Detroit's giant stove and tire

Workers prepare the stove for its move from Belle Isle’s entrance on Jefferson to the State Fairgrounds in 1965. At right is the giant tire on eastbound I-94 in Allen Park. Two industries that once were of major importance to Detroit were outlived by giant symbols of their power that loomed over the city for … Continue Reading →

The Grand Army of the Republic

This group of veterans — four from Michigan and one from Ohio — played the same instruments they played in the war at a GAR encampment in Maine in 1929. From left, E.B. Stilson, 80, of Detroit; William Didswell, 86, of Adrian; color bearer J.A. Hamilton of Lansing; Samuel Treat, 90, of Coldwater and R.W. … Continue Reading →

The Detroit News Hiking Club

More than 1,600 Detroiters turned out in October 1936 for the first Detroit News nature hike. In 1936, long before it was “in” to be physically  fit,  Albert Stoll Jr., Conservation Editor of The Detroit News, wrote  “We need to be dragged out of our sedentary habits.”  Stoll was proposing a  Sunday hike in Detroit’s … Continue Reading →

The All-American Soap Box Derby

Maurice Bales, 13, of Anderson Ind., is shown winning the first national Soap Box Derby held in Akron in 1935. Myron E. Scott, a photographer for the Dayton Daily News, was  crossing a Dayton street one day when he was nearly run down by a young boy speeding downhill in a strange looking homemade wagon. … Continue Reading →

Where Detroit's elite met to eat

The Detroit Club at the corner of Cass and Fort streets downtown was built in 1891. Detroit in the 1800’s and the early part of this century was very much a club town. The Detroit Boat Club, recently closed, dated from 1839. The Detroit Club  organized in 1882, and the first incarnation of the Detroit  … Continue Reading →

Paradise Valley and Black Bottom

A Black Bottom residential street on the east side circa 1920. The sign on the tree reads”Always Drive Safely.” The 606 Horse Shoe Bar on E. Adams was a popular Black Bottom gathering spot. The 1910 census reported that Detroit’s “Negro” population was 5,741 and owned 25 places of business. But the African-American community  grew … Continue Reading →

The Sunday drive

It’s Sunday afternoon! Jump into the Chevy and let’s go. The early days of motoring inspired a new family tradition:  Piling into the car on a Sunday afternoon,  perhaps with no particular destination in mind but a desire to see where the road would lead, or to gaze at the homes of the wealthy. East … Continue Reading →

Michigan -- the home of Noah's Ark?

Some of the ancient Biblical artifacts dug up in Michigan by James Scotford and Daniel Soper. Shortly after the turn of the century Michigan became an archeological gold mine and a brisk trade developed in Biblical treasures like the diary of Noah, plans for the Tower of Babel, and copies of the Ten Commandments, which … Continue Reading →