Antics of Detroit city founders revealed

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published May 29, 2019

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TROY — The facts we think we know about Antoine Cadillac, noted as the founder of Detroit, may not be the facts after all.

Mickey Lyons, a historian and the author of “Wicked Detroit,” will talk about the colorful characters who shaped Detroit and how those influences are still with us at 7 p.m. June 3 at the Troy Public Library.

The book is published by Arcadia Publishing and The History Press, and is available on Amazon. Lyons also writes the “Prohibition Detroit” blog.

“Nothing we know about Cadillac is true,” she said. “He told all sorts of fabulous tales, exaggeration of the truth.”

“The patrons told us they wanted more historical Detroit programs,” said adult services librarian Dominic Scappapicci. “This program focuses on the earlier part of Detroit and characters in the early history.”

Lyons’ talk at the library will also include a bit on Prohibition.

She said that when she has presented the program before, attendees were surprised to learn that much of what we see in Detroit today was shaped long ago.

“They come away with better insight into the city’s history and why influences continue from the 18th century until now.

“For example, the entire city burned in 1805,” she said. “Agustus Woodward, a judge, laid out a new plan for the city — the spoke and wheel overlay over the gridiron in the downtown area.

“He made a lot of strange roads in the middle of someone’s cornfield,” she said.

Lyons is currently writing a book about Detroit during Prohibition, and the last chapter of “Wicked Detroit” touches on that.

Register for the Troy Public Library program at or call (248) 524-3534.

The library is located at 510 W. Big Beaver Road.