Trenton, Michigan

Trenton is a small city in Wayne County in the southeast portion of the U.S. state of Michigan. At the 2010 census, the city population was 18,853.[6] The city is part of Downriver, a collection of mostly blue-collar communities south of Detroit on the west bank of the Detroit River. Trenton is known for its waterfront and growing boating community.

Trenton, Michigan
City of Trenton
Trenton City Hall on Third Street
Trenton City Hall on Third Street
Location within Wayne County
Location within Wayne County
Trenton is located in Michigan
Location within the state of Michigan
Coordinates: 42°08′22″N 83°10′42″W / 42.13944°N 83.17833°W / 42.13944; -83.17833Coordinates: 42°08′22″N 83°10′42″W / 42.13944°N 83.17833°W / 42.13944; -83.17833
Country United States
State Michigan
County Wayne
 • TypeCouncil–manager
 • MayorSteven Rzeppa
 • AdministratorScott Church
 • ClerkDebra Devitt
 • City7.52 sq mi (19.46 km2)
 • Land7.26 sq mi (18.81 km2)
 • Water0.25 sq mi (0.66 km2)
597 ft (182 m)
 • City18,853
 • Estimate 
 • Density2,514.12/sq mi (970.69/km2)
 • Metro
4,285,832 (Metro Detroit)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code(s)
Area code(s)734
FIPS code26-80420[4]
GNIS feature ID1615062[5]
WebsiteOfficial website

Many residents are employed in the city's factories such as the Chrysler Trenton Engine Plant,[7] Solutia, and the Trenton Channel Power Plant. Beaumont Hospital - Trenton is located within city limits and has 203 beds. The former McLouth Steel plant is also located in the city. There is rail service in the city. The city operates the 21,000-square-foot (2,000 m2) Trenton Veterans Memorial Library and a historical museum. Trenton has 15 churches of 10 denominations.

A Native American Shawnee village founded by war chief Blue Jacket after the 1795 Treaty of Greenville was located in Trenton on what is now Elizabeth Park. Elizabeth Park is part of the Wayne County park system and was the first county park in Michigan, designated in 1919.

The August 9, 1812 Battle of Monguagon between Americans and a British-Indian coalition took place just north of Trenton in Riverview, though the Michigan state historical marker memorializing it was placed in Trenton, about a mile south of where the fighting actually took place.


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 Truax's son and daughter George Brigham Truax and Sophia Slocum, the wife of industrialist Giles Slocum.[8][9][10] 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.[11] 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. Sibley, Michigan would not be incorporated into Trenton until 1929.

Trenton was 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,[12] 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 day's journey between Detroit and Monroe, Michigan, which meant people traveling between the two cities would have to stop overnight in Trenton.[13]

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 was incorporated as a city in 1957. In 1920 a small light railroad 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 7.51 square miles (19.45 km2), of which 7.28 square miles (18.86 km2) is land and 0.23 square miles (0.60 km2) is water.[14] The city is located between Detroit and Monroe, Michigan, in the southeastern part of the state. The city is located on the western bank of the Detroit River and is bounded by Grosse Ile to the east, Riverview to the north, Brownstown Township to the west and south and Woodhaven to the west.


Census Pop.
Est. 201818,220[3]−3.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[15]

2010 censusEdit

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 18,853 people, 7,988 households, and 5,159 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,589.7 inhabitants per square mile (999.9/km2). There were 8,539 housing units at an average density of 1,172.9 per square mile (452.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.5% White, 1.3% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.2% of the population.

There were 7,988 households of which 27.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.4% were non-families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.95.

The median age in the city was 45 years. 21.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21% were from 25 to 44; 30.3% were from 45 to 64; and 19.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.1% male and 51.9% female.

2000 censusEdit

As of the census[4] 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 per square mile (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.


