Local Historian Chronicles the 'Fox Indian Massacre' of Grosse Pointe

Elizabeth Vogel presents paper about only battle to take place in Grosse Pointe


GROSSE POINTE - Three hundred years ago, the first and only battle engaged in the Grosse Pointes occurred in what is now the Windmill Pointe area of Grosse Pointe.

A historical marker commemorating the "Fox Indian Massacre" reads, "Encouraged by a potential alliance with the English, the Fox Indians besieged Fort Pontchartrain, Detroit, in 1712. Repulsed by the French and their Huron and Ottawa Indian allies, the Fox retreated and entrenched themselves in this area known as Presque Isle. The French pursued and defeated the Fox in the only battle fought in the Grosse Pointes. More than a thousand Fox Indians were killed in a fierce five-day struggle. Soon afterward French settlers began to develop the Grosse Pointes."

Elizabeth Vogel, a lifelong Grosse Pointer and trustee of the Grosse Pointe Historical Society, was intrigued by the marker and did some research.

During an Oct. 22 meeting of the Rotary of Grosse Pointe, Vogel presented her 30-page paper, "Commemorating the Fox Indian Massacre," which will be published later this year.  Her presentation told "the rest of the story" about the French-Indian battle.

Vogel earned her BA in history at Albion and an MA in European history at Loyola in Chicago. 


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