Tuesdays with General Friend Palmer: Goose Yokes

The remarkable story of a French immigrant, swindled into coming to America, finding himself in Detroit, starting a general store, and selling some legendary goose yokes. Also marbles.

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Thomas W. Palmer, and his Park

A rustic log cabin, a massive Italianate marble fountain and an 18th-century bell from Spain at Senator Thomas W. Palmer’s park.

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Fridays with General Friend Palmer: For cash or peltry

“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.
… [The gazette] was fairly patronized by the merchants and others with advertisements.
I have a file of the paper from July 21, 1820 to June 28, 1822, from which I make some extracts … They will serve to show the difference in many things between then and now.
Their issue July 21, 1820, has this notice:
Quills, etc: – Just received at this office. Also Flutes, Fifes, Flute Preceptors, Fife do, Blank Music Books, Record Books, etc.
Paul Clapp has on hand, and will constantly keep for sale, at wholesale and retail, a large assortment of Hats. Beaver, Castor, Roram, Napt and Felt. Also – Ladies elegant Beaver Hats, with trimmings complete.
The whole will be sold very cheaf for CASH or PELTRY.

beaver hats

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Fridays with General Friend Palmer: A most exciting fire

I have always approached weekly themed blog posts, especially those involving alliteration, with trepidation. But then I found Early Days in Detroit, the memoirs of historical Detroit old guy General Friend Palmer (1820 – 1906), and I can’t think of any better way to dig through its 1000+ pages, each of them host to at least one illuminating, endearing, hilarious or otherwise just great anecdote, than to share some of the General’s memories of 19th-century Detroit every week.

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