Southgate, Michigan

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Southgate, Michigan
City of Southgate
Southgate Free Will Baptist Church, 14755 Goddard Road,Southgate, Michigan - panoramio.jpg
Super Kmart Southgate MI.JPG
Mallie's Sports Grill & Bar Southgate Michigan.JPG
"The Dining Capital of Downriver"
Location within Wayne County
Location within Wayne County
Southgate is located in Michigan
Location within the state of Michigan
Coordinates: 42°12′19″N 83°11′53″W / 42.20528°N 83.19806°W / 42.20528; -83.19806Coordinates: 42°12′19″N 83°11′53″W / 42.20528°N 83.19806°W / 42.20528; -83.19806
Country United States
State Michigan
County Wayne
IncorporatedOctober 1958
 • MayorJoseph G. Kuspa
 • Total6.88 sq mi (17.81 km2)
 • Land6.88 sq mi (17.81 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
591 ft (180 m)
 • Total30,047
 • Estimate 
 • Density4,230.40/sq mi (1,633.43/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)734
FIPS code26-74960[4]
GNIS feature ID0638446[5]
WebsiteOfficial website

Southgate is a suburban city in central Wayne County, Michigan, United States. The population was 30,047 at the 2010 census.[6]

Southgate was established as a city in October 1958, which was one of the last remaining portions of the now-defunct Ecorse Township, Michigan.


Pierre Michel Campau was the first white settler in Southgate. He moved into the area in 1795, which subsequently became a farming community.[7] Other people from the Detroit area at the Rouge and Detroit Rivers followed him to Southgate.[8]

Historically a rural area of Ecorse Township, the areas within present-day Southgate were originally platted with street grids beginning in the 1920s - though most developments did not start until just after World War II. Among the oldest residential areas in the city is the Old Homestead neighborhood, on the east side.

There are two accounts of the city's name: Southgate is described in local guides as being the "South Gate" or entrance to the Metro Detroit area. "A metropolitan daily picture story" in late 1956 also gave this explanation.[9]

Southgate's first mayor, Thomas J. Anderson, also stated in 1956 that the name originated from the newly built Southgate Shopping Center at the southeast corner of Eureka & Trenton roads. "We were trying to get a separate post office for our community, and were advised that it would help our cause if the township board passed a resolution creating an unincorporated village," Anderson explained. "The name Southgate was chosen because of the shopping center then under consideration, and the board agreed that it was an appropriate name. Anderson had previously suggested the city be named Southgate due to its location south of Detroit. Anderson became aware of Southgate, California near Los Angeles during World War II while temporarily stationed in San Diego, CA. The resolution was adopted at a regular meeting in the early summer of 1953."[10]

Thomas Anderson became the first mayor in 1958 after being Ecorse Township's supervisor for the previous five years. Southgate Anderson High School was named after him in 1982.[11]


Previous mayors include (alphabetically): Thomas Anderson, Walter Berklich, William Brainard, Dennis David, Suzanne Hall, James Kandrevas, Robert Reaume, and Norma Wurmlinger. As of November 17, 2009, the current mayor of Southgate is Joseph G. Kuspa. Other elected city officials are the seven city councilpersons, a treasurer and a clerk.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.86 square miles (17.77 km2), of which 6.85 square miles (17.74 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.[12] Southgate borders the cities of Riverview (south), Wyandotte (east), Allen Park (northwest), Taylor (west), and Lincoln Park (north), as well as Brownstown Township (southwest).


Major roads[edit]

  • I-75 runs through the northwest corner of Southgate.
  • US 25 was the pre-1968 designation for Dix-Toledo Highway.
  • M-85, Fort Street, is a half-mile road that forms most of the boundary between Wyandotte and Southgate. At Leroy Street, Fort Street veers southwest for a half-mile through a retail district before turning due south again as a mile road.
  • Eureka Road - a major east-west mile road most of the city's shopping areas are along it.
  • Goddard Road - a minor east-west mile road that forms the boundary between Southgate and Allen Park. Just east of I-75, the road falls off grid.
  • Northline Road - a major east-west mile road, located between Goddard and Eureka Roads.
  • Trenton Road - a minor north-south road that runs through the east end of the city, connecting Dix-Toledo Highway at Northline Road to Fort Street at Pennsylvania Road.
  • Quarry Road - a minor north-south half-mile road that branches off of Fort Street and shortly runs along the border with Wyandotte before entering Riverview at Pennsylvania Road.
  • Allen Road and Pennsylvania Road form Southgate's western and southern borders, respectively.

Other roads of note[edit]

  • Brest Street - an east-west half-mile road (residential street), located between Northline and Goddard roads
  • Superior Street - an east-west half-mile road (residential street) between Eureka and Northline roads
  • Leroy Street - an east-west half-mile road (residential street) between Eureka and Pennsylvania roads
  • Burns Street - a north-south mile road (residential street) between Fordline and Fort Street
  • Fordline Avenue - a north-south half-mile road (residential street) between McCann and Burns streets
  • McCann Avenue - a north-south mile road (residential street) between Reeck Road and Fordline
  • Reeck Road - a north-south half-mile road (mostly residential street) between McCann Street and Allen Road


The Conrail Shared Assets Lincoln Secondary runs through the northwest corner of Southgate and is notable for the large grade crossing (one of the largest in the world) through the intersection of Northline and Allen Roads, and also has a crossing at Reeck Road.

