Mongagon Township - Detroit River Bridge to Grosse Isle - (MC) ♣

Location: Detroit River Bridge, Grosse Isle, MI - (MC) 

This swing bridge, which allowed the Canada Southern (later MCRR) to bring ferry traffic from Ontario across the Detroit River to Michigan, before the rail tunnel was built in 1908.  The line was removed in the late 1920's and the bridge is reported to have been moved to Zug Island for the DT&I.

The Canada Southern railroad attempted to find a route from Ontario across Michigan to Chicago and built a Detroit River rail ferry operation between Amherstburg, Ontario and Stony Island on the U.S. side. From Stony Island to Grosse Isle, the railroad crossed on a Howe Truss bridge, and then after traveling the width of Grosse Isle, crossed this swing bridge to reach the mainland at Slocum Junction, north of Trenton. This line only got as far west as Fayette, Ohio before the railroad had serious financial troubles. The stock was purchased by Vanderbilt interests and ultimately merged into the Michigan Central.

The line from Slocum Junction to Dundee was sold to the DT&I. The line from Petersburg via Deerfield to Grosvenor was abandoned, and the line from Grosvenor to Fayette was operated by the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern (later NYC).

This drawbridge reportedly was removed and floated north to the Rouge River at Zug Island. See Jefferson Avenue Swing bridge.


Location: 42o07.619'N / 82o10.500'W.

Time Line

1885. A double drowning accident occurred about 9 o'clock yesterday morning at the Canada Southern bridge at Grosse Ile. Arthur Brodie, son of P. PO. Brodie, agent of the Michigan Central railroad at that place; Allen baby, of this city; Miss Edith Jennings and a young man named Thompson were in a hand-car going from Slocum's Junction (on the mainland) to Grosse Ile. The draw of the bridge which connects with the mainland was opened by the attendant who was unaware of the approaching hand-car which was making rapid headway. Miss Jennings and Thompson saw the danger and saved their lives by jumping off. The car ran off the opening into the water, carrying Brodie and baby with it. They struggled a short time in the water and the railway employees set about to rescue them, but were unable to reach them before they disappeared. [DFP-1885-0509]



The following sources are utilized in this website. [SOURCE-YEAR-MMDD-PG]:

  • [AAB| = All Aboard!, by Willis Dunbar, Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids ©1969.
  • [AAN] = Alpena Argus newspaper.
  • [AARQJ] = American Association of Railroads Quiz Jr. pamphlet. © 1956
  • [AATHA] = Ann Arbor Railroad Technical and Historical Association newsletter "The Double A"
  • [AB] = Information provided at Michigan History Conference from Andrew Bailey, Port Huron, MI

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