History of Trenton 

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The end of the War of 1812 and the signing of the peace treaty signaled the development of the settlements along the Detroit River.

Trenton’s founder was Major Abram Caleb Truax. After the War of 1812, Major Truax decided to stay in this area. Truax acquired a large tract of land, the highest ground along the Detroit River, and upon which he erected a sawmill, church, and store. It was first laid out to be Truax in 1834 and was then called Truaxton, and later Truago. In 1850, a new plat was recorded under the name of Trenton. It was again incorporated in February of 1855. There were new ventures, and the first dock was built in 1834, by Giles Slocum. Slocum would later marry Major Truax’s daughter, Sophia. (Together, they would make their home on Slocum’s Island. It is this island that would later become Elizabeth Park.) With the building of the dock, steamboats would make Trenton a regular stop. Business flourished and new settlers arrived.

The population steadily increased until, in 1922, approximately 4,000 citizens resided in Trenton. Today, over 18,000 residents call the beautiful city of Trenton home.

General Facts

The Downriver community of Trenton was founded in 1834. It was then called Truaxton. In 1850, a new plat was recorded under the name of Trenton. It was again incorporated on February 10, 1855. In 1929, a portion of Monguagon Township, called Sibley, was annexed to give Trenton the present size. In 1957, Trenton became a city. Trenton sits to the west of Grosse Ile, to which it is connected by two bridges.

Trenton’s frontage on the Detroit River is an invaluable asset and provides plenty of room for water recreation and for future industrial and commercial expansion.

The river, of course, has played a very important part in the history of the community. This has been a bustling river town in the best sense of the expression - the site of shipyards which for years made use of the large stands of oak and other timber, which also made lumbering an important industry in town.

The large and prosperous city of Trenton is served by railroads, interstates, and a nearby major airport.

Elizabeth Park, the oldest of the Wayne County parks, is located in the heart of Trenton. The island park was donated to Wayne County by descendants of Major Abram Caleb Truax, who settled in this area after the War of 1812. Major Truax was the founder of Truaxton, which was later changed to Trenton. The name Trenton is derived from the stratum which lies the district.

For more information about the history of Trenton, view the Trenton Historical Society web site.