Trenton has an unemployment rate of 6.5%, higher than the US average of 3.7%. The sales tax rate is 6.0%, below the US average of 6.2%. The income tax rate is 4.3%, below the US average is 4.6%. The recent job growth rates in Trenton is at 0.7%, below the US average of 1.6%. The future job growth rates are estimated to be 35%, above the US average of 33.5%. Per capita income in Flat Rock is at an average rate of $31,870, above the average of $31,177. The average household income is $59,943, above the US average of $57,652. The family median income is $78,100 above the US average of $70,850. [16]

Trenton is a city home to many industrial factories and businesses, including McLouth Steel and the Trenton Channel Power Plant.

Trenton Channel Power PlantEdit

Trenton Channel Power Plant

The Trenton Channel Power Plant, a coal-burning power station in Trenton, opened on the shoreline of Detroit River in 1924, on the south side of Slocum Island. It is owned by Detroit Edison, a subsidiary of DTE Energy. It had 6 turbine generators with 13 coal-fired boilers when first commissioned. Each unit produced a rated 50 megawatts of electricity. Five short smoke stacks exhausted gases from the boilers. These were the first Detroit Edison units to use pulverized coal rather than the older style stoker-fired beds of coal. They were also the first power plants in the US to use electrostatic precipitators to capture fly ash from the stacks. Electrostatic precipitators, however, were in use in other industries at the time. In 1950, a second plant started up at the same site and adjoined the first plant. It had two turbine generators, #7 and #8, with a rating of 120 megawatts each. Two short smoke stacks released gases from the four boilers. Finally in 1968, Unit #9 was placed in service. It is a 550-megawatt turbine generator fed by a single boiler. It adjoins the high side plant and is located on the south side. One 563-foot-tall smoke stack is used for this unit. Soon afterwards, another stack, identical to the #9 stack, was erected to replace the two short stacks on the high side plant. Both tall stacks remain in service as of 2012.

The characteristic striped smokestacks were constructed with an innovative “smokestack within a smokestack” design to reduce the level of pollutants released. The inner smokestacks were lined with asbestos to achieve this, which ended up later being removed at great cost.[17] The plant strives to keep its area pollutant-free. In 2002, the facility was designated a corporate wildlife habitat by the Wildlife Habitat Council. Because of their efforts, the Trenton Channel Power Plant and Sibley Quarry were co-awarded the Wildlife Habitat Council's Corporate Habitat of the Year award in 2004.[18]

By the mid-1970s, the low side plant was decommissioned and the boiler house was eventually demolished. In the 2010s, all generators except #9 were closed. The power plant is scheduled to close by 2023, because DTE Energy is planning to change to natural gas and renewable energy power plants.[19]

McLouth SteelEdit

Aerial view of the McLouth Steel Plant in Trenton

McLouth Steel, a current bankrupt steel company that was residing in Detroit since 1934, purchased riverfront land by the Detroit River and Jefferson Avenue in 1948 to begin building its second location. Between the land purchase and the buildout, the project cost more than $100 million.[20] and by 1949, the first ingots were poured at the site. A few years later, in 1954, the Trenton Plant was dedicated and McLouth Steel became able to produce iron as an integrated steel mill. A few years later, in 1954, the Trenton Plant was dedicated and McLouth Steel became able to produce iron as an integrated steel mill. Number One blast furnace was constructed with a capacity of 1250 tons a day. The three original 60 ton basic oxygen furnace (BOF) vessels were installed and McLouth became the first plant in North America to make steel using the basic oxygen process. Adding to the melt shop were two 200 ton electric arc furnaces. The reversing Steckel mill was replaced by a six stand continuous 60-inch (1,500 mm) hot strip rolling mill and a roughing stand was added to complement the blooming mill. More soaking pits eventually were installed as well as a plant to supply the BOP with oxygen. Two pickle lines were also added along with the slitters.

By 1958, a new blast furnace was constructed (Number 2), two 110 ton BOP vessels, and the related support equipment for the BOP and blast furnaces also had their capacity increased. Gas cleaning systems were installed for the melt shop as well. Two-Rust slab reheat furnaces were installed to handle stainless steel, as well as the massive grinder and slab unpilers. The grinders, unpilers, and the pusher/bumper units for the two furnaces were supplied by Composite Forgings, Inc. Between the period of 1960 and 1964, one more 110 ton BOP vessel was added, bringing the 110 ton vessel count to three. McLouth also became the first company to use computer controls on a hot strip mill on November 1, 1962. Significantly, the first "straight stick" slab caster was installed during this period. It was the first in the United States.

