• History

    The chronicles of crows: A Tale of the Springtime (1848)

    by  • March 15, 2010 • History • 1 Comment

    I have always been drawn to crows, not in any dark teenage-poet way, but because they are big, handsome, super-clever, and remind me of the chilly Michigan spring. So I was excited to find this beautifully illustrated book from 1848 on the Internet Archive: It seemed so charming at first, with the crows working...

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    Nancy Brown’s “Experience”

    by  • February 23, 2010 • Books, History • 1 Comment

    In the fall I wrote about the Peace Carillon on Belle Isle, an 85-foot limestone tower dedicated to Detroit News advice columnist Nancy Brown. It’s gorgeous, even though it’s starting to fall apart a little. So. Over the holidays, my fiancé’s uncle gave us a big box of antique books, figuring (uh, correctly) that...

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    More pictures from Maybury State Park

    by  • February 21, 2010 • History, metro Detroit • 0 Comments

    It was warmer and sunnier at last week’s end, so we went back to Maybury for another shot at finding the History Trail (and better photographic opportunities). Success! Near the former Power House. Dodger thought this would be a good place to become entangled. The former site of the Women’s Dormitory In the snow,...

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    Fridays with General Friend Palmer: For cash or peltry

    by  • February 18, 2010 • History • 1 Comment

    “Interesting facts gleaned from the columns of the Detroit Gazette of 1820-1822″ The old Detroit Gazette was an insignificant sheet both in size and appearance. The Democratic Free Press that followed it was a trifle larger, and a decided improvement, as regards typography, paper and contents. … was fairly patronized by the...

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    Maybury State Park/Sanitorium

    by  • February 16, 2010 • History, metro Detroit • 4 Comments

    We got off M-14 at Beck Road on our way home from a lunch date in Ann Arbor. My mom wanted me to pick up some cookies. I obliged. Since my parents moved to Novi in 2004, I’ve driven past Maybury State Park, bordered by Seven Mile, Eight Mile, Beck and Napier, hundreds of...

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    Legends of Le Detroit

    by  • February 4, 2010 • Best of THE NIGHT TRAIN, Books, History • 3 Comments

    If you like flowery Victorian prose, phantasms, grieving widows, pining French girls, French in general, haunted inanimate objects, werewolves,  lyrical two-page long set-ups about a grandfather telling his kid a scary story, or — especially — Indian curses, you are going to love the shit out of this book. I loved this indulgent account of Rene...

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    173 years of Michigan statehood

    by  • January 26, 2010 • Best of THE NIGHT TRAIN, History • 2 Comments

    (From an 1835 atlas) On January 26, 1837, nearly 150 years after the earliest known use of the name “Michigan” on a map, Michigan was officially admitted to the Union. For a long time I had this confused, baseless idea that territories just sort of naturally, peacefully shook out into states, in rapid succession,...

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    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by  • January 18, 2010 • History, Meditations • 3 Comments

    I have a dream this afternoon that one day right here in Detroit, Negroes will be able to buy a house or rent a house anywhere that their money will carry them and they will be able to get a job. June 23, 1963: Months before the March on Washington, at the Great March...

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