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Romulus, Michigan
City of Romulus
Downtown looking west along Goddard Road
Downtown looking west along Goddard Road
Official seal of Romulus, Michigan
Seal
Nickname(s): 
"Home to Detroit Metro Airport," "Gateway to the World," "Land of Many Ditches," "Rom-City"
Motto(s): 
"Home of Opportunity"
Location within Wayne County
Location within Wayne County
Romulus, Michigan is located in Michigan
Romulus, Michigan
Romulus, Michigan
Location in Michigan
Romulus, Michigan is located in the United States
Romulus, Michigan
Romulus, Michigan
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Michigan
County Wayne
Settled 1826
Organized 1835 (Romulus Township)
Incorporated 1970
Government
 • Type Mayor–council
Area
 • City 35.95 sq mi (93.12 km2)
 • Land 35.61 sq mi (92.22 km2)
 • Water 0.34 sq mi (0.89 km2)
Elevation
659 ft (201 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • City 23,989
 • Estimate 
(2019)
23,573
 • Density 662.01/sq mi (255.61/km2)
 • Metro
4,285,832 (Metro Detroit)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code(s)
48174, 48184
48242 (Detroit)
Area code(s) 734
FIPS code 26-69420
GNIS feature ID 0636147

Romulus is a city in Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 23,989 at the 2010 census. Romulus is a western suburb of Metro Detroit and is also considered part of the Downriver collection of communities. It is most notable as the location of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 35.96 square miles (93.14 km2), of which 35.61 square miles (92.23 km2) is land and 0.35 square miles (0.91 km2) is water.

Romulus is in the south-central portion of Wayne County. Interstate 94 (I-94) and I-275 run through the city.

The City of Romulus is bordered to the north by Van Born Road, to the south by Pennsylvania Road, to the east by Inkster Road, and to the west by Hannan Road.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1970 22,900
1980 24,857 8.5%
1990 22,897 −7.9%
2000 22,979 0.4%
2010 23,989 4.4%
2020 25,178 5.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
2018 Estimate

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 23,989 people, 8,975 households, and 6,135 families living in the city. The population density was 673.7 inhabitants per square mile (260.1/km2). There were 9,946 housing units at an average density of 279.3 per square mile (107.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 50.5% White, 43% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.9% from other races, and 3.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.0% of the population.

There were 8,975 households, of which 37.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.7% were married couples living together, 21.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 31.6% were non-families. 26.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.16.

The median age in the city was 36.2 years. 26.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.4% were from 25 to 44; 27% were from 45 to 64; and 9.8% were 65 years of age or older. The populace was 48.4% male and 51.6% female.

History

The first white settler in Romulus was Samuel Polyne, a French-Canadian, who settled on section 2 in 1826, though he left soon after the township was organized in 1835.

The first settler in the area that was the village of Romulus prior to the 1865 annexation of the whole village and township into one city was Samuel McMath, who moved from New York state to the area in 1827. He improved land and planned to bring his family to settle there, but he died before he could carry out this plan.

Solomon Whitaker, Charles and Joseph Pulcifer located in the area in 1830, and in 1833, Jenks Pullen and his six sons settled at what became known as "Pullen's Corners" (located in section 19 at the intersection that is now commonly called "Five Points"). Pullen's Corners was platted in 1836. The community later took on the name of the township.

The township of Romulus was set off from a part of Huron Township by an Act of the Territorial Legislature on March 17, 1835, and the first township meeting was held on April 16, 1835, two years before the State of Michigan was admitted in to the Union (1837), in the house of Joseph T. Pullen. The first supervisor was David J. Pullen. The township's name was changed to "Wayne" on March 19, 1845, but was changed back to Romulus on January 16, 1848.

Romulus incorporated as a city in 1970.

Village of Romulus

The village of Romulus was platted on the Lansing B. Misner estate in 1871.

Underground Railroad stops

Romulus was a stop of the Underground Railroad in the 1800s when slaves fled the inhumane conditions of plantations in the South to the free states of the North. There were two stops in Romulus and those structures are still intact to this day.

