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Ecorse’s Birthday Celebration

Happy Birthday Ecorse!

By: Bethany Newton

For a city that has not always been recognized as a viable and active part of the Downriver community, Ecorse is now stepping up its game, starting with a huge celebration of its 319 years of existence.

In July of 2018, Ecorse is planning to host a birthday party for the city, and it will be the first celebration of the city ever.

The historical society, who is hosting the event, has only been around for about two years, a strange fact considering how old Ecorse has been around for.

“All of these years, the City never had a historical society. Most of the Downriver communities stemmed from Ecorse, and we were very surprised that nobody had even acted upon this earlier,” Pamela Holmes-Hill, a volunteer at the historical society, said. “Ecorse has a great waterfront history, a great community history, and just a lot of history that is not being shared.”

The history of Ecorse does go back very far, as it was first used as a burial ground for Native American tribes and then settled by the French in the 18th century, according to the City of Ecorse.

Unfortunately though, Ecorse over the decades has fallen on hard times, as population numbers have dropped and a history of poor management has left the city in difficult financial straits, according to Holmes-Hill.

Holmes-Hill believes that NOW is Ecorse’s moment though. The City is already planning the huge birthday celebration, and they need the help of the other Downriver communities if it’s going to be a success.

“It would be wonderful if we could kind of just all band together and get that notorious Downriver support. Get behind us, and root us on. Show up on celebration day, and enjoy the fireworks,” Holmes-Hill said. “It doesn’t just stop on the Wyandotte border. Cross the bridge, and see what’s happening on the other side too.”

The historical society would also welcome any individuals, businesses or contributors that would be willing to help with the celebration. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, the help would be welcome and appreciated.

Although the celebration is still a year away, Holmes-Hill believes Ecorse to be a growing destination. With such beautiful views of the waterfront, a rising number of small businesses, and a progressive mayor ready to take charge of the restoration, Ecorse is making a name for itself.

“There’s so much potential [in Ecorse] that we want people to know about,” Holmes-Hill said. “We are trying to have a community instead of just some place to pass through.”

To contact the historical society, call (313) 386-2520 Ext 4 or email

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