Valentine's Card

Valentine's Day history: When Feb. 14 meant tender effusions (but no spooning!)

By Bill Loomis / The Detroit News Saint Valentine’s Day dates back to the fifth century, but the practice of exchanging Valentine’s Day cards began in the 19th century, and quickly caught on. As a writer in Graham’s American Monthly — a popular national magazine of the 19th century — observed in 1849, “Saint Valentine’s … Continue Reading →

Wild times at the farmers market

By Bill Loomis / Special to The Detroit News Summer Saturdays in Detroit means it’s time to shop at the venerable and still popular Eastern Market, a destination drawing untold thousands of bargain hunters for more than 125 years. Yet perhaps few shoppers today know that the market, bracketed by Gratiot Avenue, the I-75 service … Continue Reading →

Blind Pig

Living it up in Old Detroit

From nickel meals to elaborate dinners, Detroit’s restaurants, taverns, roadhouses and saloons were the hangouts of their day By Bill Loomis  / Special to The Detroit News Before the famous Delmonico’s restaurant opened in New York City in 1845, there were no restaurants in the United States as we know them today. There were, however, … Continue Reading →

A boy plays under a Christmas tree in 1960

Christmas traditions in Old Detroit: Pigeon pie, horse racing, tapers on trees

By Bill Loomis / Special to The Detroit News Celebrations of Christmas in Detroit over the centuries have been highlighted by feasts and charity, toys and trees — and fires caused by lighted candles on those trees. Although Protestant churches in Detroit did not embrace the Christmas holiday until the 1840s, it was long celebrated … Continue Reading →