• History

    Ahoy!

    by  • January 12, 2012 • History • 1 Comment

    Milwaukee's Captain Frederick Pabst, in his sea-captain days, crossed paths with another captain — Detroit shipping king and mega-millionaire industrialist Eber Brock Ward.

    Read more →

    Detroit history at the DIA

    by  • November 18, 2011 • Art, Culture, History • 1 Comment

    I miss history field trips. After spending most of the summer cooped up to write a book (and most of the fall re-assembling my life), I have been eager to start making excursions again — to cemeteries, parks, historic markers, battlefields, the woods. But it seems my time has started to free up just as...

    Read more →

    Dogs in early Detroit

    by  • October 28, 2011 • History • 5 Comments

    In early Detroit, owning a dog cost you a 50-cent tax. Per dog. Why? Because there were so many damn dogs. Wrote Silas Farmer: There can be no doubt that dog tax was then necessary, for in 1805, with only five hundred and twenty-five heads of families, there were two hundred and nineteen dogs...

    Read more →

    Stevens T. Mason celebrates the big 2-0-0

    by  • October 26, 2011 • Events, History • 4 Comments

    Who’s celebrating his bicentennial tomorrow? THIS GUY! Stevens Thomson Mason is one of my all-time favorite characters from Detroit history. Determined! Dreamy! Stubborn! Stylish! Triumphant! Tragic! The boy governor had it all. This time last year we were re-interring Stevens T. Mason for the FOURTH time. Buried first in New York City after his...

    Read more →

    Jam Handy

    by  • August 26, 2011 • History • 0 Comments

    How did I not know about this guy? Henry Jamison Handy (That’s JAM HANDY, for those of you playing at home) was an Olympic medalist swimmer and water polo player who founded Detroit’s first industrial/educational/sponsored/commercial film studio in 1911. Dweebs, futurists and automotive history-types have known about Jam Handy forever and lots of old-time...

    Read more →