Grosse Ile Township, Michigan

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Grosse Ile Township is a general law township of Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The township is situated on several islands in the Detroit River, but the largest island is also referred to as simply Grosse Ile. The name comes from French Grosse Île, meaning Large Island. The population was 10,894 at the 2000 census.



According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 18.3 square miles (47.5 km²), of which 9.6 square miles (24.9 km²) of it (52.6%) is land and 8.7 square miles (22.6 km²) of it (47.4%) is water.

Grosse Ile is the largest island on the Detroit River. Grosse Ile is actually composed of twelve islands although the community is most often identified with the "main island" (which residents simply refer to as "The Island"). Grosse Ile's "main island" is technically composed of two islands.

The tip of the "main island's" northern section is named Hennepen Point in honor of the 17th Century French explorer Father Louis Hennepin. It is uninhabited and separated from the remainder of the northern section by an unnamed canal that cannot be navigated in a power boat.

The southern section of the "main island" is separated from the northern section by the Thorofare Canal which runs on a diagonal course from east to west connecting the main channel of the Detroit River with the Trenton Channel of the river. The southern section of the "main island" is connected by bridges to Elba Island, Upper Hickory Island (also known as Meso), Hickory Island, and Swan Island which are all inhabited.

In addition, not far from the shoreline of the "main island" in the river lie Calf Island, Celeron Island (charted as Tawas Island), Dynamite (also known as Powder House Island), Fox Island, Stony Island, and Sugar Island which are all uninhabited. Stony and Celeron are owned by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Calf Island is owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a part of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. The other islands are privately owned. Mamajuda Island lies off the northeastern tip of Grosse Ile and only appears during times of low water level.

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