By Bethany Newton, Staff Writer Discover Downriver
Southgate is another Downriver community that is on the younger side, but it still has a rich history. The people of Southgate had a difficult time in the beginning just trying to become a city. The process ended up taking them 3 years, but Southgate finally became a city on October 8, 1958. Southgate was formally a part of the Village of Ecorse, but when it eventually became a city, they adopted the slogan, “The Symbol of Progress Downriver.” This slogan alludes to the fact that during that time period the Downriver area was growing rapidly and cities were being created often.
In the 1940s, Southgate had just around 2,000 residents, but by the 1950s, they had around 10,000. The city grew from just being a place where families would come to farm to a place where people would come for industry and city involvement.
The name Southgate is said to have come from a variety of sources. Some suggest it is because locals described the place as the “south gate” or the entrance to Metro Detroit. According to the Detroit News, Southgate’s first Mayor, Thomas J. Anderson, said that the reasoning behind the name was simple. It was named after the shopping center that was about to go up on the corner of Eureka and Trenton Roads.
Whatever the reasoning behind the name was, Southgate today has grown into a community-oriented and family-friendly environment. With new businesses being welcomed into the city, a new expansion of the Southgate Civic Center and the construction of the Southgate Fun & Family Fitness Centre, Southgate will continue to grow and flourish in the Downriver area.
- Southgate has 9 neighborhood and 2 community parks.
- As of the census of 2010, there were 30,047 people.
- Mallie’s Sports Grill & Bar in Southgate holds the Guinness Record for the world’s largest commercially available hamburger, weighing 185.8 pounds.
- Jeff Jones, who was the Detroit Tigers pitching coach, attended Southgate Anderson High School.
- The first Sonic Drive-In location in Michigan opened in Southgate in 2008.
Information gathered from the City of Southgate, the Detroit News, the US Census and the Wyandotte Tribune.
Written by Bethany Newton, staff writer for Discover Downriver. See more about Bethany here.