The Roads Of Detroit
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Ever drive through Detroit and wonder where the name of the streets you travel on came from? You’re not alone! Detroit and its vast metropolitan area has a centuries-old rich, diverse history. The names of our streets weave a wonderful story that literally connects us all. Let’s take a drive!
Destination: Lafayette Avenue
Short for; Marie Joseph Paul Yyves Roch Gilbert de Motier, Marquis de Lafayette
The city of Detroit is rich with French roots. Detroit, (French name meaning, the strait of Lac Erie) was the midway point between New Orleans and Montreal in what was New France. Original Native Americans saw a new “settlement” which traces back to the original French/ European settlers who first embarked on the shores of the Detroit river near downtown in 1701.
New France circa 1745. Detroit was a vital midway between New Orleans and Montreal,Quebec..
Lafayette was a wealthy aristocrat who fought in the Revolutionary war, enlisting at the young age of 19. Lafayette rose to the rank of Major-General in the Continental Army. During his service, he and George Washington formed a life-long friendship. As a French hero of the American Revolution, he returned to America nearly 5 decades later as an invited guest of President James Monroe in 1824-25 and was a beloved figure of our young country.
Detroit, like many places throughout the United States named a major street after him. Lafayette road in Detroit begins downtown at Randolph st and runs several miles northwest to Iroquois street in Detroit’s famed Indian Village.