Detroit, 4 March 2018
Yesterday, I went to the Eastern Market in Detroit. They say that it is one of the oldest and largest year-round markets in the United States. Their goal is to build on Eastern Market’s rich history to make a healthier, wealthier and happier Detroit.
Right at the upper end of the market, there is The Detroit Mercantile Co., »a store that celebrates our shared past while introducing our customers to new products. Like the mercantile and general stores of the past, we strive to find the highest quality products from our city, our state, and across the country«, as it is written on their website. I went into the store to see if there is any trace relating to Zug Island or Samuel Zug. The store is definitely a must-see in Detroit! If only I had bigger and empty luggage with me and was not there by bike, I would have bought half of the objects they are selling. Luckily I bumped into Robert Stanzler, the owner of the store. He came up with quite an astonishing surprise.
Remember, Samuel Zug was into furniture business from 1842 until 1859 (Stevens & Zug).
The Detroit Mercantile Co. has some beautiful maps hanging in the store. The following picture shows a sector of a map from 1877, published by Silas Farmer & Co., Detroit. Here you see the swampy, undeveloped area of the peninsula which it was at that time. It was not before 1888, when Samuel Zug authorized the River Rouge River Improvement Company to dig out a small canal at the south end of his land. From that moment on, Zug Island was an Island.
On the next picture, you see a sector of a map from 1904, drawn and published by Wm C. Sauer. Here you see marked the canal and the railroad which was very important for the emerging industrialization and which not only took place in Detroit but also on Zug Island.