Thomas St. Aubin

Descendants track their French connections back to Detroit's birth

By Bill Loomis / The Detroit News The names are still familiar on street signs in Detroit: Rivard. St. Aubin. Dubois. Chene. Dequindre. Charlevoix. Cadieux. Riopelle. And many others. A legacy of the city’s French beginnings, several of the streets mark the location of ancient family “ribbon” farms, narrow strips of farmland that ran from … Continue Reading →

Hotel Cadillac, circa 1895

Grand hotels of early Detroit: Cotillions, celebrities and Turkish baths

By Bill Loomis / Special to The Detroit News It was not long after the first steamboat, “Walk in the Water,” docked in Detroit in the summer of 1818 that emigrants from Europe and New England, tourists, soldiers and other visitors began pouring into the small town. By 1835 there were hundreds of newcomers daily; … 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 →

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 →

1910 milk wagon

Got milk? A century ago, it came from a peddler - and bring your own pitcher

By Bill Loomis / Special to The Detroit News “Mrs. Gertrude Klinck is a milk peddler, and yesterday she left her horse wagon and cans on Russell Street while she entered a grocery store to make some purchases. She desires to know now where her horse and wagon are,” said a notice on Dec. 8, … Continue Reading →