Detroit, 4 March 2018

Zug Island

A couple of days ago, I went to the Michigan Welcome Center where I met employee Beverly Carney. She told me what she knows about Zug Island. Here you can hear an extract of our conversation.


Meanwhile, I also visited the Burton Historical Collection in the Detroit Public Library to find out more about Zug Island and its former owner, Samuel Zug (1816-1889). Thankfully, there were some very kind and helpful staff members. Otherwise I would have been lost in this big building with its many rooms and shelves. Among other things, the employees presented me some newspaper articles about Zug Island and a photo of Samuel Zug.



Here are some extracts of an epitaph which was published in the Detroit Tribune after Samuel Zug’s death on 26 December 1889.

Samuel Zug, one of the oldest citizens of Detroit, died about 9.30 o’clock last evening at his residence, 127 Howard street, after a long illness. Mr. Zug’s ancestors were from the Palatinate of the Rhine and came to this country under the auspices and patronage of Queen Anne and William Penn, landing at Philadelphia in 1727 and removing soon to Lancaster county, Pa., where they remained many years. Mr. Zug was born nearly opposite Harrisburg in Cumberland county, Pa., April 15 1816. He remained in Carlisle until 1836, when he came to Detroit. It being long before the days of railroads, the journey was made by canal to Pittsburg, thence by stage to Lake Erie and by boat to Detroit. For a time he acted as bookkeeper for P. E. De Mill, and was also in the crockery business. In 1842 he went into the furniture business with the late Marcus Stevens under the firm name of Stevens & Zug. They continued together until 1859, when their partnership was dissolved, and Mr. Zug had not been in active business since.
In the old anti-slavery days, from 1852 to 1858, a Home Refugee society was formed. The most active members were Alanson Sheley, Horace Hallock, Samuel Zug and Rev. C. C. Foote. The society bought a tract of land 10 miles from Windsor and parceled it into farms of ten or fifteen acres each. These were given to the refugees, man of whom, or their descendants, are still living in Windsor. Detroit had from its earliest history been one of the stations through which the fugitive slave passed, but until this time no regular society had been formed.
Mr. Zug leaves a widow and one son, Robert M. Zug. He had accumulated quite a large fortune.

Here is a picture of Samuel Zug.


I found out that Samuel Zug’s Grave is at Elmwood Cemetery. So I went there.




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