • Donald M. Dickinson, U.S. Postmaster General under President Grover Cleveland was a resident of Trenton.
  • Professional wrestler Kevin Nash was born in Trenton.
  • Former Atlanta Braves left-handed pitcher Steve Avery was born in Trenton.
  • Former NHL player Larry DePalma was born in Trenton and is a 1983 Trenton High School graduate.
  • Former Red Wing alumni and NHL defenseman Lee Norwood grew up in Trenton.
  • Science fiction author Sarah Zettel was raised in Trenton and is a 1984 graduate of Trenton High School.
  • Andy Greene, a defenseman for the New Jersey Devils, was born in Trenton on October 30, 1982 and graduated from Trenton High School in 2001.
  • Anthony Bass, drafted on June 5, 2008 as the 165th pick in the 5th round for the San Diego Padres, born and raised in Trenton, graduated from Trenton High school in 2005.
  • Radio newscaster Pat Batcheller WDET-FM was born in Trenton and is a 1984 graduate of Trenton High School.

Other notable items

  • The Trenton High School Hockey program has 11 State Championships , including one this past 07-08 season and a 28-0-0 season in 1995-96 and a #1 National Ranking.
  • On October 2, 2005, 14 senior citizens from a Trenton tour group were thrown overboard in an upstate New York lake when the boat they were riding in capsized. At least 21 passengers died.
  • Trenton is home to the world's first traffic lane markings, which appeared on River Road (later Washington Ave., and now West Jefferson Ave.) in 1912.
  • The first A&W Restaurants root beer stand in Michigan opened in Trenton in 1935
  • Trenton's now-neutral McLouth Steel (Detroit Steel Company) plant was the first steel plant in the U.S. to install a basic oxygen furnace, now an important piece of equipment for the steel industry. McLouth was the first integrated steel mill in the United States to produce 100% of its steel by continuous casting and was also first to install computer controls on a six stand hot strip mill. They also installed the first "straight stick" slab casting machine and they have the largest single installation of a gas fired walking beam reheat furnace.
  • The City has been reported to be Haunted, Stories about ghost wondering West Jefferson go back to the 1800's


External links

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