|Downtown Detroit from the air|
Henry Ford and the tunnel from Detroit to Windsor, Ontario Canada, feature in my family history. My grandfather on my father's side was born on a farm about 60 miles north of St Louis on the Illinois side. His father had grown up a child of privileged who never really learned how to work, he read Latin and Greek from a private tutored education and really didn't know what hit him when he spent the last of his inheritance and was told he needed to earn a living. He had a dozen children by then and tried farming. But it was not good farm land and he was not a good farmer and the family barely scraped by. Ford came through town recruiting workers for five-dollars a day - they offered him a job and he sold the farm and moved to Detroit. He worked in the power house at Henry Ford's Fairlane Estate for 20 years, he was there the night Henry died. My father's mother's family came to Detroit so my great grandfather could build the tunnel under the Dettroit River to Canada (or was it built from Canada to Detroit?) He was an English coal miner, who came to States to dig tunnels. His specialty was working in compressed air in soft soils, the tunnel under the river is just below the muck level in very soft soils. The two families lived a couple of blocks apart and Red and the little English girl fell in love and married in 1926.
I was born about 70 miles due north of Detroit and visited the city often while I was growing up. Today it is primarily a place people change planes as a prime hub city for Delta. I will pass through there in August.
Ive heard that it is broke and pretty much a ghost cityReplyDelete
Is that right?
The City filed for bankruptcy (receivership) a year or two ago. I understand the downtown area has experienced a renascence, but vast residential areas are abandoned. I haven't spent a lot of time there in 30 years.Delete
I visited Detroit as a teenager on a church choir tour. We visited the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, and performed in a glass sanctuary near there. My only strong memory was sleeping on the bus (you sleep a lot while on the bus when you tour and perform twice a day) from Niagara Falls, NY, to Detroit, via the Canada route. Oh, and one boy in our group was born in Germany in a German hospital, to US Military parents, so his birth certificate was in German, and this ugly a$$hole of a border guard couldn't deal with it and wanted to search the bus. Think HOURS of delay. Fortunately, some of our chaperones sweet talked this guy into accepting the birth certificate and we went on our way.ReplyDelete
About 15 years ago my parents were in Michigan and my father decided to go to Canada for lunch and while he was there pick up Claritin D - it was over the counter in Canada and still prescription only in the US (hence 1.10 the price in Canada.) ON the way back into the US when the customs agent asked what they had done in Canada, my mother answer, Buy Drugs.. Three hours for the sweet 75 year old couple to get someone to look in he bag and tell them to go home and never say anything like that again.Delete
I go back to Detroit next month for a High School reunion.ReplyDelete
I hear tell they now have a distillary for me to visit if the reunion is a bust.