American Forts: East


Camp Backus | Camp Banks | Big Bay Range | Camp Blair | Cantonment Brady | Fort Brady
Fort de Buade | Burnett's Post | Camp Butler | Fort Collyer | Camp Custer | Fort Custer
Fort Detroit (1) | Fort Detroit (2) | Post at Detroit | Detroit Arsenal | Detroit Barracks
Detroit Citadel | Fort Drummond | Camp Eaton | Fort George | Godfrey's Post
Grand Island Post | Fort Gratiot | Camp Grayling | Grosse Isle Stockade | Fort Hogan
Fort Holmes | L'Anse Post | La Framboise's Post | Fort Lernoult | Camp Lucas | Camp Lyon
Fort Mackinac | Fort Miamis | Fort Michilimackinac (1) | Fort Michilimackinac (2)
Fort Michilimackinac (3) | Moreau's Post | Ontonagon Post | Fort Pontchartrain
Fort de Repentigny | Fort Saginaw | Post of Saguina | Saginaw Bay Posts | Fort Shelby
Fort Sinclair | Fort St. Clair | Fort St. Joseph (1) | Fort St. Joseph (2) | Post at St. Mary's
Post at Sault Ste. Marie | Camp Smith | Fort Wayne | Wayne Stockade | Fort Wilkins
Camp Williams

Detroit's Cold War AAA Defenses

Last Update: 03/JUNE/2016
Compiled by Pete Payette - ©2016 American Forts Network

Ontonagon Trading Post
(1808 ? - unknown), Silver City, U.P.
An American Fur Co. trading post located at the mouth of the Iron River.

Fort Wilkins (State Historic Park)
(Fort Wilkins Natural History Association)
(1844 - 1846, 1867 - 1870), Copper Harbor, U.P. FORT WIKI
Located by Lake Fanny Hooe, it was built to protect copper miners from the Chippewa Indians. Discontinued in 1846 due to the Mexican War, but reactivated after the Civil War due to the Fenian Crisis with Canada. Many of the buildings from both periods still survive.

L'Anse Trading Post
(1800 - 1812, 1817 - 1838), L'Anse, U.P.
Originally a North West Co. fur trade post, later an American Fur Co. post.

Big Bay Firing Range
(1952 - 1953), Big Bay, U.P.
A training range for National Guard AA artillery (90mm) was located on Big Bay Point, currently a Coast Guard Reservation with a lighthouse nearby.
(thanks to Mark Morgan for info)

Grand Island Trading Post
(Grand Island National Recreation Area)
(1820's - 1840), Grand Island, U.P.
A North West Co. fur trading post, and later an American Fur Co. post.

Fort de Repentigny
(1751 - 1762), Sault Ste. Marie, U.P.
A French fort located just east of town, built in 1751 to protect the fur trade. The British captured it in 1761, then it was destroyed by fire in 1762. The British continued to occupy this area until 1822. (see also ONTARIO page 3)

The French may have had a trade post located here earlier in 1670.

Fort Brady
(Lake Superior State University)
(1822 - 1857, 1866 - 1892, 1892 - 1944), Sault Ste. Marie, U.P. FORT WIKI
The original U.S. Army log stockade with two blockhouses (1822 - 1825) was once located at present South Street and Ryan Ave.. It was built on the site of the old French Fort de Repentigny, to counter the British presence at Fort Drummond. It was originally known as Post at Sault Ste. Marie (1822), Post at St. Mary's (1823 - 1824), and Cantonment Brady (1824 - 1825). The post was abandoned in 1857 for Fort Snelling, MN, but regarrisoned in 1866. Portions of the original reservation were sold off in 1852 to build the Weitzel Lock and Canal. The remaining portion of the old reservation was sold off in 1893. Only a recreated portion of the west stockade wall exists as part of an exhibit along the Historic Locks Park Walkway in Brady Park. Some former 1860's Officer's quarters still exist as private homes.
The post was rebuilt closer to town on Ashmun Hill in 1892 ("New Fort Brady") and remained active through World War II. Lake Superior State University now occupies most of the former post since 1946. Several original buildings still remain. Exhibits of the former fort are on display at the River of History Museum at 531 Ashmun Street (admission fee).

