top of page

Building in Michigan Since 1683


My Grandpa x 7 was Olivier Morel DeLadurantaye. He was born on February 17, 1640 in France. Olivier was contracted by the King of France, Louie the Great and sailed to North America on one of seven ships that spring called the LeBreze. He arrived in Canada (New France) on June 30 1665 as a captain in the Carignan-Salieres Regiment an army for hire whose mission was to establish out posts (Forts) along the Great Lakes for the purpose of trading French wares to the Indians for their furs of the region beaver, fox, etc.

He worked with his company on the building of Fort Sainte Ann in 1670 and was also said to have a hand in the building of Fort de Buade in the U.P., Fort Miami, Fort St. Joseph both in Michigan and then later Fort Chicagou in Illinois. Olivier Morel DeLadurantaye was attached to the Quebec garrison where he commanded a company of troops. Fur trading was also one of his occupations. He owned a fur trading post for 8 years in Montreal.


In October of 1682 Olivier DeLadurantaye was instructed by the Governor to do two things, one was to go to the Great Lakes region and invite the Indians in the region to come to Montreal to trade their furs and meet the new governor. He also received orders to inquire into the activities of DeLasalle as it was likely that DeLasalle was to lose the authority which he held over the forts in the Great Lakes region. In July of 1683 Olivier was also instructed to help with the construction of Michilimackinac and serve as Commandant of that Fort. It was a post that my grandpa kept until 1690.


On July 19, 1684 Olivier left Fort Michilimackinac as head of a party of 500 men. He was to join an expedition against the Iroquois. They were supposed to meet at Niagara, but on the way my grandpa was informed by messenger of the conclusion of an unfortunate peace treaty signing at Oswego, New York. So on June 6, 1686 grandpa was then instructed to head back and set up a post at Detroit. He is documented in two books as having travelled extensively in the Great Lakes the most notable being his travels and work in the Detroit river region in the 1680s and 1690s, many years before Cadillac first visited there. On June 7, 1687 grandpa was also instructed to repeat the formal taking over of the Forts in the Great Lakes region that were first controlled by DeLasalle.


In 1690 grandpa persuaded 400 – 500 Indians to go with him to trade their furs in Montreal. For that he marshaled 100 canoes! For his many years of service and his loyalty to the King of France he was granted a large tract of land in New France (Quebec) on the St. Laurence seaway where today there sits the town of DeLadurantaye along with a DeLadurantaye Post Office and main street DeLadurantaye.....


Although my grandpa accomplished many more things for himself and the King of France, this is the short version for those who might be curious when I say our family has been building in Michigan since 1683.


Scott A. DeLadurantaye

bottom of page