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October 07, 1983 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-10-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

6 Friday, October 1, 1983

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Home of Michigan's First Jew Is Being Excavated at Straits Fort

Continued from Page 1)
was relatively undis-
turbed and accurate re-
cords were available. He
said other areas of the
fort had been altered by

18th Century British
building projects, the
founding of Mackinaw
City and a New Deal pro-
ject in the 1930s which
cleared part of the fort.

FEN1N- STEIN

The basement excavation
has uncovered two levels,
one French and one British.
The French had torn down
the fort in the 1730s and
built a larger structure. The

"Ezekiel Solomon's busi-
ness often took him to
Montreal where his is be-
lieved to have been buried
and where he was a member
of Canada's first Jewish
congregation, Shearith Is-
rael."

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at Fort Michimilimackinac in Mackinaw City.

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original house was 23 feet
on each side and was the
only one in the fort with two
rooms.
The archeologists have
found children's toys, dis:-
carded ceramics and food
stuffs. Archeologists expect
to find in the future trade
goods in the "British sec-
tion" of the dig where the
Solomon family used the
basement.
Land records show that a
French family, the Parants,
built the home and lived
there through the French
period of the fort. The
French and British both
lived at the site after a peace
treaty was signed in 1761
ending the French and In-
dian War. Parant served as
commander of the fort after
Chief Pontiac's uprising in
1763.
The British took complete
control in 1765 and later
that year Solomon bought
the home from Parant.

sident of the Jewish faith.
"Solomon was one of the
most active Mackinac fur
traders until his death
about 1808. He was one of
those who narrowly escaped
death _ in the massacre of
1763.
"During the Revolutio-
nary War, he and other
hard-pressed traders pooled
their resources to form a
general store. In 1784 he
was a member of a commit-
tee of eight formed to regu-
late the Mackinac area
trade.

Expert to Speak
on 'Jesuit Rings'

Archeologist
Judy
Hauser will discuss "Jesuit
Rings from Fort
Michimilimackinac" at the
meeting of the Windsor
Chapter of the Ontario Ar-
cheological Association.
The meeting, at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday at the Windsor
Public Library, is open to
the public.
Archeologists do not
agree on whether the
"Jesuit rings" were religi-
ous items or Indian trade
articles. Although most are
concentrated in the Mac-
kinac and St. Joseph areas,
some have been found as far
away as Texas and
Louisiana.

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A Michigan historical
marker at the fort,
erected at the request of
the Jewish Historical
Society of Michigan, is
entitled "Michigan's
First Jewish Settler." It
states:

"Ezekiel Solomon, a na-
tive of Berlin, Germany,
who had served with the
British army, arrived at
Michimilimackinac in the
summer of 1761. He is
Michigan's first known re-
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