top of page


The Ecorse Historical Society collects and preserve artifacts, documents, photographs, hardware, furniture and most memorabilia pertaining to the history of Ecorse, Michigan.  The Historical Society will be a community resource that educates and engages to tell the whole story of Ecorse.

The History of Shipbuilding in Ecorse
Great Lakes Engineering Works

The Great Lakes Engineering Works (GLEW) was a leading shipbuilding company with a shipyard in Ecorse, Michigan, that operated between 1902 and 1960. Within three years of its formation, it was building fifty percent of the tonnage of all ships in the Great Lakes. During World War II, GLEW was commissioned by Pittsburgh Steamship Company and the U.S. Maritime Commission to build twenty-one ore freighters. Its innovations included the first self-unloader freighter, SS Wyandotte. GLEW is best known for its construction of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald.

Founded in 2016, the Ecorse Historical Society is a 501c3, non-profit organization managed by a team of volunteers. We collect, preserve, and will make available information and objects that reflect a diverse Ecorse past for current and future generations. 

The Edmund Fitzgerald.jpg

Steamer: Detroit of Detroit

Built at Great Lakes Engineering Works (GLEW) in Ecorse, Michigan - 1904. 

Detroit of Detroit Steamer.jpg

Coming up in February...

                         Black History Month

                      February 2024: African Americans and the Arts

In February, celebrate Black History Month. The 2024 theme is "African Americans and the Arts" spanning the many impacts Black Americans have had on visual arts, music, cultural movements, and more. 


Black Art Depot.jpg
Valentines Day - History.jpg

Valentine’s Day occurs every February 14. Across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint and where did these traditions come from? Find out about the meaning and history of Valentine’s Day, from the ancient Roman ritual of Lupercalia that welcomed spring to the card-giving customs of Victorian England.


The EHS meets the 3rd Saturday of each month (except December) at 1:00 pm at:

Albert Buday Civic Center

3869 W. Jefferson Ave.

2nd Fl., Conference Rm. B

Ecorse, MI 48229

The public is welcome to attend.


Transfer Steamer:  Detroit (in the ice) - 1905



The Detroit was the second ship built by the Great Lakes Engineering Works, and was christened November 1904. It was built for the Michigan Central RR and intended to connect Detroit with Windsor, Ontario. The Detroit was sold to the Wabash RR in 1912, and again changed hands in 1969 when the Wabash merged with Norfolk Southern. By 1970 it had been converted to barge service. In 1994, NS stopped ferry operations and the Detroit was sold for scrap.

In the Ice - Nicholson Dock - 1905.jpg

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Day of Service
January 15, 2024

bottom of page