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Looking Back

Published January 19, 2016

WEST BLOOMFIELD — The Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road, along with the Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society, held its monthly open house Jan. 10 and focused the day on the connection between two Sylvan Lake institutions.

“Our monthly open house is an opportunity for people to come in and see what we have,” Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society President Gina Gregory said. “We’re looking to highlight all the decades of history, because it’s fun to connect with the past.”

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Published December 24, 2015

You can see the excitement on the children’s faces as they wait in line to give Santa their wish list. This photograph was taken in December 1954 in the ballroom of the St. Clair Shores Recreation Center. The Blossom Heath roadhouse, located at 24800 Jefferson Ave., was originally built in 1911 as the Kramerhof. The property was purchased in February 1946 by the Village of St. Clair Shores and renamed the St. Clair Shores Civic Center. Over 150 gallons of paint were used to restore the main floor rooms. The Blossom Heath sign across the driveway was also taken down at this time.

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Published December 21, 2015

The Birmingham Historical Museum & Park recently acquired a painting of Dr. Ebenezer Raynale. It was donated by the Oakland County Medical Society. The description on back of the painting reads as follows:

“There were three generations of physicians in the Raynale family. This portrait is of Dr. Ebenezer M. Raynale, born in Vermont, 1804. He was a doctor of the old tradition — his medical education consisted of reading medicine in New York State and Pennsylvania.

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Published December 16, 2015

“Children at St. Kieran took part in a Christmas program Sunday that included bringing gifts to the Christ Child. The wrapped gifts will be distributed by the Community Action Center to needy children in the area. The children also acted out the story of Christmas in song. Taking part in the program are, left to right, Robert Casoli, Lou Scafuri, Andy Ruzzin, Mary Beth Aragona, Mark Gilbert and Jack Miller.”

Photo and caption from the Daily Sentinel, dated Dec. 13, 1967

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Published November 25, 2015

TROY — Good grief.

It had been 40 years since the 1975 production of Lincoln High School’s “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” and it was time to reunite the cast.

On the evening of Nov 17, the cast members — some who haven’t seen each other since the mid-1970s — gathered for a 40-year reunion at Shield’s Restaurant and Pizzeria.

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Published November 24, 2015

ST. CLAIR SHORES — The corner of Nine Mile and Mack in St. Clair Shores was bustling with business activity in the 1940s, but in different places than today. The Shores Theatre marquee can be seen through the covered driveway of Tremper’s Service Station. The theater today is currently closed. Johnson Milk Depot was next door to the theater on the left. Sunoco gasoline was sold at Tremper’s three-pump station. In the photograph, automobiles are parked behind the building, possibly awaiting service, which included tire and battery repair.Read More

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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Upcoming Events

The events in our calendar were submitted prior to the coronavirus crisis. As efforts have increased to contain the spread of the coronavirus, many events have been canceled. Read More... On March 13, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order to cancel all events statewide that involve more than 250 people. It is recommended that you call ahead if you still intend to attend one of these events.
Bloomfield Hills
Grosse Pointe Park
‘Little Shop of Horrors’
8 p.m.
Pierce Middle School

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