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By Bethany Newton, Staff Writer Discover Downriver
Riverview is one of the younger Downriver communities, as it is only 57 years old, but it does have a rich history going back even farther than that. Riverview used to be apart of Trenton, which was settled because it was on the highest ground between Downriver and Toledo. High ground was very valuable back in the day, and what was especially important was the lumber in the “river view” section of the community.
By the 1920s, Riverview only extended from West Jefferson to the west of the railroad tracks. The area had a quarry, but it lacked city water, which really inhibited growth in the community. Because of this issue, Riverview and “Wyandotte Heights” merged together to create the Village of Riverview in 1923. Sam Vreeland was the first village president, and at that time, the village only had a population of 704 people.
Riverview remained a village until the late 1950s, when it finally became a city. Although the process did not occur without some hardships, like Trenton wanting to annex Riverview to become a part of their city. Because of this, two community representatives raced to Lansing to submit a petition, and Riverview ended up making it an hour before Trenton. If this hadn’t occurred, Riverview might have not been around today.
Today, Riverview is home to a great deal of recreational events. One major event is Summerfest, which takes place annually in Riverview at Young Patriot’s Park. The festival includes great food, a firework show and even a fishing derby. Riverview prides itself on being a family-friendly community jam packed with dozens of youth and adult programs.
- In the 1950s, Riverview housed missile silos that were apart of the National Nuclear Response System.
- Riverview’s population grew from 704 to 12,486 people.
- Former University of Michigan Head Football Coach, Lloyd Carr, was from Riverview.
- A 78-year-old, Gerald Perry, wrote the first ever-historical book about Riverview in 2015.
- Bob Guiney, a Bachelor contestant, was from Riverview.
Information gathered from the City of Riverview, the US Census and the Detroit News.
Written by Bethany Newton, staff writer for Discover Downriver. See more about Bethany here.