A former mill town on the Huron River in Van Buren Township, western Wayne County. Originally platted as Snow's Landing in 1823, it became known as Rawsonville by the end of the 1830s; by the Civil War period its fortunes and population had peaked.
When Detroit Edison built the French Landing hydroelectric dam in 1924, the town had devolved into a more or less rural outpost with almost no original buildings remaining. It was drowned under the waters of Belleville Lake in 1925.
A neighborhood located northwest of the lake and south of I-94 (northwest of the intersection of Grove Street and Rawsonville Road, and built on land that would have been on the edge of the original town is sometimes marked as Rawsonville on maps (such as GoogleMaps).
This 1874 plat map shows the course of the Huron River in Ypsilanti Township upstream from Rawsonville.
On the web
In the news
- Belleville Enterprise Rare tour of French Landing Dam set 2009-08-13
A fleet of commercial flat-bottomed boats plied the river during the 1830s, carrying tons of freight from the Village of Rawsonville, known as Snow’s Landing, to Detroit. By 1840, villages of Rawsonville, Belleville and French Landing were thriving with grist and lumber mills powered by the Huron River.
Henry H. Snow was the third purchaser to arrive, also coming by way of the Huron River. He also settled in section 19, on what was later known as the Isaac Bumpus farm. After erecting a home, he built a saw-mill on the Huron River, where the community of Rawsonville emerged. For a number of years, the area was known as Snow's Landing and large flat-bottom boats capable of carrying tons of freight, poled up and down the river, between "the Landing" and Lake Erie. Snow came from Maine and his land patent was dated September 13, 1823. In July 1825, he sold out to Dr. Abel Millington who lived in Ypsilanti.