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Administered by Grosse Ile Township, Grosse Ile is the largest island in the Detroit River, and the most populated island in Michigan.

Grosse Ile Township includes several smaller islands very near the larger Grosse Ile. The larger island is itself technically composed of two islands separated by the Thorofare Canal, which cuts the island diagonally from east to west, connecting the main channel of the Detroit River with the Trenton Channel. In all, the township consists of fifteen islands, including Grosse Ile, Calf Island, Celeron Island, Elba Island, Fox Island, Hickory Island, Mamajuda Island, Meso Isle, Powder House Island, Round Island, Stony Island, Sugar Island, and Swan Island.

Calf Island is an 11-acre island off the southwest coast of the main island. Part of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, it is uninhabited and serves as a location for migrating birds.

Near the mouth of the Detroit River, Celeron Island is the southernmost island in the township, and part of the Pointe Mouillee State Game Area. It is uninhabited.

Off the southeast coast of the main island, Elba Island is an elongated island separated from the main island by the Oldani Marsh, and connected by a bridge.

Fox Island is a small, privately-owned island east of Elba Island.

Connected to Meso Isle by the East River Road Bridge, Hickory Island is the southernmost populated island in the township. It includes the Grosse Ile Yacht Club and some residential subdivisions consisting of moderately sized homes on small lots.

Mamajuda Island is east of the northern tip of Grosse Ile. Once a 30-acre island, the island contained the Mama Juda Lighthouse, built in 1849. Due to serious erosion in the 1950s, the entire island disappeared. Although it is essentially gone, it reappears when water levels are low.

Meso Isle is north of Hickory Island and west of Sugar Island. Bridges connect it to Hickory Island and Grosse Ile.

Powder House Island is a small island northeast of Fox Island, and sometimes known as Dynamite Island.

Round Island is an undeveloped and uninhabited island separated from Grosse Ile by a narrow canal used for docking boats at the Ford Yacht Club.

Also uninhabited, Stoney Island is a 52-acre island east of Grosse Ile and west of the international border from Crystal Island. Most of the island is part of the Pointe Mouillee State Game Area.

Once a popular resort location, with an amusement park, the island fell into disuse in the 1940s, and is now part of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, with access to the island restricted.

Swan Island is the smallest of the inhabited islands. It is separated from the main island by a narrow canal and connected by a bridge.

Grosse Ile, the main island of the township, was inhabited by the Potawatomi tribes for about a thousand years before Europeans came. French explorers visited the island in the late 17th century, and the British took control of the island in 1763 after the French and Indian War, although the Potawatomie continued to inhabit the island.

Tribal chiefs deeded the island to William and Alexander Macomb on July 6, 1776, and their heirs began renting sections to tenants. Development began in the 1800s, largely consisting of summer homes along the shores. Wealthy Detroiters began building estates on the islands. John Kelsey, founder of the Kelsey Wheel Company, organized the Grosse Ile Golf Club and Country Club in 1918, and an airport was built in the 1920s.

Also in the 1920s, the Navy began to build seaplanes and dirigibles on the island, and the US Naval Air Station Grosse Ile opened in 1929. The air station was one of the primary training stations for US Navy and Royal Air Force pilots during World War II. The base was closed in 1969, and the grounds became the Grosse Ile Municipal Airport.

Two historic swing truss bridges connect Grosse Ile to the mainland. The privately-owned Grosse Ile Toll Bridge requires the payment of a fee. The other is owned by the Wayne County Road Commission, and doesn't cost anything. Because of this, it is locally known as the Grosse Ile Free Bridge. Through these bridges, access to the main island by car is by either Bridge Road or the Grosse Ile Parkway.

Situated in the Detroit Metro Region, the island is proximal to several Michigan cities and villages. Those within twenty-five miles of the island include Trenton, Gibraltar, Riverview, Wyandotte, Woodhaven, Rockwood, Southgate, Flat Rock, South Rockwood, Ecorse, Lincoln Park, River Rouge, Allen Park, Estral Beach, Taylor, Melvindale, Carleton, Romulus, Inkster, Detroit, and Dearborn. Although there is no road connection, Grosse Island Township is across the river from Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada.

Appropriate topics for this category include those relating to the main island of Grosse Ile and the other islands of the township.


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