Looking Back

Published April 12, 2017

Unless you can’t find a parking space, you probably don’t associate the word “murder” with Birmingham.

But Greenwood Cemetery was actually established after two brutal ax murders.

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Published April 5, 2017

This photograph shows the old iron bridge that carried Main Street (Auburn Road) over the Clinton River in Utica. It was taken in 1904 by the famous local photographer Louis Pesha. The Canadian-born Pesha settled in Marine City in 1901, where he opened a photography studio and postcard shop. For the next 11 years, Pesha traveled around Michigan in his steam-powered motor car — which you can see in this photo near the bridge — photographing buildings, ships and street scenes for his profitable postcard business.Read More

Published April 3, 2017

Father Camillus Maes, of St. Peter Church, recognized the need for a Catholic school in Mount Clemens. He sought the help of nuns belonging to the order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary from Monroe, Michigan. They agreed to help if the school would be named in honor of the Blessed Mother. The school was built in 1870 next to St. Peter Church. The nuns traveled up to Mount Clemens by canoe to start their mission of teaching 80 enrolled students.

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Published March 29, 2017

ROCHESTER HILLS — Teacher and education advocate Eva Woodward helped establish the Woodward Memorial Library, which later became the Rochester Hills Public Library. 

Woodward was born in 1855, the daughter of Rochester farming pioneer Lysander Woodward. Her 1933 obituary describes her as “a great lady of rare culture” whose attributes “go to make up a life as near perfect as is possible.” 

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Published March 22, 2017

Collecting human hair was once much more than an activity that wig makers, obsessed celebrity fans and the occasional serial killer indulged in. In Victorian times — a period from 1837 to 1901 — it was the ultimate sign of love and friendship. 

More intimate than an autograph or a photo, a lock of hair kept loved ones close, even when they were geographically far away. Sometimes a lock of hair was cut from a deceased individual as part of the grieving process, but locks from living individuals were often collected too.

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Published March 22, 2017

Two hundred years ago, Edwin Tiffin, surveyor general of the United States, employed several deputy surveyors to measure and mark the boundaries of the 25 townships in Oakland County. This effort was necessary for the U.S. Government Land Office in Detroit to sell property to early settlers in Oakland County.  

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Published March 21, 2017

C&G Newspapers

HARPER WOODS/GROSSE POINTES — Although its glory days may have been behind it, the recent closure of Macy’s at Eastland Center in Harper Woods comes with more than a little sadness for those who shopped or worked at this community institution.

The store was one of 68 Macy’s locations nationwide — four of them in Michigan — that were slated to close this spring because of declining revenues.

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Published March 14, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Nearly 100 years ago, the mission of Trinity Episcopal Church began in a converted chicken house.

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Published March 7, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Along 24 Mile Road between Card and Foss roads, sits more than 200 years of Macomb Township history.

A 1-acre cemetery contains the family names of Hall, Foss and Card, all of which are names familiar to the township and its history.

Gravesites of soldiers who fought in the Civil War can be found there along with a couple of individuals who were born in the late 1700’s.

For about the past seven years, one township resident has taken up the responsibility of maintaining this plot of land.

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Published March 2, 2017

EASTPOINTE — The East Detroit Federation of Teachers celebrated 75 years in the East Detroit Public Schools community Feb. 17.

“The American Federation of Teachers sponsors EDFT, the exclusive representative of all certified instructional personnel employed by East Detroit Public Schools,” stated East Detroit Public Schools Marketing and Communication Coordinator Francesca Lucido in a press release Feb. 16.

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Published March 1, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — A piece of history will come down this year when the Roy O’Brien Ford dealership on Nine Mile Road and Greater Mack Avenue continues its renovations with the removal of  the original building, which dates back to the early 1900s.

Mark O’Brien said that the building was originally home to a Hupmobile dealership, an automobile built from 1909 through 1939 by the Hupp Motor Car Co.

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Published March 1, 2017

GROSSE POINTE SHORES — Despite plans to build a new, larger visitor center and consolidate staffers in a new administrative building, officials at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House insist there are no plans to ramp up the schedule of activities at the historic estate.

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Published March 1, 2017

ROCHESTER — An apartment fire burns during the 1950s or 1960s on the northwest corner of Main Street and University Drive. A fire truck with “National Twist Drill” written on its side aids firefighting efforts.

According to Rochester Hills Museum officials, during World War II, cities were not able to obtain fire trucks. But National Twist Drill’s efforts in the war enabled Rochester to purchase a truck, and the name of the business was proudly displayed. 

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Published February 22, 2017

Many people are aware of what is known as the 1967 Detroit riot. Many Detroiters consider it a rebellion rather than a riot. After undercover Detroit police officer Charles Henry entered the United Civic League for Community Action — an illegal after-hours club above the Economy Print Shop on the northwest corner of Clairmount and 12th Street — in the pre-dawn hours of July 23, 1967, Detroit would never be the same.

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Published February 22, 2017

Nowadays, society is a little more relaxed when it comes to marriage proposals. It isn’t considered completely unacceptable for a woman to propose matrimony to the object of her affections, but in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, it would have been.

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Published February 15, 2017

By Kim Parr, director of the Macomb County Historical Society & Crocker House Museum

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Published February 7, 2017

BERKLEY — A local Berkley company has made its new home the recently renovated site of a 100-year-old building that once housed Stewart’s Pharmacy.

The occupant of the site, intelligence software company Decypher Corp., bought the building at 3010 Coolidge Highway back in 2008, but was unable to operate in the space because of structural problems and issues with the economy at the time.

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Published February 6, 2017

FARMINGTON — Happy anniversary, Farmington. 

This year marks the 150th since the city’s incorporation in 1867. Farmington’s rich history spans even further back to its founding in 1824 — 193 years ago.

Don’t pop open the bubbly and cut the cake just yet, though, because city officials plan to have a big to-do to celebrate the city’s founding in seven years, when it turns 200 years old. 

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Published January 25, 2017

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — State Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township, recently had two bills signed into Michigan law by Gov. Rick Snyder.

The bills do away with bond and time requirements for retrieving seized property and instate a civics test about the U.S. for high schoolers, respectively.

Public Act 418 of 2016 removes the requirement that property owners must post a 10 percent bond — not less than $250 or more than $5,000 — within 20 days of seizure by law enforcement officials to start the process of potentially returning the property to its owners.

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Published January 19, 2017

Apple Island is a place that matters. Formed during the recession of the region’s last ice-age glacier 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, the 35-acre island has always been considered a special place. It is a geological rarity: Inland bodies of water as small as Orchard Lake rarely have islands as big as Apple Island. From its earliest aboriginal visitor to today’s casual tourist, the island’s undeniable allure endures. 

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Rochester Hills
Annual River Day logo contest
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