Looking Back

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

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 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 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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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

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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