|Source 1918 Proposed Belle Isle Bridge|
Belle Isle has changed its name four times. First, it was called Isle Ste. Claire; second, Rattlesnake Island from the number of snakes which invested it; third, Hog Island Isle Aux Cochous by the French from the number of animals put there to destroy the snakes; fourthly, on July 4, 1845, the name was changed to Belle Isle, after Miss Bella Cass, daughter of General Cass, afterwards the wife of Baron Von Limburg. The island contains 704 acres. On the first day of August, 1768, it was purchased from the Indians of the Ottawa and Chippewa nations in council (under direction of His Majesty's commander-in-chief) and conveyed to...George McDougall, Lieutenant of the Sixtieth Regiment British troops for a sum amounting to 190 ten shillings York money. A few years ago the City of Detroit, at an expense of over $2,000,000, has converted it into a park and for splendor and
beauty is without a rival on the American continent at the present time. It was surveyed by Mr. Boyd in 1771. [Source]
Update: Belle Isle became a state park in 2014.