From historic Sites, homes and architecture to the Grosse Ile Naval Air Station, Grosse Ile is filled with interesting places.
Grosse Ile has mile after mile of kayaking and paddling Water Trails - inside the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge - to get you up close and personal with nature and wildlife.
Michigan Water Trails has mapped many of these, including:
- Hennepin Loop
- Grosse Ile Paddle Route
- Waterfront Park Loop
- Southwest Grosse Ile Loop
- Handler Drain Loop (Trenton)
Historical Museum & Customs House
Located in the old Michigan Central Railroad depot, the Museum is filled with artifacts, documents and memorabilia detailing life on Grosse Ile and the lives of its residents, from early native Americans to the present. Located within the East River Road National Historic District.
Grosse Ile Lighthouse
Located on private property at the north end of the Island, the Grosse Ile Historical Society sponsors guided tours of the historic Grosse Ile Lighthouse for the Public annually in September.
Naval Air Station Grosse Ile Museum
Operating from 1927 until 1969, Naval Air Station Grosse Ile was one of the largest primary flight training stations for both Naval aviators and Royal Air Force pilots during World War II. Among the many thousands of Navy pilots who began their careers at NASGI were former President George H. W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld.
The Chapel at Saint James Church
Now serving as the chapel for Saint James Episcopal Church, the red doors of this 1867 structure are dedicated to the memory and benevolence of former slave Lisette Denison Forth (1786-1866), who bequeathed $3000 to begin its construction.
Gibraltar Bay Alpaca Farm
A great stop for children, accomodating owners Richard and Gail Steffke are happy to show these gentle animals, each with a unique personality!
Visitors are welcome between 10am-5pm daily.
Established in 1776, Westcroft Gardens is the oldest family owned and operated farm in Michigan, operated by the 7th generation of Macomb family descendants. A beautiful four acre botanical garden is open to the public year round, boasting many hybrid varieties of azaleas and rhododendrons.
Angus Keith House. Built circa 1850 by Angus Keith (1819-1899), who was a steamship captain on the Great Lakes. 9510 Horsemill Road
Bennett Boathouse. Built in 1939 by Harry Bennett, Personnel Director of Ford Motor Company, this bulding is known both for its design and the lore surrounding its use. 20653 West River Road
Rucker Homestead. Portions of this home date to 1816; the front structure was added by John Anthony Rucker in 1835. The oldest structure in use on Grosse Ile. 21319 West River Road
Stanton Homestead. Built in 1852 by John Rucker; Rucker's cousin Robert Lee Stanton acquired the home in 1873. Stanton family descendants live in the home today. 21719 West River Road
Westcroft Gardens. Begun in 1919 by Ernest Stanton, a descendant of Alexander and William Macomb. Family members own and operate the Gardens today.
Fox School Home. Built in 1900 as a public school, it has been a private home since 1912. 22623 West River Road
Ferry Road. Named for the horse ferry begun in 1851 to traverse the Trenton Channel between Trenton and the Fox farm dock. The crossroad opened in 1853. West River Road and Ferry Road
Thoroughfare Canal. A natural waterway bisecting the island of Grosse Ile cut by glacial activity. Relied upon for trade and travel in the 1800's, it was dredged in 1895.
Groh Farm. Owned and operated by Charles Groh form 1842 until his death in 1903; the homestead was built in 1873. Purchased by General William S knudsen in 1917 as a summer home, it later became a private club. Acquired by Grosse Ile Township in 1973, it is the current site of the Waters Edge Country Club. West River Road
Hilltop House. Built in 1852 by Asher Peck. 25909 West River Road
Groh Homestead. Built in 1875 by Louis Groh. 10529 Groh Road
Grosse Ile Municipal Airport. Site of the Curtiss-Wright flying school (1925), it was acquired and expanded as a US Naval Air Station, training American and British combat and bomber pilots during WWII, the Korean and Vietnam Wars. 9601 Groh Road
Hentig-Lowrie House. Built in 1831 by George Hentig on the site of the Grosse Ile Fort; the massive entry doors were part of the original Fort barracks. 25630 East River Road
Saint James Chapel. Built in 1867, the Chapel was funded in part by a bequest from former slave Elizabeth (Lisette) Denison Forth to construct an Episcopal Church on the Island. The Biddle family, for whom she worked, completed the funding. East River Road
U.S. Customs House. Constructed in 1904 as a Michigan Central Railroad depot, it is now the home of the Grosse Ile Historical Society. East River Road and Grosse Ile Parkway
Dallas Norvell House. Built in 1849 of stone from the Grosse Ile quarry. Norvell was the son of John Norvell, first U.S. Senator from Michigan. 25060 East River Road
Anthony Dudgeon House. Built for Dudgeon in 1861 by Gordon Lloyd. Constructed of local limestone. 24850 East River Road
Samuel Lewis House. Built in 1860-61, this is known as the "WEedding Cake" house for its intricate Victorian exterior design. 24808 East River Road
Anderson House. Built in the late 1870's. 24782 East River Road
Douglas House. Built in 1859-60 for Michigan Supreme Court Judge Samuel Townsend Douglas; designed by Gordon Lloyd. Known as "Littlecote". 24532 East River Road
Treaty Tree Monument. Commemorating the purchase of Grosse Ile by William and Alexander Macomb from Chiefs of the Potowotami tribe on July 6, 1776. Constructed in 1906. East River Road, north of Macomb Street
Saint Anne's Chapel. Built in 1915 from Livingston Channel stone, the congregation dates to 1869. East River Road and Church Road
Macomb Mansion House (Marker). Denotes the site of the Mansion House, burned down during an attack in 1813, amidst the War of 1812. East River Road
Brodhead Cottage. Built in 1855 by Colonel Thornton Brodhead, who was editor of the Detroit Free Press, Detroit postmaster, and Michigan State Senator. Commander of the First Michigan Cavalry, he was mortally wounded during the second Battle of Bull Run in the American Civil War. 20604 East River Road
Gristmill (Marker). East of East River on Horsemill Road, this marks the site of the 18th centiry gristmill and wharf.
More information on these and other Sites is available from the Grosse Ile Historical Society and Museum, located at 25000 East River Road.