The City of Ecorse is one of the oldest municipalities in Wayne
County, having first become a Township in 1827. The first name for
the community was the Village of Grand Port as established by
French residents in 1836. The Village of Ecorse was established in
1902 and was the second largest village in the United States, at
that time. Ecorse became a City in 1942.
Because of its
ideal location for shipping along the Detroit River, combined with
significant investment in rail and road infrastructure, the City
of Ecorse urbanized and became a regional industrial center. The
first steel plant, Michigan Steel Mill, was built in 1923. Great
Lakes Steel Mill followed in 1929. Industrial development and
resulting residential and commercial development grew steadily
from 1929 and reached a high point during WWII.
recently, the City of Ecorse has become a first-ring suburban
community closely connected to the City of Detroit and other
“Downriver” communities through West Jefferson Avenue.
development of the Southfield Freeway (M-39) and Outer Drive as
major regional connectors to the U.S. Interstate System (I-75 and
I-94) has provided commuter connections for residents to other
areas in the Southeast Michigan region. The development and growth
of these major transportation routes and the continuing
suburbanization of the region has had a direct and continuing
impact on all land uses in the City.