In the village of Courtright, the river trail takes you through the waterfront park which features a public dock where you can fish or swim. Relax and enjoy a burger, pizza, or ice-cream as you watch the freighters go by. Courtright is known for it’s baseball park and splashpad.
Courtright’s development began with the expectation that it would become a terminus for the Canada Southern Railway to connect with the Michigan Air Lines Railroad via car ferries that would travel across the St. Clair River to St. Clair, Michigan then on to Chicago.
The town grew to include a post office, grist mill, hotel, lumber yard, foundry, machine shop and all the other amenities that prepared it to be a bustling transportation hub. Courtright was prepared for greater things, but on the other side of the river, in Michigan, the railway line to St. Clair, Michigan, was never built and the short route to Chicago remained a dream.
The Diamond Crystal Salt Company of St. Clair, Michigan, allowed the town to survive. Salt was shipped to the town where it was taken to Buffalo on the Canada Southern Railway from 1872 to 1960. The salt was transported over the ice, in winter, by horse drawn sleds. River ice was also harvested for use in ice boxes used to preserve perishable products.
Courtright became a busy port in the early 1900’s with cargoes of canned vegetables and package freight passing through on a daily basis. The town boasted three hotels and about 750 residents at its commercial peak.
Courtright may be quieter than in the early days but has a beautiful waterfront park, restaurants, pizza and a pick and go eatery as well as a liquor store.
CFIndustries, a nitrogen producing company, Aire Liquide and EnviroFresh greenhouses are neighbouring industries alongside the river.
CFIndustries has supported the St. Clair River Run, held the third Sat. in July, over the past number of years. They have also erected Purple Martin houses and bat houses and continue to plant native species on their property. The houses were built by the local high school students to encourage community co-operation. Truly, a good neighbour.