Founding Grosse Pointe

French Pair Tree that can be found in Grosse Pointe
French Pear Tree that can be found in Grosse Pointe today

Grosse Pointe is located in close proximity to the City of Detroit. A fort named Fort Pontchartrain, also known as Fort Detroit, was created in 1701 by Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. Grosse Pointe was not yet settled but soon would be founded because of its proximity to Detroit. In 1712 the Fox War ensued. Fox Indians traveled to Detroit and laid siege on Fort Detroit. The French routed the Indians to Grosse Pointe, which was referred to as Windmill Pointe. A four day battle took place at Windmill Pointe. This was the first historic event that took place in Grosse Pointe. At first Grosse Pointe was not a place where settlers were encouraged to go. The main reason for this was a marsh that stretched across a great portion of Grosse Pointe. The French, however, were worried about the Ohio Valley and possible English attacks. This caused and encouraged early pioneers such as the Trombley’s and LaForest’s, to come to Grosse Pointe. The Trombley family were the first habitants of Grosse Pointe and the area’s first farmers. The Laforest family set up and managed a flour mill. More families continued to come to Grosse Pointe and each received a plot of land about three miles in length. They were called ribbon farms and had access to the lake for drinking, transportation, fishing and land irrigation. There was also access to forests for hunting and timber. The pride of the farms were the French pear trees, which can still be found in Grosse Pointe today.