Ecorse, Michigan

Abundant plant and animal life first attracted Natives to this area along a shallow section of the Detroit River where the current slowed. The Native village of Riboche, meaning “near the water,” and the Village of Tonquish were located here.

Following the visit of Jolliet in the 17th century, “Rive Aux Echores” or “River of the Barks” was established as a French trading center. The French presence diminished after the French-Indian War (1755-60) though is remembered through street names such as Bondie, Bourassa, Cicotte, Labadie, Leblanc, and Saliotte.

British settlement began in 1822, when Elijah Goodell purchased the farm of Louis Leduc. Settlers renamed this area the Village of Grand Port in 1836, the same year Michigan received statehood.

In the 20th century, industrialists were attracted to this area, due to the ease of shipping that the Detroit River and the Great Lakes provided. The first steel plant, Michigan Steel Mill, was built in 1923; and Great Lakes Steel followed in 1929. With industry came new migrants in search of economic opportunity.

Ecorse became a Village in 1902 and a City in 1942. Now an inner-ring suburb just outside of Detroit, the population in 2006 is estimated to be 10,530.

Photo
Ecorse Rowing Club located on the Detroit River.

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