This post was the headquarters for the joint Canadian - American anti-aircraft artillery and barrage balloon defenses of the Soo Locks during WWII (April 1942 - February 1944). The U.S. Army's 100th Coast Artillery Regiment (AA) emplaced here one four-gun 90mm AA gun battery (two additional four-gun batteries were located on Canadian soil), thirty-two 37mm/40mm AA guns, twelve .50-caliber AA machine guns, and 15 60-inch AA searchlights (some on Canadian soil). The 339th Barrage Balloon Battalion deployed a battery of barrage balloons. The 131st Infantry Regiment took up guard duty at various locations. Also, a chain of four American-manned early warning air defense radar stations (SCR-271) were located in northern Ontario (see ONTARIO page 3) beginning in August 1942. After February 1944 a long-range air defense radar was built near Grand Marais.

Nearby was Camp Lucas, formerly the Army hospital post for Fort Brady in WWII, which was later used as battalion headquarters (8th AAA Battalion) for the Cold War era anti-aircraft defense protecting the Soo Locks from 1951 to 1960. The Royal Canadian Artillery's 128th AA Battalion was also deployed across the border until 1960. The post was finally abandoned in 1962.

The Fort Brady/Camp Lucas Target Range (1895 - 1945) was located near Raco adjacent to Raco Army Airfield (1941 - 1945, 1951 - 1960). Eighteen 75mm Skysweeper AA guns were emplaced here 1951 - 1960. The Target Range tract was sold in 1962. BOMARC missiles were emplaced by the Air Force at Raco Field from 1960 - 1972, operated as a subpost of Kincheloe Air Force Base. NIKE missiles were never emplaced here. See also Abandoned Airfields of Northern Michigan by Paul Freeman
(Target Range info courtesy of Mark Morgan)

Fort Drummond
(1815 - 1828), Drummond Island, U.P.
Located across the De Tour Passage from De Tour Village on the mainland, on the western shore of Whitney Bay, just north of Surgeon Island. The British garrisons from Fort Mackinac and Fort Collyer moved here in 1815. Sometimes referred to as the "Gibraltar of the Great Lakes". The British withdrew in 1828 to Penetanguishene, Ontario when the island was declared to be American territory by international arbitration in 1822. The post was not thereafter held by the Americans. Some stone chimney remains are located on private property, but can be viewed from the water by boat. One chimney has been incorporated into a private cabin. One other chimney has been relocated to the Drummond Island Historical Museum in Drummond Village. See also History of Whitney Bay Area from Drummond Island Tourism Asociation

The British may have previously had an intermittant outpost here on the island between 1761 - 1796.

Fort Collyer
(1812 - 1815), Drummond Island, U.P.
A British post established in 1812 at Collyer's Harbor. The garrison relocated to Fort Drummond in 1815.

Fort de Buade
(Fort de Buade Museum)
(1681 - 1696), St. Ignace, U.P.
Also called Fort Michilimackinac (1). A French Jesuit mission (St. Ignace) was established here in 1671, first garrisoned by troops in 1679, and stockaded by 1683. The fort was rebuilt and renamed in 1689 after the garrison from Fort St. Joseph (1) transferred here. The garrison was sent to Detroit after the fur market crashed. The mission was abandoned in 1701 after the fort was abandoned. Some earthworks still remain behind Marquette Mission Park on North State Street, although these may be related to the walled Huron Indian village that was here at the time. Admission fee to the museum, located at 334 North State Street.

A French post may have been located here earlier in 1627.

Fort Mackinac
(1780 - 1895), Mackinac Island, U.P. FORT WIKI
Pronounced "MACKINAW", and sometimes referred to as Fort Michilimackinac (3). Located on a bluff above the village. The British garrison moved here from Fort Michilimackinac (2) in 1780. The fort came under American control in 1796. The post became part of the Federal "Factory system" of Indian trading posts from September 1808 - 1812. British forces from Fort St. Joseph in Ontario captured the fort in July 1812. The Americans failed to retake the fort in August 1814, and the British troops moved to Fort Drummond in April or May 1815 only after news that the peace treaty was ratified. In 1875 Mackinac Island became a U.S. National Park, with the troops at the fort acting as park caretakers and rangers. The park, including the fort, was transferred to the state in 1895. There are 14 restored (1960's) original buildings from various time periods, along with original stone ramparts, and three stone blockhouses. Admission fee.
PHOTOS by John Hamill

The joint American-British South West Company had a trade post nearby in 1815-16. The American Fur Company had a trading post here in 1817, a stone house that still exists as part of the state park.

