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First Towns to Settle in Essex County

  • First towns to be settled were Amherstburg and Sandwich
  • Established in 1796 when the British had to give up Detroit by the terms of the Jay Treaty signed in 1794
  • Amherstburg grew as a garrison town just below Fort Malden
  • Fort Malden replaced Fort Lernoult at Detroit
  • Fort and town were built opposite Bois Blanc Island between the land of the Wyandots to the north, the Huron Reserve, and the Indian Department Officers’ lands to the south
  • Sandwich grew on the south shore opposite their former location in Detroit
  • Among the settlers to both towns were merchants of Detroit who were forced to leave because they chose to remain British subjects
  • Other settlers included craftsmen, tradesmen, shopkeepers, innkeepers and labourers from Detroit and the eastern colonies who, as Loyalists, preferred lots instead of farms