Having done Romeo and Juliet earlier in the A to Z Challenge, research was needed to find suitable Romeo references. And I stumbled across a village in the USA….. did you know that there is a historic village called Romeo?
In the state of Michigan, just north of the hustle and bustle of Detroit, Romeo is nestled among family owned orchards and farms. It’s a small quiet town with tree lined streets, unique street shopping and historic sights …. a place with a strong sense of community and rich history. Ideal for a one-place study!
The village website details the history of the place in the ‘That was then’ and ‘This is now’ sections, including how the land, which was to become Romeo, became inhabited in 1821 by Chippewa Indians when Jeremiah Allen moved from Canada and built his cabin. Initially known as an Indian Village, the village was re-named Hoxie’s Settlement after the arrival of Mr Hoxie in 1822 who established an Inn on Main Street.
Hoxie’s Settlement became incorporated and renamed on 9 March 1838. The new name was given by Mrs Laura Taylor. She felt the name Romeo was appropriate as it was “short, musical, classical and uncommon.” Certainly helped today….!
Interestingly, Romeo was part of the underground railroad before and during the Civil War, being one of the stops where runaway slaves were sheltered before being taken into Canada. Many of the homes in Romeo had secret tunnels or hiding places in their cellars, attics and barns.