Fort Holmes
(1812 - 1820's ?), Mackinac Island, U.P.
Built by the British as Fort George, and attacked by the Americans in August 1814, it was renamed when the Americans recovered the island in May 1815. It was a two-story log blockhouse and stockade that was destroyed sometime after the war by the soldiers for target practice. It was first reconstructed in 1907, burned in 1933, and reconstructed again in 1936. The second replica was demolished in the 1960's after it became derelict and unsafe, leaving intact only the gatehouse and the surrounding earthworks. A third replica blockhouse and stockade was built in 2016. Located one-half mile behind Fort Mackinac on the highest point of the island (320 feet elevation).

Fort Michilimackinac (2) (State Park)
(1715 - 1780), Mackinaw City FORT WIKI
Originally French from 1715 to 1761 and called Fort St. Philippe de Michilimackinac, it was a palisaded fort with four blockhouses and six guns. The British occupied it in 1761 and abandoned it in 1780. The fort was attacked by Pontiac in 1763 and rebuilt in 1764. The current stockaded fort is a replica (1960's) of the British fort, with 18 reconstructed buildings. Admission fee. Map and Photos from Michigan Interactive
PHOTOS by John Hamill

Camp Grayling (State Military Reservation)
(1914 - present), near Grayling
A state guard training area surrounding Lake Margretha, covering over 147,000 acres. Used as a mobilization center in WWI, and as an infantry training area and airbase in WWII.

Saginaw Bay Posts
(1785 - unknown, 1816 - unknown), Saginaw
An independent British trade post was originally located here.
The American Fur Co. later had a trading post here in 1816.

Fort Saginaw
(1822 - 1824), Saginaw
A stockaded blockhouse with barracks and Officers' quarters. It was abandoned due to malaria. Sometimes referred to as Post of Saguina. A hotel was eventually built on the site, located at Hamilton and Court Streets.

Fort St. Joseph (1)
(1686 - 1688), Port Huron
A French stockaded fort built to protect the fur trade against the British. It was abandoned and burned. The garrison then transferred to Fort de Buade. State marker located at Gratiot Park on Gratiot Ave. at Church Street.(NOTE: the "National Atlas of Canada" (1974) shows this post located at Point Edward in Sarnia, Ontario.)

Fort Gratiot
(1814 - 1822, 1828 - 1879), Port Huron FORT WIKI
The American stockade fort was in use off and on up through the Civil War. It was later abandoned. The original Fort Gratiot Lighthouse was built just north of the fort in 1825 (destroyed in 1828), replaced by the current lighthouse in 1829 at 2802 Omar Street. Pine Grove Park occupies part of the original fort site. Some extant houses north of the park might be former Officers' quarters. The monument was relocated to the Thomas Edison Parkway at Thomas Edison Drive. The Port Huron Museum relocated the surviving 1829 Post Hospital to Lighthouse Park in 2002, from its former site on St. Clair Street behind the present-day Blue Water Convention Center, and began restoration in 2012.

Fort Sinclair
(1765 - 1785), St. Clair
A British supply post between Forts Detroit and Michilimackinac. The fort was abandoned. Sometimes spelled St. Clair.

Camp Butler
(1861 - 1865), Mt. Clemens
A Civil War training camp.

Fort Detroit (1)
(1701 - 1805), Detroit FORT WIKI
Originally called Fort Pontchartrain du d'Etroit by the French. It was originally a palisaded fort about 200-feet square. The fort and town were enlarged several times in the 1750's. The British gained control in 1760 and renamed it. After Pontiac's attack in 1764, the Citadel was built on the southwest side of the town stockade, just north of present-day St. Anne Street. It included barracks, a guardhouse, and a blockhouse. The town fort/stockade was rebuilt in 1776 with 11 blockhouses and several batteries. The Citadel then included Officers' quarters, a commissary, and other buildings. The main defense of the town was replaced by Fort Lernoult in 1778 (see below). Became American in 1796. The town fort/stockade and the Citadel burned down in 1805, but the original blockhouse survived. Site of the original fort and blockhouse located south of Jefferson Ave. between Griswold and Shelby Streets. Marker located in parking area beneath the Ponchartrain Hotel, accessible from Larned Street.
See also Pontiac's Seige of Fort Detroit (1763 - 1764) from Detroit

Fort Detroit (2)
(1778 - 1826), Detroit
Originally British Fort Lernoult, which was located uphill from Fort Pontchartrain / Detroit (1), which it replaced as the main defense of the town. Withstood an American seige in 1779. The Americans formally took over the post in 1796 and restored the "Detroit" name. This fort survived the devastating 1805 fire. The post became part of the Federal "Factory system" of Indian trading posts from July 1802 - 1806. The fort was surrendered to the British in August 1812 without firing a shot, but the Americans recaptured it in September 1813, and renamed it Fort Shelby. Given to the city in 1826, the fort was destroyed in 1827 as the city began to grow. Marker located at Fort and Shelby Streets.