Profitable operations as well as market demand prompted a major commitment to build a Continuous Casting department in 1967 with the announcement of four curved mold continuous casting strands and six lines of three induction slab reheaters. Two additional 110 ton BOP vessels were also added to replace old and obsolete equipment (the 60-ton vessels). With these critical improvements to McLouth's steelmaking process, McLouth became the first steel mill to eventually produce 100% of its product by the continuous casting process, which added significantly to the efficiency of the operations and improved the quality of the finished product.

The plant filed bankruptcy and was sold in 1996 to the Detroit Steel Company. Up to the early 2000s, Detroit Steel primarily brought in outside steel, pickled it, and sold it. After several failed start-up attempts, the Trenton complex remains idle. The plant's electric distribution infrastructure was removed in the summer of 2009. In the late 2010s, the site was used as a storage and transloading space for Trenton Marine Terminals. In April 2017, Wayne County foreclosed on the site after owners failed to pay $3.7 million in back taxes.[21] In 2018, MSC Land Co. (a Moroun company) purchased the land, entering into an agreement to demolish all buildings and to perform some remediation. The proposed use for the land is an intermodal operation utilizing the port, rail lines, and proximity to freeways. In May 2019, the site was put on EPA's Superfund National Priorities List.[22].

Demolition and cleanup is currently being led by Crown Enterprises, and overseen by the EPA and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). In April of 2019, Crown invited state and local officials to tour the facility and see the progress [23]. All buildings are scheduled to be demolished by December 2020. [24]

Beaumont HospitalEdit

A Beaumont Hospital opened up on Fort Street in 1961 as a community hospital in Trenton. Specialties there include diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, geriatrics, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology.[25]

Trenton Engine PlantEdit

The Trenton Engine Plant is a Chrysler automobile factory in Trenton, Michigan. The north factory opened in 1952 and underwent major expansion in 1969. Trenton engine was the site chosen for production of the 2.2 L four-cylinder engine which debuted in 1980 in the K-cars. In 1985, the north factory underwent another expansion, and later in 2005, Daimler Chrysler reportedly invested $297 million in order to expand the Trenton Engine plant to prepare to build a new 4.0 L version of the SOHC V6 and to also revitalize the 3.8 line. The north factory stopped manufacturing engines in May 2011, and Chrysler announced that it would invest $114 million to repurpose one-fifth or nearly 400,000 square feet of the plant for the production of core components for the Pentastar V-6 engine. In November 2012, the company announced that it would invest an additional $40 million to add a flexible production line that can run both the Pentastar engine and the Tigershark (I-4) engine.

The south factory opened in 2010. Its current product is the 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine, and the 2.0L FCA Global Medium Engine L4 engine.


Trenton has four public schools with more than 3,000 students total.

  • Anderson Elementary School
  • Hedke Elementary school
  • Arthurs Middle School (formerly known as Monguagon Middle School)
  • Trenton High School

A portion of Trenton, north of King Road, is in the Riverview Community School District.

Defunct schoolEdit

Slocum Truax Junior High School was a former junior high school that resided in the present-day Slocum Truax Park in a neighborhood nearby downtown Trenton, which ended up closing in July 1979. In October 1980, the city of Trenton made an attempt to auction off the building and property, but the auction was canceled after the rear of the building was broken into and vandalized, according to the Trenton Times newspaper. The headstone of the building was nearly destroyed when the building was demolished in October 1980, but an effort by then-councilman William Muddiman rescued the piece from utter destruction, according to the Trenton Times. The headstone with the school's name that once hung above the entrance of the school currently rests at the front of the Slocum Truax Park. It is the last remaining piece of the former school.[26]


Trenton features an active community revolving around sports. Its downtown area, along West Jefferson Avenue, features an annual craft fair the last weekend of June, called the Trenton Summer Festival.

