Detroit, 28 February 2018

Research around Zug Island


Less than 10 kilometers from Downtown Detroit, there is Zug Island, named after Samuel Zug, a business man who bought the island in 1859. A couple of years later he realized that this swampy area with its voracious bugs and nasty varmints had no residential potential. In 1891, Zug sold his island. Zug Island was a part of the independent entity of Delray, but in 1901, that area was annexed by the city of Detroit.


Zug Island is one of the few locations in the United States where coke – a necessary ingredient form helping to convert iron ore into steel – is produced. The coke mill formerly was owned by US Steel, but is now run by a subsidiary of DTE Energy.

I had the chance to talk to some people that are on the island every now and then due to work. Here is a little excerpt of our conversation.


In the local library of River Rouge, I have found some documents about the island. In a few days I will have a meeting with Dolores Swekel, the director of the River Rouge Historical Museum. She might know a bit more about Zug Island and about Samuel Zug in particular.

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