City History

Downtown Trenton c 1920When the dust had settled from the Battle of Monguagon which was part of the War of 1812 and a treaty was signed moving the Indians from the area, the arrival of white settlers from the east began.

In 1816 Major Abram Truax, a surveyor, was drawn to the land along the Detroit River and acquired a government grant to a large tract of land where he built a cabin.  Soon other settlers joined him and a sawmill, a church, houses and an Inn were built.

In 1833 Giles Slocum came to Trenton and later married Sophia Truax.  They built a house on Slocum's Island (later known as Elizabeth Park) and the two families were prominent in the development of Trenton. 

In 1834 Abram Truax laid out the plat for a village which was called Truaxton.  Later the name was changed to Truago and finally the name Trenton prevailed. The early pioneers, many from New York State, farmed, built ships and lumbered using the river to ship their goods.

In 1855 the Village of Trenton was incorporated but there were problems and it was reincorporated in l875. The Village was one of the most important ship-building points  on the Detroit River and many vessels that have gone into marine history as models of their kind were constructed here. A list of Trenton ship builders includes Captain A. Turner, John Craig, A. G. Liggett and Gilbert and Neal Purdy.  Hundreds of sail boats and yachts built in Trenton sailed the Great Lakes and Eastern shore.

Trenton Post Office In 1923 Trenton's new High School was known as Slocum Truax. This is just a brief history of Trenton. Come to the Local History Room at the Trenton Veterans Memorial Library or our Archives in the Trenton High School to learn more.