For the First Time in 124 Years, There is No Such Place as Boblo Island
Hard to believe, but for the first time in 124 years, there is no such place as Boblo Island. The once site of the infamous amusement park has been renamed erasing one of the last remnants of days gone by.
Although the name will seem new to most of us, it's actually the original historic name of the island that was home to the historic amusement park from 1898 through 1993. The island, now owned by Amico Infrastructures, has been re-branded as Bois Blanc Canada according to Mlive. The renaming will virtually remove Boblo Island from the map.
Once considered the Coney Island of Detroit as an amusement park, today the 272-acre island is a private community. According to information, the entire north side of the island is completely developed with around 140 houses and condos. There are plans to more than double that as expansion begins to the south side of the island.
Those of us with a nostalgic side may find it name change and disappearance of the name tough to swallow. For most of us of a certain age, Boblo Island was part of growing up in Michigan, but the owners are hoping the new name and growth will be positive.
“I think most people know it as Boblo,” Cindy Prince with Amico Infrastructures told MLive. “We get so many calls from people who say they met their spouse while working at the amusement park, or that they’d like to live there because they grew up working there or visiting there with their family. There’s so many happy memories of Boblo so we’re not going to be upset if anybody calls it that, but I think Bois Blanc has a certain cache. It’s our marketing desire to go with that, but you can call it whatever you’d like.”
What's Left of the Original Boblo Island?
Although residential now, there are a few pieces of the iconic amusement park lingering. The owners have decided to preserve the original Dance Hall built in 1913, the theater, and the stonewall washrooms that still exist.
“Those are the buildings our study encouraged us to preserve,” Cindy Prince with Amico Infrastructures told MLive. "We’ll be looking for adaptive reuse for those buildings, particularly the Dance Hall.”
Visitors will be welcome to Boris Blanc Canada via the under five-minute car ferry ride from Amherstburg, Ontario. You can also walk on the ferry, which is operated by Amico 24/7.