Looking Back

Published May 18, 2015

KEEGO HARBOR — Local students will hear the sounds of the past ringing out from a 30-inch historic bell now hanging in a new tower installed in front of Roosevelt Elementary.


The bell is believed to be from Keego Harbor School, which was built in 1914.

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Published May 13, 2015

EASTPOINTE — This month’s Looking Back is a drawing of the Gaukler General Store, which was located in what is now Eastpointe at the southwest corner of Nine Mile Road and Gratiot Avenue. Owned and resided in by Jacob Gaukler, the store was located in the former Erin Township from 1850 to around 1895. Gratiot was a plank road at the time, with wooden planks covering half the street going toward downtown Detroit. The road was used for horse-and-buggy transport of vegetables from local farms to Eastern Market.

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Published May 7, 2015

The 1930 Berkley High School marching band, shown in this photograph, won the state championship that year. The success of the 1930 band led the school to have a variety of musical groups to this day, including choir, jazz band and orchestra.
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 May 6, 2015

Spring in Michigan today means pothole and orange barrel season. But 100 years ago, around when this photo of a stretch of 22 Mile Road in Shelby Township was taken, spring meant axle-deep mud and sunbaked ruts in the many miles of dirt road. In the 1840s, some roads were paved with planks of wood to help make them passable in most weather. Romeo Plank Road and Utica Road were both plank roads. But plank roads were difficult and expensive to maintain, requiring nearly constant replacement of rotten, warped and cracked boards. Most local roads remained unpaved well into the 20th century.

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Published May 4, 2015

The Ford-Peabody Mansion is one of Birmingham’s most iconic buildings. Frank Ford built this beautiful house in 1878 using his wife’s money. The house was designed by Almon C. Varney, a famous Detroit architect. Ford and his wife lived in the house until their daughter, Alta, and her husband, J. Bert Peabody, took over the property after they were married in 1893.

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Published April 29, 2015

FARMINGTON — The Farmington Masonic Lodge 151 has remained a civic and social bastion in the city since its inception in 1863.


The 12 founders of the then-Farmington Village formed the lodge when they were also busy creating what is now Farmington.


Longtime member Hal Groat, who joined the Redford Masons’ youth division, DeMolay, in 1958, said the lodge’s impressive history isn’t why he became a member at 13 years old. It was because of his father, who joined the Farmington lodge in 1958. 

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Published April 29, 2015

FRASER — The Baumgartner House is a historic staple in the city of Fraser, representing the age of yesteryear without all the technological advancements of today.


And 140 years later, the house still stands.


The Baumgartner House was built in 1875 by John and Samantha Baumgartner, who had moved to Macomb County in 1865. The house remains on the same parcel of land between Masonic and 14 Mile Road, to Kelly and Groesbeck.

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Published April 22, 2015

Driving on Nine Mile Road during the flood of May 1948 was a challenge. In this image, two automobiles of various vintages are trying to pass each other in the middle of the road near the Dairy Bar. Without curbs and storm sewers to handle the water, the stores and houses were in the path of the wake left by passing vehicles.

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Published April 22, 2015

Pictured is the front page of Warren Woods Tower High School’s The Legend student newspaper published in October 1984. The issue’s top stories — written by students — covered the approaching homecoming festivities, a feature on newly hired teachers at the school, and an update on the WWT yearbook staff.

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Published April 15, 2015

C&G Newspapers

OAKLAND COUNTY — From catching criminals on horseback in the 1820s to using helicopters today, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office has maintained the same values it was founded on nearly two centuries ago, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said.


“It has really evolved, but the mission is the same: to have honorable men and women do all they can to make this a great community,” Bouchard said.

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Published April 8, 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 April 7, 2015

ROSEVILLE — This month’s Looking Back photo is of the municipal building of Erin Township and the village of Roseville circa 1929. The building was constructed that year and served as the hub of government for years. It hosted the fire and police departments, the library and, eventually, the city government. At the time of its construction, Gratiot was still a single-lane road.

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Published March 25, 2015

Fred Schott established a grocery and dry goods store on Utica Road, south of 14 Mile Road, in the early 1930s. His son, Alfred, later took over the business. Pictured is a winter scene of the Schott family by their Fraser home.

 

Photo and caption submitted by Alan Naldrett, Fraser Historical Society


 

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Published March 25, 2015

This is a photograph of Del Reese, whose route to deliver dairy products for Miller Brothers Creamery included Mount Clemens and Utica.

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Published March 11, 2015

EASTPOINTE — This month’s photo, taken during the 1940s, is of the original East Detroit municipal building. The building was located on Nine Mile Road just east of Gratiot Avenue, where the current police and court buildings are located.

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Published March 11, 2015

ST. CLAIR SHORES — The Big Bear Market was located on Greater Mack on the site of present-day Great Lakes Ace Hardware. It was one of the first major grocery stores in St. Clair Shores. Big Bear Markets of Michigan operated 33 supermarkets. By 1957, Big Bear Market changed into a Wrigley store. The brief history of this market in St. Clair Shores comes with an interesting story about supermarket monopolies.

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Published March 11, 2015

ROCHESTER — A watercolor painting by Rochester Hills resident William Steiner depicts the Detroit United Railway, known as the D.U.R., in 1900.

The painting shows the high-speed electrified interurban railway sharing Rochester’s Main Street with a horse and buggy.

According to Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm records, the D.U.R. traveled from Detroit to Rochester to Lake Orion and Flint. The travel time from Rochester to Detroit was under an hour, which is less than today’s rush-hour drive, museum officials said.

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Published March 4, 2015

Former Berkley Police Chief Frank Irons, left center, and former Berkley Fire Chief Frank Hannah, right center, celebrate the arrival of a new fire truck in the early part of the 1950s with two other Berkley fire personnel.

The previous two trucks that the Berkley Fire Department purchased in the 1920s were no longer functioning and required that a new engine be purchased.

Today, the Berkley police and fire departments have combined to form the Berkley Public Safety Department.

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Published February 11, 2015

ROSEVILLE — This month’s photo is of the Frank Biehl Sheetmetal & Electrical Work building on Gratiot Avenue in what is now Roseville, circa 1926.

The Biehl family lived in an apartment at the back of the building during the 1920s — note the side porch in the photograph — and Frank Biehl eventually became Roseville Village president.

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Upcoming Events

Rochester
Gifts and Greens Market
9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Rochester Community Schools Administration Building
Ferndale
'A Very Golden Girls Christmas'
8 p.m.
The Ringwald Theatre
Sterling Heights
Polar Pizza Party
5-8 p.m.
Henry Ford II High School
West Bloomfield
'A Musical Celebration of Christmas'
7:30 p.m.
Orchard Lake Community Church, Presbyterian
Farmington Hills
Orchard Lake Philharmonic concerts
3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church of Farmington

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