Harsen's Island is situated in the St. Clair River. It is named for Jacob Harsen who bought the island from Chippewa Indians in 1797. He was a native of Holland who came to eastern Michigan after first settling in New York, Harsen is the island's namesake.

The St. Clair River links the upper and lower Great Lakes. It was named by French explorers on August 12, 1679 in honor of Sainte Claire of Assisi whose feast day fell on that date - the date these explorers sailed the Griffin on Lake St. Clair. This was the first sailing ship to sail on the Great Lakes.  It is one of the world's great marine highways. In the 1700s canoes used this waterway to trade furs. In the 1800s Sam and Eber Brock Ward built ships in nearby Marine City, Michigan that navigated the St. Clair River to transport immigrants. In the 1900s freighters transported iron ore, copper, grain and other goods through these waterways. Today the river is still used to transport people and products. It is used for sport and relaxation.

Tashmoo Park opened on Harsen's Island in 1897. Harsen's Island was considered the jewel of the St. Clair River and offered several luxurious hotels.  and visitors traveled there from Detroit on the Tashmoo steamship.

Over the years generations of families have lived on the island or been regular summer visitors to the island.


The St. Clair Region in 1815

See Historic Photos

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More Early History of the Island

The Harsen Family

Indian Medicine Dance and Feast

Chippewa Indians

Early Island Families

Harsen House

Early Ships Built on Harsen's Island

Sheriffs of St. Clair County

Clerks of St. Clair County

Treasurers of St. Clair County

Surveyors of St. Clair County

Prosecuting Attorneys of St. Clair County

Registers of Deeds of St. Clair County

Circuit Court Commissioners of St. Clair County

Coroners of St. Clair County

Population of St. Clair County - 1830 to 1910

Representatives of St. Clair County

Senators of St. Clair County

Soldiers of the Spanish American War - St. Clair County

Civil War Soldiers from St. Clair County

1830 Census - St. Clair County

Congressmen of St. Clair County

St. Clair Flats School Records - 1904 - 1918





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Copyright 2004, 2005 [Beth Shaw]. All rights reserved.

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