Detroit April 14, 2020
by Sophie Boudreau Here Are Some Of The Very First Photos Ever Taken In Metro Detroit
If you’re a history buff, there’s nothing more fascinating than checking out vintage photographs. After all, photos offer a unique opportunity to examine what life was like during eras past, whether we’re gazing at portraits or perusing landscape shots. Luckily for those of us who care about the history of the Motor City and its surrounding areas, there’s plenty of historical documentation regarding Metro Detroit. Here are some of the oldest available photographs of Detroit and its neighboring communities.
1. Many Metro Detroiters are passionate about college football, and there’s no better place to enjoy a game than in Ann Arbor.
This capture from 1924 shows sports fans waiting for a University of Michigan football game at Ferry Field, which was used prior to the opening of Michigan Stadium.
2. It’s so fascinating to see photographs from distinct moments in history, and this shot captures the realities of WWI.
The parade pictured here shows U.S. soldiers from Battle Creek marching through downtown Detroit to encourage enlistment.
3. The architecture of this building, known as Lake St. Clair Fishing and Shooting Club and then simply as the “Old Club,” is truly unique.
The photo itself was captured around 1901 and shows patrons relaxing outside the quirky clubhouse, which likely bustled with activity.
4. Detroit simply wouldn’t be Detroit without the auto industry.
This straightforward shot from 1914 shows the Ford Motor Company, a true Detroit icon that remains a point of regional pride.
5. There’s nothing more amazing than looking at familiar locations through the lens of history.
This photo depicts Cadillac Square in Detroit all the way back in 1902. Do you recognize any buildings or landmarks?
6. We Detroiters have always loved Tigers baseball, and this capture from 1908 is proof.
Here we see crowds of onlookers checking out a scoreboard as the Tigers defeated Chicago to claim their second American League Championship. Can’t you just feel the excitement?
7. This photo, taken in the mid-1920s, shows schoolchildren posing obediently for a photo at Hamtramck Schoolhouse.
It’s fascinating to imagine what might have been on the classroom itinerary this particular day.
8. Transportation has long played a role in the development of Metro Detroit, and this photo shows one hub: Michigan Central Station in Ypsilanti.
The architectural design is lovely and the grass, despite being depicted in black and white, appears lush and inviting.
9. If you attended Wayne State University, you might recognize this building.
While it’s now known as the Old Main Building, it once served as Detroit’s Central High School. This image from 1904 shows students making their way to and from class at the Cass Avenue institution.
10. We couldn’t help but throw in one more college football photograph from 1923.
After all, no matter which team you might be partial to, there’s one thing we can all agree on: Ohio State has always been the worst, and they’ve always had equally strong opinions about us.
Do you recognize any spots in these photographs? Are you holding onto any family photographs that offer insight into Metro Detroit life through the years? Be sure to share your favorites with us in the comment section below. To recommend a historical story we should cover, fill out our nomination form here.
Looking for more old pictures? Check out some of the first photos ever taken in Michigan.
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