Troy library program will look at word(s) on the street

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published December 11, 2018

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TROY — Think of driving or walking down Mary R Road, not John R Road, or Lincoln Boulevard, instead of Washington Boulevard.

Ever wonder how and why the streets in downtown Detroit, some of which run north through Troy, got their names?

Explore Detroit’s history through its street signs and hear the stories of the people whose legacies are traveled by thousands every day when Joel Stone, a senior curator for the Detroit Historical Society,  presents “Unique Street Names: The Man (and Woman) on the Street” at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Troy Public Library.

“People are rediscovering our city (Detroit) again and taking advantage of sports and cultural opportunities, seeing roads again or for the first time,” said Dominic Scappaticci, Troy’s adult services librarian.

He said library staff thought “it would be fun to learn the history of the city (Detroit) through street names. Our street names are our history.”

“There are no mountains in Detroit,” Stone said, adding that he will explain how the street name Mount Elliott got there.

“These intriguing street names are the things that make Detroit Detroit,” Stone said. “It’s kind of cool to put names together with people who founded the city and set it up for what it would be.”

He said that most of the major streets are in men’s names. Rosa Parks Boulevard and Selden Street are exceptions.

Although he wouldn’t divulge the dirt on Agustus Woodward, for whom Woodward Avenue is named, before the program, Stone did say Agustus was a “real character.”

Some streets are named for wives or daughters of city leaders. Stone said Livernois Road is named for the farmer who lived there.

“This is a real fun program,” Stone said.

Call (248) 524-3534 or visit to register. The library is located at 510 W. Big Beaver Road.