1679 : Griffin First European Sailing Ship To Reach Michigan

August 10, 2022 all-day

The Griffin

On August 10, 1679, the Griffin, built by Robert de La Salle and his Lieutenant Henri Tonti, became the first sailing ship to reach Michigan when it emerged from Lake Erie and entered the Detroit River. It disappeared a little over a month later somewhere in Lake Michigan.

Robert Thom HISTORY OF MICHIGAN IN PAINTINGS 4 print set Historical Commission B

Another illustration of the Griffin by Robert Thoms

Sources :

The Windsor Border Region: Canada’s Southernmost Frontier (A Collection of Documents), Ernest J. Lajeunesse, 1960. Tornoto: The Champlaign Society, 1960, p. XXXV. Alternate Description: The Publications of the Champlain Society, Ontario Series, vol. IV.

Detroit Historical Society Facebook Page

Also see John Flesher, “Team to excavate Griffin, Lake Michigan shipwreck”, Detroit News, June 4, 2013.

John Flesher, “Expedition hopes to find La Salle’s long lost ship”, Detroit News, June 13, 2013.

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