Detroit March 03, 2021
11 Rare Photos From Detroit That Will Take You Straight To The Past
Are you in the mood to take a virtual trip through time? While we might not have the technology to actually transport ourselves to another era, vintage photographs offer the unique opportunity to imagine what life was like here in Detroit during years past. When you’re eager to catch a glimpse of the Motor City during previous generations, check out these fascinating shots.
1. In this scene from the late 1930s, a Michigan postal worker can be seen loading a sack of airmail for delivery in Detroit.
While we’re all aware of the role the United States Postal Service plays in our daily lives today, it’s especially intriguing to see the service at work in its earlier days.
2. While this photo itself only dates back to 2005, the history it represents is so much more extensive.
The image shows the vintage hearse that carried the body of civil rights icon Rosa Parks from the viewing to a funeral service at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple. Parks is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery.
3. Did you live in Detroit during the 1970s and 80s? If so, you might recall that the 1980n Republican National Convention was held right here in the Motor City.
This image shows then-candidate Ronald Reagan accepting his party’s official nomination for the presidency.
4. Detroiters have always pulled together to help each other during difficult times. This image from World War I depicts Red Cross workers operating a canteen at Detroit’s Michigan Central Station.
While the station itself might have fallen into disrepair over the years, its place in local history is undeniable.
5. This photo from 1960 depicts a fireboat known as the John Kendall during its downtime along the dock at Riverside Park Boat Launch.
6. Longtime Tigers fans will appreciate this image, which shows Ned Garver pitching in 1955.
The stands are decidedly less full than usual in this photo, which was taken at Briggs Stadium (eventually known as Tiger Stadium), the team’s beloved home field.
7. A visiting British band brings music to the streets of Detroit by providing its own rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
This photo also provides a fascinating glimpse of what Detroit’s beloved downtown district looked like between 1915 and 1920.
8. Captured in 1922, this photo shows workers at Detroit’s Smykowski Bros. Grocery at Herbert Street and 31st.
Owned and operated by Polish immigrants, the store likely helped locals keep their pantries well-stocked during this era - and its simplicity is a far cry from the superstores we’re familiar with today.
9. We Detroiters have always loved our sporting events. This photo from March 1944 depicts a fan reacting strongly to the events of a hockey game between our Red Wings and the Montreal Canadiens.
We can only imagine what might have elicited this burst of excitement.
10. Have you ever spent time at the gorgeous Detroit Public Library? If so, this photo might look slightly familiar to you: it depicts the library’s main reading room in 1921.
There’s something thrilling about imagining all the learning, reading, and writing that has taken place here since the library opened in 1865.
11. Whether it’s taken in 2021 or the 1940s, we’ll always be delighted by photos of the Motor City skyline.
This scene shows Woodward Avenue during an entirely different era - but the beauty of Detroit remains the same.
Which of these unique photos is your favorite? Do you have any family remnants of earlier decades here in the Motor City? We would love to see your own pictures or hear about your Detroit memories in the Facebook comments below. To recommend a must-visit locale in or near the city, be sure to fill out our nomination form
Can’t get enough local history? You’ll want to read about these great
antiquing spots in Metro Detroit. Address: Detroit, MI, USA