After departing Montreal June 5, 1701 Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac
and his convoy of seventy-five canoes sailed down this river and on the evening of July 23 camped sixteen miles below the present city of Detroit on what is now Grosse Ile. On the morning of July 24, Cadillac returned upriver and reached a spot on the shore near the present intersection of West Jefferson and Shelby. Pleased with the strategic features, the bank towering some thirty feet above the level of the river, Cadillac landed and planted the flag of France, taking posession of the territory in the name of King Louis XIV. The erection of a fortress was immediately begun. The stockade, formed of fifteen-foot oak pickets set three feet into the ground, occupied an area of about an acre. The fortress was named Fort Pontchartrain du Detroit
(the strait) in honor of Count Jerome de Pontchartrain, Minister of Marine. From this fort and settlement, Detroit, the Renaissance City, takes its origin.