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The City of Rockwood, Michigan is in southeastern Wayne County, just south of the Detroit Metro Region.

The chief route through the city is I-75, which runs through the downtown area. Other routes include Woodruff Road, which forms a portion of the city's northern border, as well as Huron River Drive, Fort Road, Olmstead Road, South Huron River Drive, and Wassehnova Road, which forms its eastern boundary. The Huron River forms the city's southern border, and Silver Creek, Smith Creek, Casa Drain, and Groh Drain flow through portions of the city.

Rockwood abuts Flat Rock to the north, South Rockwood to the south, and its northeastern corner touches Gibraltar. Other cities and villages within twenty miles of Rockwood include Woodhaven, Trenton, Estral Beach, Carleton, Riverview, Southgate, Wyandotte, Taylor, Allen Park, Lincoln Park, Romulus, Monroe, River Rouge, Ecorse, Melvindale, Inkster, Maybee, Dearborn, and Detroit.

First appearing on a census roll in 1930 with a population of 953, the city grew rapidly to 3,225 in 1970, after which it has experienced smaller increases and decreases, with a peak population of 3,442 in 2000 and a population of 3,240 in 2020.

The Rockwood Police Department and the Rockwood Fire Department operate out of City Hall, while the city also owns a Community Center on Fort Street, north of Huron River Drive.

The city's public K-12 population are served by the Gibraltar School District, which operates Chapman Elementary School within the city limits, while older students are bused to Shumate Junior High School and Carlson High School, both outside of the city. A K-8th-grade parochial school is operated by St. Mary's Catholic Church.

Originally part of Brownstown Township, which was organized in 1827, the first European-American land acquisition was granted in 1796. Early settlers were located along both sides of the Huron River, forming a settlement known as the Huron Settlement.

Built in 1818, Chamberlain's Mill was the first business in the area, but there were mostly scattered farms and a store in the area in the 1840s. Early landowners included the Chapman, Olmstead, Reed, Swallow, Wood, and Woodruff families.

Larger growth began in the 1850s with the extension of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad, with land speculators and real estate developers selling lots along what are now Huron River Drive and Church Street.

A post office was established on July 11, 1861, with William A. Chamberlain as postmaster. The post office was first named Huron Station, and it served residents on both sides of the river. At that time, there were two hotels, two general stores, a shoe store, a wagon shop, a hardware store, a blacksmith shop, a courthouse, and a railroad station. The post office took the name Rockwood on May 1, 1872.

In 1863, John Strong built a mall and a general store on the south side of the Huron River, and a post office was established in his store on July 5, 1877, and named South Rockwood, and South Rockwood became a village in 1955.

Between 1862 to 1922, a strong basket industry thrived in Rockwood, which boasted three basket shops and a basket factory, shipping baskets to customers all over the world. During this period, commercial and light industrial businesses intermingled with residences throughout the community.

The Huron River played a significant role in the city's early industries, as local businesses shipped cordwood, lumber, apples, grain, and baskets to market from the Huron River to the Detroit River and Lake Erie.

In the 1890s, many of Rockwood's businesses were destroyed by fire, but most rebuilt at their original sites.

Shortly after the turn of the 20th century, the Detroit United Railway's electric interurban line provided quick transportation to Detroit and Toledo, and this prompted several new industries. Huron River Drive was paved during this period, and the Dixie Highway came through Rockwood in 1917.

During Prohibition in the 1920s, bootlegging became a lucrative industry in Rockwood, as well as other sources of prosperity. A bridge was built over the Huron River, more streets were paved, and new streets and homes were built. Rockwood was incorporated as a city on November 10, 1926.

The Great Depression of the 1930s were not good years, but St. Mary's School, the Rockwood Rotary Club, and the first standardized Michigan State Police Post began in Rockwood during this decade. During the 1940s, the city purchased the State Police Post, converting it into a municipal building.

Construction of the Detroit Toledo Expressway (I-75) began in the 1950s. During this period, the city received Urban Renewal funding to clear dilapidated buildings at the intersection of Fort Street and Huron River Drive, creating the Rockwood Plaza.

The focal point of this portion of our guide is on the City of Rockwood, Michigan.


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