Some significant events took place Downriver during the 1990s:


  • January 25: Less than two years after opening, the WonderDome in Woodhaven deflates following a 70 MPH windstorm.  It would not be rebuilt.
  • Spring: "Dome On The Rock" Church at Trenton & Pennsylvania Roads faced possible closure due to zoning issues, accusations of the church tearing down stop-work orders posted by the city of Southgate, and no working sprinkler system.  Construction would never be completed on the dual-dome project, which would linger for several more years.
  • September 25: Downriver's second Meijer store opens in Woodhaven.
  • The Fort-George and Jolly Roger Drive-Ins close, marking the end of an era.


  • May: The first attempt for the greater Downriver area to secede from Wayne County was sent to Michigan State Representative Vincent Porreca.  It involved the creation of a new county (Erie) which was favored by much of the populace due to what people felt were insufficient services provided by Wayne County.  This first attempt would be stopped at the state level as it was decreed no such proposal could move forward without approval from the County Executive, Edward McNamara.
  • Labor Day: The Bob-Lo steamers Columbia and Ste. Claire are retired from service after 89 and 81 years on the Detroit River, respectively.
  • December 9: Plans are approved for a new Meijer store in Southgate on the site of the former Fort George Drive-In on Fort Street, the chain's third Downriver outlet.


  • January: The ABC newsmagazine 20/20 aired a segment on Riverview Highlands and its successful story of converting a landfill to a public-use attraction.
  • January: Wayne County faced a secession possibility for the second time, as a group called Patriots For Erie County attempted to spearhead another campaign to split into Erie County.  This effort would also end without success.
  • Pending groundbreaking for a new Meijer store, the AMC Southgate 4 Theaters closes, ending an era of movies on the Fort Street S-Curve that began in 1950.
  • Southgate Sam's Club opens.


  • Michigan Governor John Engler commissioned a blue-ribbon panel in 1993 that would allow troubled McLouth Steel to partner with Thyssen Steel, while also awarding the company $5 million in a loan package. The partnership would last a little over a year before McLouth became interested in coming up with their own in-house solution to their financial difficulty.
  • Spring: The long-vacant E.J. Korvette City shopping center in Southgate is torn down after many prior delays.
  • September 26: Bob-Lo Island closes as an amusement park.
  • Home Quarters opens next to the Southgate Sam's Club.



  • Taylor's Board of Education votes to close down Taylor Center High School, located at Wick and Westlake, at the close of the 1995-96 school year.
  • McLouth Steel files for bankruptcy a second time.
  • January 10: The original Southgate and Melvindale Kmart stores close.
  • Summer: The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) officially folded after operating with a poor business ledger for the past few years.  They would combine operations with the YMCA while still maintaining their Wyandotte location.
  • October: Riverview announces the closure of ski operations at Riverview Highlands.  The next alternative would be taken the following winter season with tobogganing and tubing to be offered.
  • October: Owners of the Detroit Dragway announce they were putting the entire 230 acre parcel up for sale.  The 1996 racing season was assured, but the outlook beyond that year was bleak.
  • December: A new site was announced for the possible ground-breaking of the controversial Deep-Well Injection project in Romulus: Citrin Drive off Inkster Road.  The entire project had been delayed for several years by this time, yet still faced steep opposition from residents, politicians and even experts in the subject of liquid waste disposal.


  • Taylor Center High School closes.
  • For the third time, secession from Wayne County - this time to form two counties (Erie and Newburg) became a real possibility.  By 1997, it would fail in the state sector for the third time.


  • December: Most of Downriver is split off into the 734 area code. The northeast corner remains in the 313 area code.


  • March: The first official introduction was made for an unprecedented 400-acre development project encompassing the east side of Trenton and Gibraltar, to be built by Made In Detroit, Inc.  This would gain the ire of residents sensitive to the plight of the former Duck Hunter's Island, now called Humbug Marsh.  Cited as the last wildlife-condition refuge on the Detroit River, the issue would end up dominating Downriver headlines for several years.
  • November 6: The megaplex era begins with the opening of the MJR Southgate Digital Cinema 20.
  • November 18: The second Super Kmart store opens on the former Korvette site in Southgate.