Ecorse, Little Venice of the West End

Morning, Ecorse, MI, March, 2017, photo by Norm Powell

It’s always cool to discover new websites about Michigan, and my search for more on the history of Ecorse led me to Mr. Cosbey’s History of Ecorse at the website Along the Detroit River. It was written by  Ecorse High School history teacher John Howard Cosbey and is very comprehensive – here’s a slice:

The River Aux Ecorces appears in history as early as 1763 as the retreat of Pontiac and allied chiefs in the famous plot to rid the mid-west of the encroaching white settlers. It was known also as a favorite burying ground of the Indian tribes in the locality.

It appears, however, on the evidence of birth records and of the statements of sworn witnesses in court that the first white settlements at the River Aux Ecorces were made during the period between 1784 and 1797, probably about 1785.

…The Detroit Free Press for July 2, 1905, tells of the “Little Venice of the West End”:

“All along the river shores from Fort Wayne to the Village of Ecorse, some hardier folks of Detroit who like to keep cool cheaply have boat houses in which they live during the summer. “The Little Venice of the West End,” they call it, and it is truly a colony of resorters distinct in itself.

“The rich may go to Grosse Point, to the mountains or to the sea shore, those of limited means, such as skilled mechanics, clerks, and other small salaried men with families may easily afford to rent a cottage built out upon the piers of Ecorse’s “Little Venice.” There they may have the air and the cool of the river, in fact, all of the real luxuries of a more exclusive colony, and at much less cost.

“Every day the resorters of Ecorse, who have business in the city, travel back and forth on the trolley. And every evening fish, boat and bathe with the women and children before the very doors of their summer homes.”

View Norm’s photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

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