MONROE, Mich. (WXYZ) — The DTE Foundation is donating $375,000 to expand the River Raisin National Battlefield in Monroe. The donations will come over a three-year period.
According to DTE, the plan is called the River Raisin Heritage Corridor and will develop 45 acres of the park, including the re-creation of Old Frenchtown, a settlement that will include ribbon farms, orchards, vineyards, and historically correct houses from 1812.
The donation will help build the first structure in Old Frenchtown, and also fund the educational programming in the building. The building is a barn on the historic Godfroy Ribbon Farm and will center its education activities around trade and econmics.
“We appreciate DTE Foundation’s partnership with us to help fulfill our vision for a unique and immersive educational experience for visitors to RRNBP,” said Toni Cooper, Director of River Raisin National Park Foundation (RRNBPF).
When finished, people visiting Old Frenchtown will be taken back tot he early 1800s.
River Raising National Battleield is one of only four National Battlefield Parks in the U.S., and it's dedicated to telling the untold story of the War of 1812. It was the largest battle fought on Michigan soil and one of the bloodiest battles in the war.
“The War of 1812 was pivotal in our nation’s history and Michigan played a significant role,” said Lynette Dowler, president of the DTE Foundation. “We’re proud to support the River Raisin National Battlefield Park and its quest to educate students on this rich history.”