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Detroit 1820

BY EPHRAIM S. WILLIAMS

Another fortification, but a petty circular affair of about forty feet diameter, with a parapet ten feet high, was thrown up in 1806, in consequence of an Indian scare, far out in the woods, near the northeast corner of Park and High streets, and was called Fort Croghan, sometimes Fort Nonsense. At the crossing of Fort and Griswold, on the northwest corner, one may recognize the old First Baptist church, now occupied for business purposes, Looking up Griswold we see the old Territorial and first State Capitol of Michigan on State street, reconstructed to its present shape as the high school building in 1875, three years after the city hall was finished. Not far to the northwest of this, at No. 43 West Park, near Grand River, stood the first building erected by the Detroit school board—a small wooden affair costing $540. Pushing several blocks out on Fort street east, between Rivard and Russell, on the south side at No. 253, is the plain frame dwelling in which the young Lieut. Ulysses S. Grant resided when stationed in Detroit, away back in the 40's. Returning by Congress street, the house No. 185, between Hastings and St. Antoine, may attract attention as the place of meeting between John Brown of Osawatomie and some of his Detroit sympathizers, Dec. 12, 1859, before he made his ill starred attempt at Harper's Ferry. At the corner of Beaubien is one of the old Beaubien homesteads, to the rear of which was removed, from the site of Charles Busch's hardware store, the Dr. Brown house, one of those built next after the fire of 1805. If the wanderer cares now to walk far enough up St. Antoine to reach Elizabeth, he will find on the northwest corner another of the ancient Beaubien houses, now occupied by the House of Providence.

Detroit Michigan


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