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Detroit 1820

BY EPHRAIM S. WILLIAMS

Returning to Woodward and pausing on the west side of the aveune, we face the first church row, and the only one ever erected in Detroit. On the northeast corner stood the original Presbyterian church edifice, a rather stately one for its time, as may be seen by the picture of its burning, now hanging on the east wall of the public library. Next and north of it was a little building of brick, occupied for a session room; beyond that the first St. Paul's Episcopal church; and finally, on the other side of Congress, the Methodist meeting-house of a generation ago. At an earlier day the Protestant cemetery of the petty hamlet here included a part of the avenue in this locality, between Larned and Congress. Above this, to the city limit, Woodward avenue presents little of historic interest. It is worthy of notice, however, how closely the First Methodist church has clung to this avenue. Its next building, torn down but a year or two since, stood on the southwest corner of State and Woodward, and the superb edifice now occupied is just beyond the Grand Circus at Woodward and Adams. The original building occupied by this society, but never dedicated, I believe, was put up in 1834, only two squares west of Woodward, and was abandoned because it was so far out "on the commons, " and difficult to reach in bad weather. It is now occupied as a dwelling, at the southwest corner of Gratiot and Farrar. On the flat-iron lot close by, upon which is the public library, long stood the county jail, which was succeeded by the Clinton street prison. Opposite it, on the site of the First Presbyterian church, was erected the gallows for the execution of the Indian, Kishkaukon, who defeated its purpose by suicide in his cell.

Detroit Michigan


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