Public transportation[edit]

Three Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation bus routes pass through the city of Southgate, providing service seven days a week.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201729,084[3]−3.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 30,047 people, 13,062 households, and 7,833 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,386.4 inhabitants per square mile (1,693.6/km2). There were 13,933 housing units at an average density of 2,034.0 per square mile (785.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.7% White, 5.5% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.6% Asian, 1.7% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.5% of the population.

There were 13,062 households of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.0% were non-families. 33.9% 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 2.29 and the average family size was 2.95.

The median age in the city was 40.8 years. 20.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.2% were from 25 to 44; 28.2% were from 45 to 64; and 16.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.9% male and 52.3% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 30,136 people, 12,836 households, and 8,048 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,395.8 per square mile (1,696.1/km²). There were 13,361 housing units at an average density of 1,948.9 per square mile (752.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.66% White, 2.11% African American, 0.50% Native American, 1.67% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.85% from other races, and 1.18% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.98% of the population.

There were 12,836 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.3% were non-families. 32.3% 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 2.33 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city, the population was spread out with 21.5% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 16.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $46,927, and the median income for a family was $56,710. Males had a median income of $45,829 versus $28,549 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,219. About 2.6% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 8.5% of those age 65 or over.


Southgate currently houses the headquarters of The News-Herald, a local Downriver newspaper which covers over twenty surrounding communities. During the late 1950s and 1960s, The Southgate Sentinel, a Mellus newspaper and forerunner to the present-day News-Herald, was published. Southgate is also served by regional newspapers The Downriver Sunday Times, a Bewick publication, Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News, as well as by Detroit's radio and television outlets. The primary cable service provider in Southgate is Comcast and has been since the early 1980s when it was known as Wayne Cablevision, a Maclean Hunter company, however, it is also served by Wide Open West and AT&T U-verse.

Southgate is the home of the Southgate Civic Center and the Southgate Fun & Fitness Centre YMCA at Interstate 75 and Northline Road.

The Southgate Shopping Center, which opened in 1957, is located at Eureka and Trenton Roads. CVS Pharmacy, Planet Fitness and Downriver Gymnastics serve as anchors, as does the MJR Southgate Digital Cinema 20, which has served Southgate and the surrounding area since opening on November 6, 1998. In addition, Southgate is home to many other retailers, which include a Meijer supercenter, a Walmart supercenter, Lowe's, Kroger Marketplace, Downriver's only Sam's Club, Dunham's Sports, Big Lots and TJMaxx, among others. Southgate also had a Super Kmart, which closed on October 12, 2014, due to Kmart's continuing financial struggle; as well as a Toys "R" Us, which closed on June 27, 2018, due to Toys "R" Us retrenching from the US market due to their own financial struggles.

Dining Capital of Downriver[edit]

In a 2007 News-Herald article, then Mayor Norma Wurmlinger stated that the city is the Dining Capital of Downriver.[14] It is home to several chain restaurants, including three McDonald's outlets (the location at Eureka and Richmond Street was the second McDonald's in Michigan when it opened in the early 1960s, the first being a location in Lansing), two KFC outlets, two Taco Bell outlets, two Arby's outlets, multiple Subway outlets (including locations inside the Meijer and Walmart stores), four Tim Hortons outlets (including a multibrand location with Cold Stone Creamery), two Little Caesars outlets and a Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin-Robbins multibrand location, among others. There is also an array of small, family-owned restaurants (including a few Coney Islands) with cuisines specializing in Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Hungarian, Arabic, and American. The first Sonic Drive-In location in the state of Michigan, which opened on May 21, 2008, is located within Southgate on Fort Street in front of the Meijer store.

Mallie's Sports Grill & Bar holds the Guinness Record for the world's largest commercially available hamburger, weighing 185.8 pounds. It is located at the northeast corner of Allen and Northline.

Notable people[edit]


Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Public schools[edit]

Southgate Community School District operates public schools.

Private schools[edit]

  • Christ the King Lutheran (Preschool - 8th Grade)
  • St. Pius X (Preschool - 8th Grade)
  • Montessori Center of Downriver (Preschool - Kindergarten)
  • Creative Montessori Academy (Preschool - 8th Grade)
  • Nanny's Nursery School and Day-Care Center (Pre-School - Kindergarten)
  • Kindercare Learning Center (Pre-School - Kindergarten)

Colleges and universities[edit]


  1. ^ "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jan 3, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. 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), Southgate city, Michigan". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  7. ^ Jennifer Herman (January 1, 1999). Michigan Encyclopedia. State History Publications. p. 385. ISBN 978-1-878592-94-1.
  8. ^ "History". Southgate, Michigan website. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  9. ^ "'Schaferson' Suggested for Township City." Wyandotte Tribune, December 6, 1956.
  10. ^ "'Southgate' Name Favored in Poll." Wyandotte News-Herald, November 29, 1953.
  11. ^ "Southgate Becomes New City." The Detroit News, October 1, 1958.
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  13. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on February 2, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  14. ^ "Tale of four cities". The News-Herald. 2007-06-29. Archived from the original on 2007-07-01. Retrieved 2008-05-04.

External links[edit]