Send Mail

To a great lakes vessel

Phone: (313) 496-0555 (24/7)
Fax: (313) 496-0628
Click here for Directions

To send mail:

Vessel Name
Marine Post Office
Detroit, Michigan 48222

To contact the office by mail:

J. W. Westcott Co.
12  24th Street
Detroit, Michigan 48222


The timeline of the J.W. Westcott Co.

1823—David H. Westcott born, Springwater, NY.

1826—Mary Jane Ward born, Keene, NY.

1844—David H. Westcott and Mary Jane Ward become the first couple married aboard a steamer on the Great Lakes, near Mackinac Island, MI.

1843—Eber Ward, Mary Jane Ward’s brother, assumes position of clerk and manager on the steamer HURON and purchases the boat soon after, establishing Ward’s Central and Pacific Lake Line and Ward’s Detroit and Lake Superior Line.

1845—David H. Westcott takes the job of fireman on the steamer HURON owned by his brother-in-law Eber Ward.

1848—John Ward (J.W.) Westcott born, Lime Island, MI.

1857— David H. Westcott becomes the operator of a shipyard in Newport, MI and begins building boats for Eber Ward.

1861—J.W. Westcott acts as cabin boy on the steamer, FORESTER.

1869—J.W. Westcott earns his master’s papers, becoming the youngest captain on fresh water. A few years later he put up range lights on Windmill Point as a guide to help vessels avoid getting grounded in the area around the head of Belle Isle and Peach (Peche) Isle.

1878—J.W. Westcott marries Henrietta Crane of Newark, NJ.

1886— J.W. Westcott, in partnership with Captain William DuLac of St. Clair, purchases a small red schooner and sets it up as a lightship at Gray’s Reef, near the Straits of Mackinac, where shoals had caused a number of wrecks.

1874—J.W. Westcott founds the J.W. Westcott Company off Belle Isle at the foot of Joseph Campau Ave., using a rowboat to deliver messages to passing ships and establishing the mail-in-the-pail technique.

1876—The J.W. Westcott Company moves to an office at the foot of Third Street.

1877—The company moves to a new location at the foot of Woodward Ave., near the Detroit-Windsor ferry.

1879—The J.W. Westcott Co, hires its first employee.

1883—John.W. Westcott, II born, Detroit, MI.

1895—The first marine post office in the nation begins operations.

1898—J.W. Westcott engages the steamer FORTUNE to take a fleet of over 100 through the icy Detroit River, saving boat owners thousands of dollars.

1902—The Independent Marine Reporting Company is founded providing the J.W. Westcott Co. with its first serious competition.

1907—J.W. Westcott, II marries Hazel Squier of Detroit, MI.

1909—Westcott’s son, J.W. Westcott, II, joins the company.

1910—The J.W. Westcott Co. purchases the J.W. WESTCOTT NO.1—its first power boat, a 20', red and black launch. Charles H. Westcott joins the company. The business is incorporated as the J.W. Westcott Company and eventually opens a second branch office in Port Huron, MI. John Ward Westcott III is born.

1912—The J.W. Westcott Co. opens a branch at the Livingston Channel.

1913— J.W. Westcott passes. Henrietta Westcott assumes presidency, while sons John and Charles oversee day-to-day operations. The company moves to a new location at the foot of First Street.

1914—The J.W. Westcott Co. opens a branch at Lime Kiln Crossing.

1917—J.W. Westcott, II marries Mildred Simpson. Charles H. Westcott marries Ermabelle Sparks.

1919—Mildred June Westcott, born Detroit, MI.

1926—The Lake Carriers Association appoints the J.W. Westcott Co. as its agent, creating the Detroit River Reporting Agency.

1935—Charles H. Westcott passes.

1947—Mildred June Westcott marries Joseph J. Hogan.

1948—J.W. Westcott becomes an official U.S. Postal Service mail boat, handling 950,273 pieces of mail.

1950—The company moves from the foot of First Street to a former warehouse across the street.

1953—The company moves to the foot of 24th street.

1955—The company moves into a new building at their existing location.

1958—J.W. Westcott, II passes. Mildred Westcott assumes presidency. J.W. Westcott III becomes manager.

1969— J.W. Westcott III dies. Joseph J. Hogan, husband of Mildred June (Westcott) Hogan, becomes manager.

1971—Mildred Westcott retires. Joseph J. Hogan becomes operating manager.

1974—Mildred June (Westcott) Hogan joins the company as secretary and treasurer. James M. Hogan joins company as a deckhand.

1995— Joseph J. Hogan passes. The J.W. Westcott Co. marks its 100th anniversary.

2010— Mildred Westcott passes. James M. Hogan, great grandson of J.W. Westcott becomes president.