  • Samuel Kingsley Home is a famous historic landmark in Romulus. During slave times, Samuel L. Kingsley lived in a house on Ozga Rd near Pullens Corners, what is today known as Five Points. He hid slaves in an underground cellar. Today, the house is located on Hunt Street across from the Romulus Historical Museum. The address to the house was 37426 S. Huron River Drive.
  • The White Church at the Pullens Corner / Five Points was also an underground railroad stop. Today, the church, which is now called Romulus Wesleyan Church, still sits at the corner.

Preston

Preston was located in the north-east part of Romulus. It had a post office from 1899 to 1906.

Airliner incident

On August 16, 1987, Romulus was the site of the Northwest Airlines Flight 255 disaster, in which the plane serving the flight crashed into an overpass bridge and exploded just seconds after taking off.

Chemical plant explosion

On August 9, 2005 at approximately 9:30 p.m., the EQ Recovery Plant caught fire. Citizens within 1 to 1⅓ mile radius were forced to evacuate their homes. Romulus and Wayne fire crews and crews from neighboring communities managed to put out the fire after letting it burn down a little bit. Chemical-filled smoke filled the sky, causing respiratory problems. Many citizens from both Romulus and Wayne were taken to Oakwood Annapolis Hospital (now Beaumont Hospital-Wayne), about two miles from the explosion site. No one was injured.

Parks and recreation

Mary Ann Banks Memorial Park Romulus Michigan
Mary Ann Banks Memorial Park

After a failed city millage in February 2011, city officials had to close all of the city parks in order to keep the city financially stable. However, the Downtown Development Authority were willing to maintain the operations of Mary Ann Banks Park & Historical Park, reopening the park in Spring 2011. By 2015, the city's finances had rebound and with determination from city officials and citizens, most the city's parks have reopened with better improvements and even opening a new park - including:

  • Elmer Johnson Park
  • Eugenio Fernandez Park
  • Mary Ann Banks Park
  • Oakbrook Neighborhood Park
  • Romulus Historical Park
  • St. Johns Lodge No.#44 Park (formerly Park #1)

It is uncertain about the future of Jimmie Raspberry Park & Beverly McAnally Park, both on the north side of the city, and Senior Citizens Park near downtown since their closures back in 2011.

The Romulus Athletic Center, located at 35765 Northline Road, is a facility for recreation and conferences. The state-of-the-art center with fitness facilities, a basketball court and a swimming pool opened on April 1, 2008.

Popular culture

Released on his 2003 album entitled "Michigan", Sufjan Stevens recorded a single titled "Romulus". In 2010, "Meet Monica Velour", an independent comedy drama movie was partially filmed in Romulus along with other Detroit suburbs.





Education

Romulus Community Schools Administrative offices
Romulus Community School District administration building
Romulus Senior High School Michigan
Romulus Senior High School

The Romulus Community School District serves and educates the children in the City of Romulus and other communities. The district is made up of a high school (Romulus Senior High School), a middle school (Romulus Middle School), and four elementary schools (Barth, Halecreek, Romulus, and Wick).

A portion is instead within the Wayne-Westland Community Schools. It is zoned to Roosevelt-McGrath Elementary School in Wayne, Adams Upper Elementary School in Westland, Franklin Middle School in Wayne, and Wayne Memorial High School in Wayne.

Summit Academy School is a charter school in Romulus. It has had a 100% graduation rate and 100% college acceptance rate. It has also been ranked as one of the top 5% of schools in Michigan.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit formerly operated the St. Aloysius School in Romulus.

Notable people

  • Charley Lau - professional baseball player and hitting coach
  • John Long - professional basketball player
  • Grant Long - professional basketball player, nephew of John Long
  • Terry Mills - professional basketball player
  • Fred Russell - professional football player
  • Frank Sacka - professional baseball player (Washington Senators (1901-1960))
  • Sufjan Stevens - musician
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