Detroit Drunken Historical Society Message Board › Detroit has a rich history
“The Great Detroit, It was”
I have been doing a little research about Detroit and the one thing that stands out is the rich history that the Detroit has. Detroit's founder Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac had a storied career. Cadlliac was commander of several forts and governor of Louisiana.
In the early days, Detroit grew to be the largest city between Montreal and New Orleans and both were much older cities. Some Detroiters were making big money in the fur trading or lumbering. T Trappers alley is where the marketplace stood for the fur trades. One of the most successful lumber barons was Detroiter David Whitney, who built what is the now the Whitney Restaurant.
Detroit was called "The Paris of the Midwest", especially for how Washington Boulevard is designed with the grassy island situated in the middle of the street and the statute sitting at the end of the block. Then you have to add that Thomas Edison hung out in Detroit with his rich friends, so he took the time to develop a special set of lights to illuminate Washington Blvd.
One Detroiter that really put the city on the map in a young engineer Henry Ford. Prior to his emergence, Detroit was already known for shipping, ship building and manufacturing. We were also making horse and buggy carriages. This thriving carriage industry is what encouraged Henry Ford to manufacture power driven cars and took the massive step with the assemble line concept. It is said that all the other Detroiters who got into the car business either got their start with Ford, some investment from Ford, or just good advice from Ford. Because you know that when one guy makes it big then others want to follow and that's where Buick, Studebaker, Pontiac, Dodge, Packard, Chrysler, Cadillac and others come in. Because of Ford, Detroit has the first paved street, between 6 and 7 mile on Woodward, the first highway the Davison Freeway, and the first street lights.
Detroiters also ventured into other industries, R.L. Polk Publishing, once was considered one of the world's largest. Detroiter Fred Sanders, fed the region with his line of Chocolates candies, plus he opened a chain of restaurants. The world still listens to the music of the creator of the Motown Soul, Mr. Barry Gordy. Including all the people behind the scenes at Motown plus they all lived in the D.
Ford Motor Company was probably the largest single employer in the country. The big guys invested their money in Detroit, they built social halls and clubs like the Detroit Yacht Club, Detroit Athletic Club, Fox Theater, Scarab Club Olympic Stadium, and many others . The Yacht Club has a unique history in that the land they building sits on is a man made island.
Detroit is home to many first. Detroit is considered the founding site for the National Puppetry Conference Festival when Paul McPharlin created the Marionette Fellowship. The Kiwanis International Organization was founded in Detroit. It is said that the coney island hot dog was started in Detroit along with the many coney island restaurants.
Detroit has a storied sports history. One man Detroiter Joe Louis knocked the world when he defeated Max Schmeling. Detroiter Emanuel Stewart founded a boxing club that has trained hundreds of fighters and many world champions. The Detroit Red Wings have won the most Stanley Cup championship of any NHL franchise based in the United States. The Detroit Tigers are of the American League's eight charter franchises along with 4 world series titles. The Detroit Lions have won Super Bowls with the Detroit Pistons having won three championships.
Over the years, Detroit has had many special visitors, Pope John Paul II came here in 1999, Nelson Mandela in 1990 and Rosa Parks, the "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement" made her home in Detroit.
With all these fine moments in Detroit's history, there's no doubt that Detroit was and is a great city.
Submitted by Anthony Brogdon, President of StrongDetroit.Net and Producer of the soon to be released documentary "The Great Detroit?" The funding campaign is www.indiegogo.com/Thegreatdetroitdocumentary