Grosse Ile Township today is made up of a dozen islands in the Detroit River. The largest island was given the name Grosse Ile by early French explorers
who found it being used by the Native American tribes as a fishing and hunting ground. In 1776, Detroit merchants William and Alexander Macomb purchased Grosse Ile from the Potawatomi Indians and, to help establish their ownership rights, built a home and a gristmill and secured tenant farmers to till the land. Later acreage was sold off and settlement began in earnest, although it remained
largely an agricultural community. The railroad came to Grosse Ile in the 1880s and attracted both visitors and new residents. Hotels sprang up to accommodate summer visitors who were drawn to Grosse Ile by its healthful climate, natural beauty, and opportunities for outdoor recreation. Today Grosse Ile is home to more than 11,000 residents who have come here to enjoy many of those same unique qualities--all in close proximity to a large metropolitan area.
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Air Station Grosse Alexander Macomb Amherstburg Biddle boathouse boats bridge building built Burton Historical Collection camping Canada Southern Canada Southern Railroad Canada Southern Railway Catherine clubhouse cottages Country Club Courtesy Burton Historical Courtesy Richard White Curtiss-Wright Hangar dance depot Detroit River early East River Road farm front Gray's Grosse Ile Parkway Grosse Ile residents Grosse Ile's Grosselle hangar Hickory Island Historical Society home on East included Isabella Swan island residents James Episcopal Church Lake Erie land lighthouse live on Grosse Livingstone Channel located Lower Hickory Macomb brothers Macomb Street married Michigan Central Railroad Native Americans Naval Air Station º º Ontario operated park passengers Philip Gage picture Potawatomi Robert Lee Stanton ships shown steamers Stony Island Sugar Island summer Thoroughfare Canal Township U.S. Naval Air Upper Hickory visitors Waterman West River William Livingstone William Macomb