Southgate is a city in central Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 30,047 at the 2010 census.
Southgate was incorporated as a city in October 1958, which was one of the last remaining portions of the now-defunct Ecorse Township.
Pierre Michel Campau was the first white settler in Southgate. He moved into the area in 1795, which subsequently became a farming community. Other people from the Detroit area at the Rouge and Detroit Rivers followed him to Southgate.
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.
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.