Wednesday, November 21, 2012

John Askin And His Home In Sandwich

John Askin was a prominent Detroit merchant at one time; after the Revolutionary War he moved across the river into Canada.

The Askin family attained influence in the Detroit district at an early period. The name was originally the Scottish "Erskine" and was changed to conceal identity after the Jacobite defeat in 1715. One of the old family removed to Ireland and had a son, John Askin who settled in America and at the time of the Conquest of Canada was a merchant at Albany.  In the Pontiac outbreak he transported the supplies from Albany by Lake Erie to Detroit and received, as a reward, grants of land at Detroit. In 1764 he went as Commissary to Michilimackinac, returning in 1780 to Detroit as a trader. He was successful in business and amassed much property, which he abandoned to the States at the close of the Revolutionary War. He then settled in Canada on the east side of the Detroit river. He was appointed a Captain of Militia in 1787 by Lord Dorchester and in 1796 was promoted to be Lieut-Colonel and Colonel in 1801. [Source]

In Sandwich East (above Walkerville), now the home of Alexander H. Askin, the grandson of John Askin, who did heroic service during the Pontiac War in 1762. In 1796, When Detroit was formally made a part of the Union, John Askin, through his steadfast loyalty to Great Britain, lost his property in Detroit, now worth nearly six million dollars, and moved to the site of the present homestead. In 1843 the original building was removed and the present home erected.

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