Mamajuda Island History

Discussion in 'Detroit River and Lake Erie' started by 50incher, May 7, 2018.

  1. 50incher

    50incher

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    So I'm bored and found my one book, here's what it says and I'll try and cut it a little short, lol....

    There was a good article in the Detroit news Sept. 10 1969 for anyone who knows how to find that....

    "Silas Farmers history in 1880 spelled the name Mamajuda for an Indian squaw who, before 1807 camped there annually for fishing and died there as well....Burton's history called her Mammy Judy and many seamen refer to the island that way"....

    "For decades, it had a resident lightkeeper. A simple black skeleton tower supporting an automatic flashing white light long since took the place of the lighthouse....the original lighthouse was 34' high and built in 1849....it was rebuilt in 1866 and burned a steady red light"....

    "A baby girl (Dorothy) was born in 1901 to the 3rd of 5 lighthouse keepers....she never left the island until starting school at age 8....her father, James Story, rowed her a mile to school each day in Wyandotte and picked her up too....the family rented an apt. on the mainland during the winter"....

    "She graduated from Grosse Ile high school....Her family eventually was transferred to another local lighthouse....she married and remained in the Downriver area till her death in 1989."....

    "The war Dept. in 1940 actually wanted to connect the islands of MJ, Mud and Grassy with fill....creating an island of over 680 acres....unanimous support against killed the project"....((no reason given for that)).....

    "High water in the 1950's finally took it's toll on the buildings and lighthouse foundation....by the early 1960's, there was only a large boulder and shattered tree marking the sandy shoal that was once an inhabited island.....
    The city of Wyandotte had been trying to annex both MJ and Grassy Island for some time. An act of congress Aug. 3, 1961 ((the year I was born, lol))...deeded the 2 islands to Wyandotte for use as a National Wildlife Refuge....Grassy Isl. is now owned by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service"....

    This is all out of the book (Our "Downriver" River)....by Rockne P. Smith....I have one page missing and don't have a copyright, lol....around the late 1980's or early 90's is my guess, a good book....cheers....

    The island was also "officially" consisting of 29 to 30 acres in the early days....

    And now all of Mud, Grassy and MJ shoals are part of the Detroit river International refuge....
     
  2. sureshot006

    sureshot006

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  3. J Sibert

    J Sibert

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    Between the two of you - you could teach a class on the history and fishing the Mighty DR! I'd enroll lol

    Thanks 50
     
  4. sureshot006

    sureshot006

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    not me... I find it very interesting but I don't know $H!t compared to 50.
     
  5. milanmark

    milanmark Premium Member

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    Youngster eh? Got 10 years on you! Thanks interesting story!
     
  6. 50incher

    50incher

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  7. peters

    peters

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    Awesome! I love local history like this! I gotta buy the book
     
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  8. J Sibert

    J Sibert

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    Same here
     
  9. milanmark

    milanmark Premium Member

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    Me too! Mines in transit due next week!
     
  10. on a call

    on a call

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    Looked up the island to find where it is...or was ?? All I found was a large shoal, was the island located there ??
     
  11. on a call

    on a call

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    Dang you have a lot of posts !! Wow 11,000

    You need to take a photo....

    I think you be paid a dollar a post :)
     
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  12. sureshot006

    sureshot006

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    lol yeah... Unintentionally trying to get on the board for top posts. Hard to catch up.
     
  13. JLP

    JLP

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    50, I'm pretty sure I read that book and found this story pretty neat. Found this excerpt from the Toledo Blade but I originally read it in that book.

    He was on a ship steaming up the Detroit River one day in 1848, a young congressman who wasn't going to run again and was trying to figure out his next move.

    Suddenly - wham! The boat was stuck in the mud, Canadian mud, marooned on the shoals of Fighting Island, across the river from Wyandotte. History hasn't recorded how long he was stuck there, or how they got off. What we do know is that it was a fairly common occurrence back then - and it gave him an idea:

    Why not equip ships with inflatable bellows that would sit on each side, just below the waterline? Then, if the boat accidentally ran aground, why, all the crew would have to do is pump air into the bellows, and maneuver the vessel back into deeper water.

    So he made a little wooden model, applied for a patent on his invention and was granted it by the U.S government.

    Know who the inventor was?

    Abraham Lincoln
     
  14. 50incher

    50incher

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    I'll have to revisit the book to be honest with you....I thought the story was he was already president and was returning from visiting wounded civil war veteran's during his reelection....no mention of the bellows that I recall either....and his patent wasn't accepted ??....

    I have to add my favorite and or worse thing about written history....I've read many books about Thomas Jefferson....a 7 book biography included.....funny thing and I want to be short....

    But he was a ferocious "reader" of history in collage at William & Mary....by his own words....and after our war for independence, he became ambassador to France and read books that were very recently written about our war....and having lived thru it himself, he couldn't believe all the inaccuracies and wondered about having spent so much time reading history in collage, lol !!....his words again....good to hear from you JLP....cheers....
     
  15. growninmi

    growninmi

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    "l have to add my favorite and or worse thing about written history...."

    I remind my kids regularly that Washington wasn't our first president and the continue to argue that he was.
    All depends what and who you believe, and how you interpret it.

    As for the bellows on boat patten by Lincoln, it was granted.