East River Road at Grosse Ile Parkway contains a fine collection of Gothic Revival houses built from the 1840s to 1870s for wealthy Detroiters seeking rustic, unspoiled beauty. They were strongly influenced by Andrew Jackson Downing's publications Cottage Residences (1842) and The Architecture of Country Houses (1850). Overlooking the Detroit River and the marshes and islands of the Ontario shore, the island, an almost perfect rural setting for Downing villas and cottages, was purchased by William and Alexander Macomb from the Potowatomi Indians in 1776. By 1860 fifty people owned property on Grosse Ile. As fish and farm products and crops from the area were being shipped off the island to Detroit, weekend commuters and summer vacationers flowed to the island by boat and rail. East River Road is notable for its houses designed by Gordon W. Lloyd.
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East River Road
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