December 19, 2009
December 17, 2009
Detroit History Tour, Part II: Grand Circus Park
On our last Detroit history tour — following an itinerary from the 1933 schoolbook History of Detroit for Young People — your heroes visited Campus Martius Park, Cadillac Square and points west of Woodward that we just sort of aimlessly happened upon.
December 14, 2009
My new, old town: Famous (dead) neighbors
If you’ve been to a wedding, a prom or a senior picture photo shoot in Farmington, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve been to the Governor Warner Mansion, on Grand River. A grand white Italianate mansion surrounded by a sweeping wraparound porch and fabulous gardens, it’s the go-to picturesque location for every occasion of commemorative photography in the city.
December 10, 2009
Farmington as natural entity
December 7, 2009
Lost and found: Hamtramck family photos
December 5, 2009
Welcome to the best holiday ever! OKAY, maybe just the best holiday commemorating the withdrawal of constitutional legislation that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
December 3, 2009
Happy birthday, General George Armstrong Custer
December 3, 2009
UMMA’s magnificent Maximilien Sebastien Foy
The mister and I took a field trip to Ann Arbor last Sunday, desperate to get out of the apartment and into the world after three and a half long days of family visits, plans with out-of-town friends and eating/drinking too much.
December 1, 2009
My new, old town: #4 – Sleepy Hollow
Something funny happens on Drake road between 11 and 12 mile; the stiff, airy grid streets of Farmington Hills collapse into a dark, knotty road, a valley road flanked by bluffs of boulders and trees. Driving due north from 11 mile, the road dips past a pair of old wooden houses and a stone wall over the river; across the street, a bench in a tiny, deserted park. As the road winds, you pass two palatial mansions on the east side of the street, not the kind you find in especially big, brand-new subdivisions, but the kind you dream about when you are a child — and as children, they were objects of our fantasies, full of servant girls in ruffle-hemmed gowns, noble vassals, horse stables, maybe a sinister count or a dowager duke. You can’t see them unless you squint past the gates and hedgerows, and even though the speed limit is low, the road is narrow and there is nowhere to pull over and gawk. But catching a glimpse of a sprawling country estate through the willows is so much more tantalizing.
November 26, 2009
Thanksgiving in Detroit, 1920
November 23, 2009
No Mean City
Also: when I was moving some photos from my phone to my computer, I found this picture I’d forgotten about, of a stained glass panel at Old Mariner’s Church.
November 23, 2009
Detroit history, lost and found: Oliver Hazard Perry, Chevalier de Cadillac and City Hall relics
November 20, 2009
About this weekend: I’m on deadline
Please forgive the lag; I have been tied up on a deadline for Metro Times this week, turning my attention from minor local historical curiosities to a scion of Detroit’s early-aughts music scene. Back to normal next Monday, but meanwhile, here are some things you probably already know about.
November 17, 2009
Eli Blanchard, Musician: The 24th Michigan of the Iron Brigade
EDIT: I spent a lot of time yesterday worrying about Eli Blanchard and his regiment, mostly concerned that I’d been a little lazy with my research, so I went back today to comb through the Orson Blair Curtis book one more time. I still wish I knew what instrument he played in the 24th Michigan band, when he got sick and with what, and when he left on furlough, but this is future grist for the blog mill.
November 15, 2009
Welcome to the future!
If you’re a regular web visitor to The Night Train, you may notice a little new trim around the windows, as it were. Hope you like it.
November 13, 2009
Woodward Avenue, circa 1917