The recently remodeled Trenton Village Theatre is located in the downtown area [1]. The art deco theater was designed by Charles N. Agree, who also created the Grande Ballroom in Detroit, among many others.

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

Trenton is home to the Wyandot Nation of Anderdon, one of four Wyandot communities in North America.[27]


Trenton has several festivals throughout the year:


Trenton was the city of the Michigan Stars in the All-American Hockey League. They played their games at the Kennedy Ice Arena. The team folded during 1987-88 AAHL season after 14 games.

Parks and recreationEdit

The city recently spent $8.4 million to renovate the Kennedy Recreation Center, a 150,000-square-foot (14,000 m2) complex along West Road that includes ice rinks, meeting rooms, and Sports Services, a sporting goods shop. The Teifer rink was originally an outdoor rink, which opened during Christmas week in 1961. The facility is home to the Trenton, Riverview, Grosse Ile, and Gibraltar Carlson High School hockey teams.

Adjacent is the Kennedy Outdoor Aquatic Center, a 13,000-square-foot (1,200 m2) 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 7,000-square-foot (650 m2) leisure pool.

The city has 200 acres (0.81 km2) of parks, including 22 operated by the city and 6 at schools. The city and Wayne County each also operate boat launches. The city of Trenton launch is located in Rotary Park, while 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 runs the Westfield Activities Center, which hosts meetings and houses the city's senior citizen program, the Teifer Building, and the Haas Park Building.

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jan 3, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-12. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-12. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Trenton city, Michigan". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  7. ^ "Trenton Engine Plant". Chrysler. Retrieved 2007-06-05.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Compendium of history and biography of the city of Detroit and Wayne County, Michigan ..."
  9. ^ "Chronography of notable events in the history of the Northwest Territory and Wayne County".
  10. ^ "Chronography of notable events in the history of the Northwest Territory and Wayne County".
  11. ^ "History of Trenton". City of Trenton. Archived from the original on 2007-05-18. Retrieved 2007-06-05.
  12. ^ "History of the Logo". Church & Dwight. Archived from the original on 2007-07-28. Retrieved 2007-06-05.
  13. ^ Gillespie, Brendan. "Descendants of Philippe du Trieux". Jennifer Smith's Genealogy Page. Retrieved 2007-06-05. Trenton's start was simply because of its location. It was the last high ground from Detroit to Monroe, and a day's journey from Detroit, an overnight stop.
  14. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  15. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on February 2, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  16. ^ "Economy in Trenton, Michigan". Retrieved December 26, 2019.
  17. ^ GLOBAL Encasement, Inc (2009). "112 - Detroit Edison, Trenton Channel Power Plant". Archived from the original on October 31, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  18. ^ {{cite web|last=Wildlife Habitat Council|url= 2005|title=A Portfolio of DTE Energy’s Activities with the Wildlife Habitat Council|accessdate=March 15, 2010|
  19. ^ DTE to shut down three coal plants within 7 years, Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, June 8, 2016
  20. ^ "McLouth Steel plant has decades of good and bad memories for former employees". Dave Herndon. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  21. ^ "County seizes former McLouth Steel plant after owners failed to pay $3.7M in back taxes". Jason Alley. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  22. ^
  23. ^ Twitter, Jackie Harrison-Martin jmartin@medianewsgroup com; @JackieMartin22 on. "Local, state officials pile onto bus, tour former Trenton McLouth plant to keep eye on progress". News-Herald. Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  24. ^ Twitter, Jackie Harrison-Martin jmartin@medianewsgroup com; @JackieMartin22 on. "Several buildings demolished at former McLouth Steel property in Trenton". News-Herald. Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  25. ^ "Rankings". Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  26. ^ "Slocum Truax Park Was More Than an Open Field". Nate Stemen, Patch Staff. Retrieved December 26, 2019.
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-01. Retrieved 2012-11-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Wyandot Nation of Anderdon

External linksEdit