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Godfroy's on the Pottawatomi TRail
(64 North Huron Street)
To commemorate the first settlement in Washtenaw County - Godfroy's on the Pottawatomi Trail - Established by Gabriel Godfroy in 1809 - Erected by Ypsilanti Chapter D.A.R. - 1917.

The land on which the City of Ypsilanti now stands was said to be considered neutral ground by the tribes of Native Americans who inhabited the region. Here several trails intersected where the tribes carried out trade, councils and ceremonies. So it is no surprise that in 1809 Gabriel Godfroy, Francis Pepin and Louis LeShambre built a trading post, the first permanent structure in what is now Washtenaw County. The post was known as "Godfroy’s on the Pottawatomi Trail." The post is said to have stood on the northeast corner of Huron and Pearl Streets.

The post was mostly likely a large block house built of heavy logs, surrounded by a stockade extending down the bluff to enclose a spring. The first floor of the block would have been the trading room, where Native Americans exchanged furs of otter, fox, wolf and the skins of deer and wildcat for gaudy trinkets, power and shot and whiskey.

The post was destroyed by fire in about 1815, and a new post was built, which was destroyed by fire in about 1820. By this time the tribes had moved west, and the traders followed. “The first permanent settlers in Ypsilanti,” wrote Harvey Colburn in The Story of Ypsilanti, “found only a few charred logs and remnants of the bark roof.”

The Daughters of the American Revolution decided in 1917 to mark the location of the post in a formal manner. On June 14, 1917 an exercise was held at 64 North Huron Street, at the Detroit Edison Building, now part of the Riverside Arts Center, called Riverside Off Center, when a bronze plaque was unveiled. The Ypsilanti Record of June 15, 1917, called it a “Fitting Program.”