Royal Oak MI Homes & Real Estate
Royal Oak is a city in Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. An inner-ring suburb of Detroit, Royal Oak is about 3 miles (4.8 km) north of Detroit's city limits. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 57,236.
Royal Oak is located along the Woodward Corridor, and is served by Interstate 75 and Interstate 696. The city has one of the largest downtowns in Detroit's suburbs, and is also home to much of the Detroit Zoo, with portions extending into neighboring Huntington Woods.
Early Europeans in this area near Fort Detroit in the 18th century were mostly French. Some traded with the Sauk, Huron, and other Native Americans in the area. After defeating France in the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War, Great Britain obtained New France, including Fort Detroit and environs. Initially part of British Indian Territory, the area became part of the reorganized Province of Quebec in 1774. After the American Revolutionary War, Michigan was transferred to the United States in three phases: 1796, Lower Peninsula; 1818, Upper Peninsula; 1827, Drummond Island, becoming the Northwest Territory, and later, Indiana Territory.
Royal Oak was named in 1819, during one of the surveying expeditions led by Territorial Governor Lewis Cass. A large oak tree at this small settlement reminded Cass of the story of the Royal Oak, where King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland hid to escape capture by the Roundheads after the Battle of Worcester, so he chose that name for the settlement.
Royal Oak was not incorporated as a village until 1891. It was reincorporated a city in 1921.
20th century to present
Royal Oak developed as a suburb of Detroit in the early 20th century, following Detroit's booming growth as a result of industrialization and its auto industry.
The Royal Oak Farmers Market opened as a truck market, at the corner of 4th and Troy streets, on October 14, 1925, as a cooperative venture between the then-new City of Royal Oak and Oakland County, Michigan. There were still numerous farmers in the county. The present structure, at the corner of 11 Mile Road and Troy Street, is adjacent to the 44th District Court. It was erected in the spring of 1927 and dedicated July 1 of that year.
In the 1920s, Father Charles Coughlin, a Canadian Catholic priest who relocated to Detroit, became the founding pastor of the Shrine of the Little Flower, now a prominent landmark in the city. Through his ministry, he raised funds to build the present limestone church complex and tower. Initially he broadcast religious speeches from this site.
During the 1930s, his broadcasts became more political. He initially supported President Franklin D. Roosevelt, then opposed him and promoted the causes of the fascist leaders of Germany and Italy. The Roosevelt administration closed down his radio operation after the outbreak of World War II, with support from the Catholic hierarchy. Coughlin had developed national political influence and had an increasingly anti-semitic message, at a time when Jewish people were being severely persecuted in Germany.
The downtown originally had a typical mixture of small-scale retail and trade to serve the city of Royal Oak. With the development of the highway system in the postwar period, it lost business to suburban malls. Since the late 1990s and early 2000s, however, Royal Oak's downtown has developed as an entertainment and nightlife destination. A number of large condominiums and lofts have been built in the area, increasing the density of the downtown population. In 2022, the Royal Oak City Council approved the demolition of the historic Main Art Theater, once a symbol of moviegoers in the area.
- Alexandra Aldridge, figure skater, was born in Royal Oak
- Mary Barra, chairman and CEO of General Motors Company, was born in Royal Oak
- Bruce Campbell, film and television actor, was born in Royal Oak
- Meryl Davis, figure skater, winner of gold medal at 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, silver medalist in 2010
- Pete Dawkins, winner of college football's 1958 Heisman Trophy, military officer, and political candidate, was born in Royal Oak
- Marie Donigan, landscape architect and former member of the Michigan House of Representatives
- Terry Duerod, University of Detroit and NBA basketball player, was born in Royal Oak
- Mona Hanna-Attisha, pediatrician and Flint Water Crisis whistleblower, was raised in Royal Oak
- Kirk Ferentz, football head coach for University of Iowa, was born in Royal Oak
- Dean Fertita, rock musician
- Bill Freehan, Major League Baseball catcher who was an 11x MLB All Star, 5x gold glove winner, and 1968 World Series champion. Spent all of his 15 seasons playing with the Detroit Tigers, grew up in Royal Oak.
- Glenn Frey, founding member of rock group the Eagles, was raised in Royal Oak and attended Dondero High School
- Christopher George, actor, star of films and TV series The Rat Patrol, was born in Royal Oak
- Jason Grilli, Major League Baseball pitcher, was born in Royal Oak
- Judith Guest, author of Ordinary People, lived and attended school in Royal Oak
- David Hahn—the "Radioactive Boy Scout" was born in Royal Oak.
- Tom Hayden, was born in Royal Oak and attended Dondero High School. He is best known as an author of the Port Huron Statement, and he stood for trial in the Chicago Seven case. He was at one time married to Jane Fonda.
- Jack Kevorkian, practiced physician-assisted suicide in Royal Oak
- Keegan-Michael Key, film and television actor, attended Shrine Catholic High School in Royal Oak
- Torey Krug, NHL defenseman, was born in Royal Oak
- T. J. Lang, pro football player for Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, was born in Royal Oak
- Sam Raimi, film director, producer, writer, actor, was born in Royal Oak
- Ivan Raimi, physician and screenwriter, was born in Royal Oak
- Kim Rancourt, Rock Musician
- Elisabeth Robinson, author of The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters
- Sebastian Sauve, Fashion model
- Andrew Dost American musician, singer and is member of the indie rock band Fun.
- Chris Savino, animator, creator of the Nickelodeon animated series The Loud House.
- Frank Dennis Saylor IV, judge , was born in Royal Oak
- Jim Seymour, wide receiver for Notre Dame and Chicago Bears, attended Shrine Catholic High School in Royal Oak
- Brady Smith, NFL defensive end 1996–2005, was born in Royal Oak
- Marshall Thompson, actor, star of films and television, died in Royal Oak
- Al Watrous, golf professional
- Charlie White, ice dancer, winner of gold medal at 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, silver medalist in 2010
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