Looking Back

Published November 23, 2015

MOUNT CLEMENS — William S. Donaldson established a blacksmith shop on Front Street in Mount Clemens in 1862. This business is what grew into the Donaldson Bros. Foundry in 1865 when William partnered with his brother, Andrew.

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Published November 13, 2015

ROSEVILLE — This month’s photo is of the old Roseville Recreation & Youth Center, located at 18185 Sycamore St. — the current location of the Recreation Authority of Roseville & Eastpointe. This photo is dated April 24, 1969, and shows the nearly complete $25,000 addition to the recreation center. The addition was scheduled to open in May of that year.

Pictured in the photo are Recreation and Parks Director Dennis Versele, department secretary Juliet George and Mayor William McDonald.

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Published November 4, 2015

A staff photo from a Feb. 5, 1958, newspaper article — the name of the paper was unavailable — shows a house originally constructed in Utica before it was moved to its current location on 21 Mile Road, south of Van Dyke Avenue, in Shelby Township. Gardner Hunt Runyan, a farmer and carpenter, originally built the house in the 1860s. Clarence Gildner, a well-known builder in the area, also lived in the house with his family from 1951 to 1958. Myrna Mazure now owns the home. For a story, “Restored house built in 1870s to receive historic marker,” visit
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Published November 4, 2015

EASTPOINTE — Starting around the fall of 1982, a group of local video game enthusiasts — calling their club the Activision Addicts, and later, the Video Addicts — decided to help local hospitalized kids for the holidays.

Former Video Addicts club president and Eastpointe resident Ernest Sevener said the club formed around 1981-82. The club would meet at Abbot Video in Roseville once or twice a month to try out the new games and see how they liked them.

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Published October 28, 2015

America’s Thanksgiving Parade expert Romie Minor stays very busy this time of year.

Although he hasn’t marched or handled balloons in the parade since 2001, Minor — an author, librarian and archivist for the Burton Historical Collection at the Detroit Public Library — will talk about the history and what goes on behind the scenes at the parade at eight libraries in the coming weeks.

His first stop will be Nov. 2 at the Troy Public Library.

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Published October 28, 2015

GROSSE POINTE SHORES — Grosse Pointe Shores residents might recall the weekend of celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the village-turned-city in 2011, but this year marks a momentous milestone for the Shores as well.

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Published October 28, 2015

When Groesbeck Highway opened on Oct. 20, 1949, it opened the door for many new businesses in Fraser. Motels began to dot the landscape and were built to take advantage of America’s taking to the highways for vacations. Motel stood for “motor hotel.” Groesbeck Highway was named for Alexander Groesbeck, the only Michigan governor from Macomb County.

— Alan Naldrett, Fraser Historical Society

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Published October 27, 2015

These men are proud to show off their 14-foot-long strung-up catch they caught in Lake St. Clair in just four hours.

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Published October 22, 2015

This month’s Looking Back picture is of Gratiot Avenue at what is now Nicolai Street, taken in 1929. This picture was shot facing north about two blocks south of Stephens Avenue and highlights the interurban rail tracks that ran alongside Gratiot.

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Published October 14, 2015

ST. CLAIR SHORES — The North End St. Clair Shores Village Fire Department gathered at the station located on Jefferson Avenue and Avon Street for a photograph with their mascot dog on October 28, 1928. Standing by the left fire truck, from left, were Ken Bell, Norm Whiting and Chief James Stapleton.  On the left truck were, from left, Harvey Burke, John Koepsell, Captain Jim Bell, Ed Bell and Dave Meldrum.

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Published October 7, 2015

BERKLEY — At the corner of Catalpa Drive and Coolidge Highway in Berkley sits Berkley High School, where a senior class of nearly 300 students is working through its last year of high school and thinking about the future.


Across the street, however, Blackmon School was the one-room schoolhouse that started the Berkley School District in 1840 with about 30 students. In the 175 years since, the district has grown into a nine-building district that educates about 5,000 students every year.

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Published October 6, 2015

C&G Newspapers

DETROIT — Global trade is so normal now, we take it for granted, but the transportation and sale of goods over long distances might have never been a modern reality were it not for a couple of men with local ties.

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Published September 29, 2015

By the 1920s, it was obvious that a wider Woodward Avenue was desperately needed. The 66-foot roadway was just not enough to sustain the increasing number of cars traveling between Detroit and Pontiac. The Michigan Legislature passed the Wider Woodward Avenue Bill in 1923 to increase the width of the road to 200 feet.

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Published September 23, 2015

Students line up outside the Halfway Schoolhouse in what is now Eastpointe in this month’s photo, taken on an unknown date in 1905. The schoolhouse itself was built in 1872 — the third such schoolhouse in the current city. An annex was built onto the structure in 1901 due to increasing enrollment, as the original structure could only accommodate 60 students. Along with its predecessors, the schoolhouse was located along Nine Mile Road, west of Gratiot, where it faced Grove Street.

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Published September 16, 2015

Chief Harold Lanstra poses with the members of the St. Clair Shores Village Police Motorcycle Squad on June 19, 1928. They were photographed in the police yard, which was located on the northeast corner of the Davis block near Harper and 11 Mile Road. From left to right are Trufly Dubey, Harvey Champine, Jim Trombly and Jim Nelson. In June 1926, the first Police Department had been organized with a team of four men and two motorcycles. John (Jack) Doyle was appointed chief, and Harold Lanstra, Abel Allard and Harvey Champine were patrolmen.Read More

Published September 9, 2015

The first church erected in Berkley was this wooden building, called First Baptist Church, which stood on the east side of Coolidge Highway at Dorothea Road. It was built in 1920.

This building was painted white and green. The parishioners eventually merged with another Baptist congregation in Royal Oak.

James Tong, with the Berkley Historical Museum, came across this photo while compiling it as part of “Images of America: Berkley,” which is available at the Berkley Public Library, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.

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Published September 9, 2015

Written by Kim Parr, director of the Macomb County Historical Society and Crocker House Museum, located at 15 Union St., Mount Clemens, MI 48043
(www.crockerhousemuseum.com)

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Published September 4, 2015

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Nearly 80 years ago, on Sept. 27, 1935, the St. Clair Shores Public Library opened its doors.


Tucked in a room of the old Municipal Building, on the site currently occupied by the 40th District Court, the library was staffed by volunteers from the St. Clair Shores Study Club and contained more than 500 books that had been donated or purchased, including 60 bought with a donation from Edsel Ford.

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Published August 27, 2015

FRASER — In the digital age, something as mundane as a mailbox is often an afterthought.


But when it comes to one particular mailbox that is now representing a piece of Fraser history, the journey has been nothing short of interesting.


It started in the summer of 1972 when current city Councilman Paul Cilluffo was taken to a house in the city by Marie Rattee, his girlfriend at the time. The two eventually got married and are still wed to this day.

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Published August 19, 2015

Recently, the Birmingham Historical Museum and Park received a call from a woman asking about the Fort Morgan rock located on museum property, interested to see if it truly was from Fort Morgan in Mobile, Alabama.

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Upcoming Events

Mount Clemens
Annual juried art exhibition
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Anton Art Center
Clawson
Winter used book sale
10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Blair Memorial Library
Rochester Hills
Theater performances at RU
7:30 p.m.
Rochester University
Clawson
CAMEO Quilt Guild meeting
7 p.m.
Clawson United Methodist Church

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