Looking Back

Published July 19, 2017

FARMINGTON — Fifty years ago, budding with optimism, Melvin Peters decided to move to Detroit from the South to create a better life for himself as a Detroit Public Schools teacher. However, the then-22-year-old did not realize that he had picked a tumultuous time — right before the summer of 1967 — to relocate. 

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Published July 19, 2017

C&G Newspapers

MACOMB COUNTY — The Lorenzo Cultural Center will present the exhibit “Flash Point: Detroit 1967” July 23 through Sept. 30. 

“Flash Point: Detroit 1967” — in partnership with the Detroit Historical Society’s D67 Project — comprises photographs and quotes from period documents and reports, and is accompanied by a series of presentations that reflect on the Detroit civil unrest that occurred July 23-27, 1967.

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Published July 19, 2017

C&G Newspapers

A riot. A rebellion. Violent civil unrest. Whatever you choose to call it, the chaos that erupted at 12th and Clairmount in July 1967 and ravaged Detroit for the next five days changed the city forever.

The experience echoes in the memories of those who were there, and 50 years later they recall in vivid detail the sights and sounds of their city as it was turned into a war zone.

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Published July 19, 2017

ROCHESTER — In this historical photo, Charles Case, the owner of Case Hardware, helps customers choose seed packets during the 1930s.

Case Hardware, located at 335 Main St., was destroyed in a fire in 1968.

A seed company known as D. M. Ferry and Co. purchased 113 acres in Rochester for experimental gardens in 1913. Later, it purchased 850 acres near Auburn and Rochester roads.

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Published July 5, 2017

These days, we take for granted having a fire department with the equipment to handle most any fire that might arise.

It might surprise people to know that until 1927, the Birmingham Fire Department was staffed by volunteers, and the force didn’t even have the necessary gear. As is often the case, it took a tragedy and the ensuing outcry for the then-village to realize it needed a professional staff and equipment.

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Published June 28, 2017

UTICA — On June 22, Utica kicked off its bicentennial celebration at Jimmy John’s Field with performances by local high school marching bands, remarks from local dignitaries, a short historical video, a vintage baseball game and a regular-season baseball game.

The four-day celebration coincided with the city’s annual Riverwalk Festival, but organizers pumped up the entertainment and the focus on history for the special 200th anniversary.

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Published June 23, 2017

CENTER LINE — Evelyn Herzog was born in 1915 and died in 1925. She was killed in an “aeroplane accident” and was laid to rest in the St. Clement Cemetery in Center Line, east of Van Dyke and just north of 10 Mile Road.

“There’s actually a newspaper article about it,” said Sandra Fortin, walking among the cemetery’s headstones and stone accoutrements, many recently dug from the earth, where they laid buried for decades alongside the graves of the dearly departed.

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Published June 22, 2017

DETROIT — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Belle Isle Conservancy and the Michigan Press Association have embarked on a new campaign to save one of Belle Isle’s most well-known landmarks: the Newsboy Shelter.

Built in 1911 and officially known as shelter No. 1, it became colloquially known as the Newsboy Shelter due to its proximity to the nearby newsboy statue that was dedicated to the city of Detroit in the early 1900s by Detroit media icon James Scripps.

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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

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 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 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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Upcoming Events

Bloomfield Township
'Dessert & the DIA: African American Art'
10:30-11:30 a.m.
Bloomfield Township Senior Center

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