Looking Back

Published June 21, 2017

Workers survey a train wreck near Yates Cider Mill in 1956. The Detroit-Bay City Railroad Co. operated the Yates Station, near Dequindre and Avon roads, from 1871 until 1964.

According to the Michigan Department of Transportation, in 1987, Michigan owned 872 miles of railroad. Beginning in 1998, the state began to divest itself of rail operations, and today, MDOT owns 665 miles of railroad.

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Published June 20, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Virginia MacHarg became the St. Clair Shores Public Library director in October 1959, after the retirement of Delia Waldner, the library’s second director. During MacHarg’s tenure, the reference collection was greatly expanded and, in 1964, the library joined the Library Network of Macomb. This allowed the library to increase the number of books available to patrons, at a lower cost. MacHarg also began the library’s Great Lakes and Michigan history collection (now the Arthur M. Woodford Local History Center).

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Published June 20, 2017

UTICA — Utica’s bicentennial celebration is right around the corner June 22-25. The 200th birthday bash will be chock full of fun family events, as well as historical presentations, artifacts and tours.

The concluding event will be a guided tour of the historic Utica Cemetery at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 25. Organizers estimate that the tour will last approximately two hours.

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Published June 14, 2017

The Orchard Lake Museum has received two new acquisitions from the great-great-grandson of early local resident John Baptiste DeConick: a Victorian pram and a Bryce spinning wheel.

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Published June 14, 2017

HARPER WOODS — Each year, alumni of the Harper Woods Bishop Gallagher High School football team gather together to share their passion for the school, despite the school having closed in 2001.

The former football players use the opportunity to stay in touch, reminisce and raise money for good causes.

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Published June 7, 2017

This photograph, taken around 1905, shows Cass Street (now Avenue) in downtown Utica, looking north from Main Street. Note the buggies parked along the street and the horses tied to the numerous hitching rails in front of the stores. Also notice that Cass and Main Street are not paved. In just a few years, the hitching rails will be gone, the buggies will be replaced by automobiles and the roads will be paved. Most of the buildings in this photograph have been replaced by newer ones, except for the building on the far right, which today is occupied by Hogs Hollow Smokehouse.

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Published June 7, 2017

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Alexander Milnikel, a recent member of the Shelby Township Historical Committee, took the group into the realm of social media by creating a page dedicated to interactive local history.

Milnikel, a 25-year-old Sterling Heights resident who earned a master’s degree in public history from Western Michigan University last year, decided to use Facebook as a platform to reach the everyday person about what occurred here in the past.

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Published June 7, 2017

GROSSE POINTE SHORES — The Grosse Pointe Historical Society is going to do something it’s never done before this month: host its annual gala fundraiser in a new, not historical, home.

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Published June 6, 2017

C&G Newspapers

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On Sunday, June 11, the Cars R Stars show will return to the Packard Proving Grounds. Each year, the show celebrates a unique type of vehicle, and this year organizers will present a rear-engine vehicle display.

The eighth annual show will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the historic venue, located at 49965 Van Dyke Ave., south of 23 Mile Road. Admission at the gates costs $5, and children 12 and younger will be admitted for free when accompanied by a paid adult.

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Published May 31, 2017

ROSEVILLE — RoseFest is a reincarnation of the former Rose Festival that ran from 1936 to 1976 in Roseville. It was the big event in Roseville where, every year, there was a parade and pageant queen with her court.

The festival ran for 40 years and then was gone for almost 40 years, according to Roseville City Manager Scott Adkins.

Adkins obtained a copy of the 16th annual Rose Festival program, by the Rose Festival Committee, stating that year’s Rose Festival was held in 1974, which led Adkins to believe there was a break in the years of the festival.

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Published May 31, 2017

DETROIT — The Detroit Port Authority unveiled a new educational display May 22 called the “Portal View” that aims to teach the public about the maritime history of Detroit.

The event took place at the site of the Portal View display — outside the Carl Levin Port Authority Building at 130 Atwater St. Making the occasion even more significant was that it took place on National Maritime Day.

