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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

Maccabees of the World: 1910

Maccabees of the World: 1910

Detroit circa 1910. "Knights of the Maccabees, Woodward Avenue." Watch your step, and "Keys at Corner." 8x10 inch glass negative. View full size.

 

Yep. That's it

In 1921, 1027 Woodward magically became 5101 Woodward (http://stevemorse.org/census/changes/DetroitWXY.htm), so the numbering definitely fits. I agree that trying to picture this as ever being residential is difficult.

Woodward and Jefferson

My great-grandfather was born down the street at 2050 Woodward in 1872 and my great-grandmother was raised around the corner at 497 Jefferson. I hope to see more from Shorpy of this part of Detroit.

What a difference a few decades can make!

You'd never know this was once a residential neighborhood.

It's a different address

This house number was either 1021 or 4021 Woodward (the number is partly obscured in the photo). Even with the renumbering of locations that occurred this would be well south of what was the Maccabees Building at 5057 Woodward. That building housed WXYZ radio for many years and later became the Schools Center building for the Detroit Public School system. The school system sold the building a few years ago and it's now part of the Wayne State University complex.

[Our building was indeed located at the SW corner of Woodward and Putnam, site of the current Maccabees Building. -tterrace]

Trolley Tracks

Notice the gauge rods holding the trolley tracks in proper 4' 8 1/2" gauge prior to paving of some sort being being installed.

"Keys at the Corner"

The "Keys at the Corner"sign is apparently mounted on top of a fire call box, which was probably locked. Unlike modern pull boxes, some cities once kept their fire boxes locked to prevent false alarms but left a set of keys with a nearby resident or merchant. I suspect the sign provides helpful directions for someone trying to turn in an alarm.

The question remains: which corner?

Astra Castra Numen Lumen

I just wanted to say the KofM's motto.

I give...

Any ideas about the "Keys at Corner" box?

I tried an internet search but came up empty.

Originally a house

Originally a mansion on Woodward avenue. There were hundreds of large mansions built in the 1870s on Woodward/Fort (along the river front)/Lafayette/Jefferson/Cass/etc. and torn down almost in total in the 20s, 30s, and 40s as the city grew and industry expanded. After the Great War these old houses were converted to rooming houses/auto repair shops/apartment buildings/the Knights of the Maccabees (above)/etc. and eventually fell into decay. They were too close to the city center, for a day when horses were the norm and one had to live near downtown. They were seen as relics of a strict and formal generation. Unfortunately it is only in the past few decades that we have come to appreciate our lost mansions and now most of them are gone. Only 2 major mansions remain on Woodward Ave (the Hecker house and the Whitney house). Detroit had quite a collection of second empire houses and was called the Paris of the West.

Street address

This was the national headquarters and was located at 5057 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI.

Bark issues

Why the bands around each tree about head height? Some of the trees appear to be necked down where the marks are, like something was constricting them.
Also, I was told that having vegetation growing up the side of your house was not good because it is a natural path for insects to travel and find their way into your home. In addition, the roots get into the grout of the bricks, and weakens it.

[The bands appear to be applications of an insect barrier like those seen in this photo and described in the comments. - tterrace]

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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