Fort Wayne
(Historic Fort Wayne Coalition)
(1843 - 1949/1967), Detroit FORT WIKI
This dry moated square-bastioned stone fortress, named in 1849, was not completed until 1851, and not garrisoned until the Civil War, at which time it was used mostly as an Infantry enlistment and training center. Officers' quarters were constructed inside the parade in 1847, and enlisted barracks were built in 1850. The Officers' quarters burned down in 1849 and were never rebuilt. The fort was remodeled in the 1860's. Guns were never emplaced, except for a field battery during the Civil War. Several new quarters and barracks, along with the post hospital, guardhouse, bakery, and other buildings, were built around a new parade ground to the south of the old fortress during the 1870's and 1880's. Proposed for closure following WWI, the reservation was regarrisoned in 1928. The Army used the post as a Quartermaster Motor Supply Depot in World War II, and an Ordnance Motor Supply Depot afterwards. The old fortress was turned over to the city in 1949, but the Army remained in the cantonment area for several more years. A four-gun 90mm AA battery was briefly located on post in 1955. Located at the foot of Livernois Ave., in the old Spring Wells area along the Detroit River, just north of Zug Island and the mouth of River Rouge. The fort was closed to the public from 1992-2006 due to lack of funds. Several Woodland Period Indian mounds (circa 750 A.D.) are still located on the cantonment parade ground near the river. Also located here on post are the Great Lakes Indian Museum, and the Tuskegee Airmen Museum. See also Detroit's Fort Wayne Under Siege from Detroit || PHOTOS from Detroit

Detroit Barracks
(1838 - 1851), Detroit FORT WIKI
Prior to the construction of Fort Wayne, during border troubles with Canada the Army regarrisoned the area using rented quarters on the lower east-side of town. Also known as Post at Detroit. Site located at the old Nellie Leland School at 1395 Antietam Ave., now condos.

Detroit Arsenal
(Dearborn Historical Museum)
(1833 - 1875), Dearborn
A Federal artillery arsenal, completed in 1837, located along the Lower Rouge River. A 360-foot square walled compound with eleven buildings, with a 75-man garrison. The arsenalís main entrance was on Monroe Street north of Michigan Avenue. The walls ran along the north sides of Michigan Avenue and Garrison Street and the mid-lines of the blocks between Monroe Street and Mason, and Monroe Street and Oakwood. Closed and then sold off in 1877. The structures were converted to other uses, but most were eventually demolished by the mid-20th century. The Dearborn Historical Museum owns and operates the 1833 Commandant's Quarters, restored in 1959, located at 21950 Michigan Ave.; and the 1838 powder magazine, later converted to the McFadden-Ross House in 1893, located at 915 Brady Street. Two other remaining structures now in private ownership are the 1835 Sutler's Shop, located at Monroe St. and Garrison St.; and the 1836 Gun Carriage Shop, located on Monroe Street, now the Dearborn Music store.

Camp Backus
(1861), Detroit
A Civil War training camp.

Camp Lyon
(1861), Detroit
A Civil War training camp.

Camp Banks
(1862), Detroit
A Civil War training camp.

Grosse Isle Stockade
(1815 - 1819), Grosse Isle
An American stockaded enclosure containing six log barracks and Officers' quarters located on Grosse Isle on East River Road, built during a border dispute with the British concerning this area. It was destroyed in 1819.

Cold War AAA Defenses of Detroit
(1952 - 1958), Detroit area
Several permanent sites were established for the Army's Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA) Gun Site Program, the precursor to the NIKE missile defense program. Four 90mm AA guns were positioned at each site, with troop barracks and other support buildings. Known sites include:
Algonac (1952 - 1958): at Short Cut Road (D-17).
Hazel Park (1952 - 1956): at Ryan and 10 Mile Roads (D-91).
Ferndale (1954 - 1956): at Harding Park (D-90).
Detroit (1952 - 1955): at Mark Twain and Belton (D-72).
Detroit (1953 - 1955): at 6301 West Jefferson Ave. (D-50).
Fort Wayne (1955): on post (6325 West Jefferson Ave.).
Park Grove (1952 - 1957): at Crusade and Novara Road.
Algonquin (Dearborn) (1955): at Southfield and Ford Roads.
Dearborn (1953 - 1955): battery headquarters only, at Greenfield Road and Dearborn Street (D-62).
Grosse Isle (1952 - 1958): at Groh Road, NAS Grosse Isle (D-51).
Newport (1955): at Newport and Telegraph Roads (D-58 (Temporary)).

