Beginning in the 1870s Harsens Island was developed as a resort area within easy reach of the Detroit docks by steamship. Today, an automobile ferry departs from 3647 Pointe Tremble Road, 0.5 miles west of Algonac city limits. Private clubhouses, resort hotels, and grand summer houses went up all along the “Flats,” as the banks of the St. Clair River delta are called. During the 1890s, five private clubhouses and seven public resort areas lined the channel. All of the big hotels are gone, but many turn-of-the-twentieth-century houses along S. Channel Drive from Grand Pointe Subdivision to Maple Leaf Subdivision on the south survive as reminders of the days when the St. Clair Flats was an acclaimed resort community.
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