Congratulations to Detroit,
You’re the WCSX City of the Week!
- Detroit was first settled by Europeans in 1701 by French fur traders. Fort Detroit was under French control until 1760 when it surrendered to the British.
- Corktown is the oldest existing neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan, though it is only half as old as the city itself. In the 1840’s, the Irish Potato Famine led to a huge Irish migration. By the early 1850’s, half of the 8th Ward’s (including Corktown) population were of Irish descent. Many were from Cork County, thus the naming of Corktown.
- Henry Ford test-drove his first ever automobile in 1896 on the streets of Detroit. Ford established the Detroit Motor Company which lasted three years and made only two cars. In 1903, The Ford Motor Company opened its doors in Detroit for manufacturing. It was Detroit’s second, behind the Olds Motor Works that opened in 1899.
- After a devastating fire in 1805, Augustus B. Woodward redesigned Detroit’s street plan after Washington DC’s. Monumental avenues and traffic circles fanned out from Campus Martius. This city plan was designed to be confusing as a method of defense. Invaders would have a tough time navigating the streets, giving advantage to those who lived there.
- Devil’s Night started in the 1930’s, but it turned very serious for Detroit in the 1980’s. On October 30th, 1984, more than 800 fires were set. The number sharply decreased after thousands of vacant homes were razed. Detroit mobilized “Angels Night” as thousands of volunteers patrolled high risk areas up until 2017 at the recommendation of the Detroit Police Department.
- First paved road: Detroit was the first city in the United States to pave a road making it easier for cars to travel from place to place. The first mile of concrete is located at Woodward Avenue between 6 Mile and 7 Mile roads in Detroit.
- Detroit is number one: During Prohibition in the 1920s, Detroit was an ideal place to smuggle and hide liquor. With its close proximity to Canada, taking the highway from Detroit was a piece of cake. The city was actually responsible for smuggling the most alcohol in the United States.
- Vernors: Considered a flu and cold remedy by 9 out of 10 Michigan moms, if you grew up in Michigan, you have tasted the deliciousness of Vernors. Created in 1866 by Detroit pharmacist, James Vernors, it is the oldest surviving ginger ale brand in the United States.
- Detroit is number TWO: Detroit has the second largest theatre district in the U.S. New York comes in first. Fox Theatre is the largest surviving movie palace of the 1920s.
- Bowling Capital of the World: Metro Detroit has more registered bowlers than any other city. The tri-county area has more than 80 bowling centers and 50,000 registered bowlers.