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Published May 22, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — This year is the 65th anniversary of the annual St. Clair Shores Memorial Day Parade. Attracting tens of thousands of spectators, the parade is the largest in the area and possibly one of the largest in the Midwest. 

Originally organized by the American Legion, the Amvets and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the parade today is organized by the city of St. Clair Shores Memorial Day Parade Committee.

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Published May 17, 2017

Before the building was torn down sometime during the 1960s, the offices of Rochester municipal officials were located above the city’s fire station in the east alley, off Fourth Street, near Main Street.

The building was built in 1895 for a cost of $750, according to Rochester Hills Museum officials, and it replaced a rented facility that had been used by city officials for the previous 25 years. In addition to the municipal offices and the Fire Department, the building held the city Police Department and jail.

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Published May 17, 2017

Edward A. Weber, who served in the U.S. Coast Guard 1951-54 and was a member of the Honor Guard for President Harry S. Truman, recalls the history of “The Rock” at the Keego Harbor Veterans’ Memorial Plaza. 

Weber’s father, Edward, was a well-known stonemason in the area who did much of the stonework at the St. Mary’s campus and built 17 waterwheel bases for Henry Ford.   

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Published May 16, 2017

TROY — As the employees of Beaumont Hospital, Troy, were celebrating the hospital’s 40th anniversary, they wanted to include the community in the celebration. 

Beaumont Hospital, Troy, President Nancy Susick said the hospital conducted a community needs assessment last year, which identified heart and vascular conditions, diabetes and obesity as topics about which the community needs knowledge. The result is a community outreach program, “Keeping the Beat,” a free event at the hospital 5-8 p.m. May 23 that will focus on heart health. 

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Published May 3, 2017

DETROIT — The Detroit Yacht Club is inviting the public to attend a fundraising gala to support its historic clubhouse on Belle Isle.

A fixture in Detroit for nearly a century, the clubhouse will host the fundraiser, which will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 19, in the clubhouse’s ballroom. 

The purpose of the event is the preservation of the architecturally and historically significant building.

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Published May 3, 2017

UTICA — On April 26, Trinity Lutheran Church and School removed the bell from its bell tower as part of a capital campaign to make improvements and renovations to its buildings.

The whole bell assembly weighs 2,100 pounds. The church purchased the 48-inch-diameter, cast-steel bell from a Northville-based foundry in 1905 for $125, according to handwritten meeting minutes describing the transaction.

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Published May 3, 2017

Dorothy Anderson Schultz, 92, of Shelby Township, worked as a typist at the Packard Automotive Plant in downtown Detroit from June 1943 to May 1947. While she worked at Packard, her fiancé, Edward Schultz, served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Her father owned two Packard vehicles, and both of her parents worked the night shift at the plant.

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Published May 1, 2017

C&G Newspapers

OAKLAND COUNTY — If walls could talk, the ones that hold up some of Oakland County’s most historic homes would no doubt have some great stories to tell.

But since walls can’t talk, Ron Campbell will have to do it for them. That’s what he’ll do at the next Oakland County Pioneer and Historical Society mini-lecture at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 7.

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Published April 26, 2017

FARMINGTON — The Detroit United Railroad was an interurban or light rail system that began service in 1901. It ran from Detroit to downtown Farmington. The main junction, known as the Farmington Junction, was at Grand River Avenue and Orchard Lake Road in Farmington. From there, commuters could be connected to Pontiac, Northville and Detroit. The trollies ran for 30 years, until the Great Depression, and were later replaced by street railways. Every car required a motorman and a brakeman, as well as men to help operate and maintain the rail tracks and passenger cars.

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Upcoming Events

Warren
Celebrate Recovery meeting
7 p.m.
Paradox Church
Troy
Four-week songwriting class
5-6 p.m.
J-RO School of Music
Royal Oak
February music program
1 p.m.
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Rochester
Applicants sought for music scholarship
ongoing
Older Persons' Commission

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