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Southgate, Michigan is part of the Downriver collection of communities south of Detroit, and part of the Detroit Metro Region.

I-75 runs through the northwest corner of the city, M-85 (Fort Street) forms much of the eastern boundary of Southgate, and Dix-Toledo Road bisects the city diagonally. Other routes include Goddard Road, Northline Road, Eureka Road, Allen Road, and Pennsylvania Road.

Southgate abuts Taylor to the west, Allen Park and Lincoln Park to the north, Wyandotte to the east, and Riverview and Brownstown Township to the south.

Cities and villages within twenty miles of Southgate include Riverview, Wyandotte, Lincoln Park, Allen Park, Taylor, Woodhaven, Trenton, Ecorse, Melvindale, River Rouge, Flat Rock, Grosse Ile, Gibraltar, Rockwood, Dearborn, South Rockwood, Inkster, Dearborn Heights, Romulus, Detroit, Wayne, Garden City, Belleville, Hamtramck, Estral Beach, Carleton, and Highland Park.

Although Southgate was settled in the late 1700s, it wasn't incorporated until 1955, as a village, becoming a city in 1958.

The first European-American settler in the community was Pierre Michel Campau, whose family had founded Detroit in the early 1700s. He was soon followed by other French and English settlers along the Detroit and Rouge Rivers. It remained rural and largely agricultural for several years, and was the last remaining part of the now defunct Ecorse Township.

As early as the 1920s, the area was platted with street grids, although most developments didn't begin until after World War II.

Bordered by Superior Street to the north, Eureka Road to the south, Fort Street to the east, and either Trenton Road or Burns Street to the west, the Old Homestead neighborhood is the oldest in Southgate. Old Homestead was originally platted in 1923 as a subdivision of Ecorse Township.

During the 1940s, Southgate had only around two thousand residents, but there were more than ten thousand people in the area by the 1950s. The city's population continued to rise until 1970 when its peak population was 33,909. Since then, it has experienced slight declines each decade, to 29,896 at the time of the 2020 census.

There are a few accounts as to its choice of Southgate as a name. According to a Detroit News article, it was named after the Southgate Shopping Center, which was in the process of being constructed at the time of the city's incorporation. Another idea is that it was thus named for its location as the south gate to the Detroit Metro Region. A third possibility is that Southgate's first mayor, Thomas J. Anderson, had been stationed near South Gate, California during World War II. Possibly, each of these reasons figured into it.

The Conrail Shared Assets Operation, owned jointly by CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway, runs freight trains through the northwest corner of Southgate, where its large grade crossing is one of the largest in the world.

The News-Herald, a bi-weekly newspaper serving the Downriver suburbs of Detroit, is headquartered in Southgate.

The Southgate Community School District provides K-12 public school services for the city through Anderson High School, Asher Alternative High School, Davidson Middle School, Allen Elementary School, Fordline Elementary School, Grogan Elementary School, Shelters Elementary School, and North Pointe IB Elementary School.

This portion of our guide focuses on the City of Southgate, Michigan. Online resources for the municipality or any other governmental bodies within the city, as well as local businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, entertainment venues, and recreational opportunities, are appropriate topics for this category.


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