NO PART OF THE FOLLOWING
ARTICLE AND PHOTOGRAPHS
MAY BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT
PERMISSION FROM THE AUTHOR ©
According to the book "The Ferry Steamers: The Story of the Detroit-Windsor Ferry Boats" by William Oxford, the Detroit, Belle Isle, & Windsor Ferry Company, then owners of Boblo Island Park, purchased Peche (Peach) Island which lay near the head of the Detroit River at Lake St. Clair. It was bought in 1907. The owner had been Hiram Walker, best known for starting the company which made Canadian Club whisky famous. In 1913, the company announced plans to turn it into a facility similar to Boblo Island's amusement park, with buildings and amusements catering to the "more desirable element of pleasure-seekers". It goes on to say it never was as popular as Boblo. The only other thing mentioned as being built on the island was the summer home of ferry company president, Walter Campbell. He died at the age of 71 there in 1923. I have no word yet on any mechanical rides there, but apparently none were ever installed. The island passed to DWFC's successor, The Bob-Lo Excursion Company, in 1939. They supposedly never developed it to prevent anyone from having an area which might compete with Bob-Lo.
Bob-Lo sold the island in 1956 but nothing happened with the property until it was purchased in 1962 by E. J Harris. He wished to build a $30 Million marina and recreation resort. Dredging started in 1965 for the marina which would hold 1,000 boats. This first phase also included an 18-hole, PAR 3 golf course. The island's future development was to include themed recreation areas using Canadiana from all provinces and territories, ice skating, a ski hill, restaurants, a hotel, reforestation, and possible cable car service from Windsor and Detroit. On-island transport would be by horse & carriage and dog sleds.
The project was to be completed by 1972 and considering a 1968 newspaper ad advertised the area, at least some of this work must have been done. There is no word as to what is there presently, but considering that it's now a provincial park, the province of Ontario must have taken over the island at some point.
For more on this island, see:
Thanks to Detroit-area resident Mike Schulte for suggesting this park and providing information.
Return to the
Closed Canadian Parks Index