Other gun sites confirmed by 1955 aerial photos:
Warren: at Hoover Road and Hupp.
Grosse Pointe Farms: at present-day Brownell Middle School.
Grosse Pointe Park: at end of Three Mile Drive.
Detroit: at Van Antwerp Park, at Wyoming Ave. and St. Martins.
Ecorse: at West Jefferson Ave. and Westfield Road.
(info courtesy of Mike Denja)

NIKE missile defense sites (1955 - 1974) are beyond the scope of this website.

Wayne Stockade
(1796 - 1812), Monroe
A stockaded settlers' (or local militia) blockhouse, it was the first American-flagged post in the state. It was burned by the British in August 1812, after the surrender of Detroit. Site located near East Elm and North Monroe Aves.. American settlement began here in 1793.

Two associated blockhouses were located further up the Raisin River, and near the mouth of Otter Creek. Both also were burned down by the British in August 1812.

Camp Eaton
(Island Lake State Recreation Area)
(1898, 1900), near Brighton
A Spanish-American War state muster camp. Also used by the MI National Guard as a summer encampment site in 1900. Marker at site.

Camp Williams
(1861), Adrian
A Civil War training camp.

Camp Blair
(1864 - 1866), Jackson
A Civil War recruitment camp and hospital on 11 acres. Used for mustering out troops in 1865-66. State marker (2007) located at 1212 Wildwood Ave..

Joseph Godfrey's Trading Post
(1821 - unknown), Coldwater
A settlers' trading post was located on the Coldwater River at Oak Grove Cemetery.

Fort (Daniel) Hogan
(1832), Colon
A local militia palisaded earthwork fort built during the Black Hawk War, located at the east end of the Nottawa Prairie. It was abandoned after three days, as there was no real threat to this area.

Camp Smith
(1889), near Battle Creek
A temporary Federal camp located on the shore of a nearby lake.

Fort Custer (State Military Reservation)
(Fort Custer Industrial Park)
(Fort Custer State Recreation Area)
(1917 - 1968/present), Battle Creek
A National Army cantonment training encampment and demobilization center for the 85th Division, originally named Camp Custer. Most buildings removed in 1921, then reverted to the state and became a training area for the ROTC and CMTC. Used by the CCC after 1933. Federalized again in 1940 and renamed, with much new construction for WWII training. Site of a German POW camp. The U.S. Air Force established a radar site here 1959 - 1969. Most of the original reservation was later acquired by the city in 1971 as an industrial park and residential housing area, and another parcel (over 3000 acres) was acquired by the state as the Fort Custer State Recreation Area. Since 1968 the remaining military post continues to serve the MI National Guard and other state and Federal agencies.

Moreau's Trading Post
(1827 - 1836), near Hastings
A settlers' trading post located about six miles northwest of town on Irving Road. Monument (1914, 1966) on site.

Fort St. Joseph (2)
(1697 - 1781), Niles
The French built the fortified trading post to protect a Jesuit mission (St. Joseph) established earlier in 1691. It became British in 1761. Captured by Pontiac in 1763, but returned to the British in 1764. However, the British did not garrison the fort again until the American Revolution. In February 1781 Spanish troops from St. Louis captured and held the fort for one day. American settlement of the area began in 1829. No remains, site near the Niles dam on what is now landfill. Marker on South Bond Street, north of Fort Street. Of interest in town is the Fort St. Joseph Museum at 508 East Main Street. See also Fort St. Joseph History from Northwest Territory Alliance

Fort Miamis
(1679 - 1680), St. Joseph
A French fort built by explorer Rene Robert Cavelier, sieur de LaSalle. It was a triangular timber fort, about 40-by-80 feet on the defended sides, located by the river. It was later burned down. State marker located at Lake Blvd. and Ship Street.

William Burnett's Trading Post
(1770's - 1833), St. Joseph
An American settlers' trading post located on the west bank of the river, about one and one-half miles upriver from the mouth. His son James managed the post from 1812 - 1833. Marker located at Langley Ave. and Miller Drive.

Joseph La Framboise's Trading Post
(1800's - 1824), Grand Haven
An independant fur trade post. The owner died in 1809, but the post was continued by his widow until sold in 1824 to the American Fur Company.

QUESTIONS ? Please send any corrections and/or additions to this list to:
"Updates" at

Eastern Forts