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Stories describe Michigan's first governor, Lewis Cass, signing a treaty with the Chippewa in 1819 and resting nearby with companions under a swamp oak a few miles north of Detroit. Cass told the story of Prince Charles II, who took refuge in 1651 under a mighty oak tree after the Battle of Worcester and lived to be crowned king. Cass later designated the locality, including the southernmost townships in Oakland County, as Royal Oak. This sector became a village in 1891 and a city in 1921. Strong roots have helped the "City of Trees" maintain its viability through the years. Home to William Beaumont Hospital, assorted high-tech graphic and sound studios, and a world-class zoo, today Royal Oak draws people into its pedestrian-friendly downtown for an eclectic mix of bars, sidewalk cafés, boutiques, theaters, and upscale lofts.
About the Author
Utilizing images found in the Royal Oak Historical Society, research from the Royal Oak Public Library, files furnished by the Daily Tribune of Royal Oak, and a host of other sources, authors Maureen McDonald and John S. Schultz plant a parable of the city from its incorporation as a village to the present day. Maureen is a former staffer of the Tribune and a widely published freelance writer and ghost editor of a new book on auto-show models. She lived in Royal Oak in the 1990s. John was most recently an assistant city editor at the Detroit News, former editor at the Tribune, and is the founding editor of the Mirror of Royal Oak. He and his wife, Debra, have lived in Royal Oak for more than 30 years, and their two daughters attended Royal Oak schools. They are members of the First Congregational Church.