Featured Windows, September 1998
Dossin Great Lakes Museum, Belle Isle, Detroit, MI
Building: Dossin Great Lakes Museum
The La Salle Window in the Dossin Great Lakes Museum was originally part of the "City of Detroit III," a luxurious side-wheel steamboat built by the Detroit and Cleveland Navigation Company in 1912 for sailing the Great Lakes. Designed by naval architect Frank E. Kirby with interiors by decorator Louis O. Keil, the large vessel held staterooms, dining rooms, salons, and an elaborate smoking lounge called the Gothic Room, where the window was a prominent feature. Although the ship was scrapped in 1956, the Gothic Room and its window were eventually recovered and restored for installation in the Museum, through a gift from the Louisa St. Clair Chapter of the DAR.
The window represents the seventeenth-century French explorer Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, landing at the site of present-day Detroit, while sailing through the Detroit River in 1679. Pictured with La Salle are French cavaliers, priests, and a sailor who has brought the landing party to shore, where Indians witness their arrival. A banner below bears the inscription, "The French Led by La Salle Discover Detroit." The La Salle Window is signed by the stained glass firm of John Hardman & Co. of Birmingham, England.
Text by Betty MacDowell, Michigan Stained Glass Census, September , 1998.