Looking Back

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 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 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 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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Published January 18, 2017

UTICA/STERLING HEIGHTS — Between Jan. 23 and 28, all you have to do is tweet #DigUtica on Twitter to cast a vote for a contest, hosted by Central Michigan University’s Clarke Historical Library, to digitalize the Utica Sentinel newspaper.

Residents are encouraged to vote, and vote often. Clarke only digitalizes one paper per year, and Sterling Heights and Utica are competing against four other finalists in the state for the opportunity. The Utica Sentinel published from 1876 to 1966.

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Published January 18, 2017

ROCHESTER — The Detroit Sugar Mill was located on land north of Woodward Street, near the tracks of the Detroit United Railway, which is now the Paint Creek Trail.   

Constructed in 1899 to process Michigan-grown sugar beets, the massive building was torn down just seven years later after a series of economic setbacks, which included the removal of government tariffs on Cuban sugar, leading to a decrease in demand for domestic sugar. Local farmers also found Rochester-area soil unsuited to growing sugar beets.

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Published January 18, 2017

ROCHESTER HILLS — History buffs and researchers can travel back in time, thanks to a new online collection of documents and old newspapers provided by the Rochester Hills Museum.

“Archives are the reason we exist,” Museum Supervisor Pat McKay said. “And newspapers are the most important thing we own in our archive collection.”

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Published January 18, 2017

GROSSE POINTE SHORES — The Edsel and Eleanor Ford House is gearing up to make changes for its future, but the historical estate ended 2016 with honors that acknowledge the property’s storied past.

Ford House officials were slated to present plans for a new and expanded Activities Center, among other developments, during a Grosse Pointe Shores Planning Commission meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 10 at the Ford House — after the Jan. 12 edition of the Grosse Pointe Times went to press.

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Published January 18, 2017

We typically think about ice in terms of how it makes our steps, or commutes, slippery in winter. When it’s bitter cold outdoors, it’s hard to think about ice as what keeps our summer drinks refreshingly cool and our ice cream deliciously chilled.

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Published December 21, 2016

It’s hard to imagine just how dirty walking around town would be without sidewalks. Birmingham’s slogan certainly couldn’t be “a walkable community” without them.

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Published December 21, 2016

ROCHESTER HILLS — A historic equipment barn is slated to be rebuilt within the next several years at the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm.

“The equipment barn is a building that was original to the Van Hoosen Farm site,” Museum Supervisor Pat McKay said.

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Published December 14, 2016

GROSSE POINTE SHORES — 2016 should go down in Grosse Pointe Yacht Club history as both a memorable nod to the club’s past and a positive nod toward its future.

The GPYC just learned that it has been ranked as the third-best yacht club in America by Platinum Clubs of America, which issues a list of the top clubs in the United States every two years. A spokesperson for the GPYC said that it is the only Michigan private club to be named to this list of top yacht clubs. Platinum Clubs of America also ranks athletic clubs, city clubs, country clubs and golf clubs.

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Published December 7, 2016

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On Nov. 30, the MotorCities National Heritage Area, a federally created nonprofit organization that promotes the auto industry in the greater Detroit area through grants, presented the Packard Proving Grounds with its 2016 Award of Excellence for preservation.

The award ceremony, which commends recognized historic sites that have auto and labor heritage, took place at the State Capitol in Lansing on the third annual Michigan Automotive Heritage Day.

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Published November 15, 2016

ROCHESTER HILLS — Flags fly during a 1918 Armistice Day parade in downtown Rochester. The parade passes the Detroit Hotel, formerly located on Main Street, at Third Street, in the building currently occupied by the Home Bakery. Armistice Day is the anniversary of the armistice of Nov. 11, 1918, during World War I — which has been observed since 1954 as Veterans Day.

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Published November 9, 2016

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — The Grosse Pointe Historical Society is hoping to make some history of its own.

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Published November 9, 2016

This photo of Alice Fouracre and her two oldest sons was taken in the late 1910s. Alice, her husband, Albert, and her children lived what could be described as an average life in Birmingham, but she might not have made it to Birmingham had she stuck with her original plan to sail on the infamous RMS Titanic.

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