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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Grosse Ile: 1900

Grosse Ile: 1900

Circa 1900. "Railway station at Grosse Ile, Michigan." The perfect place to start our tour. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

 

Terminal Illness

This is interesting. Grosse Ile is an island (and the town on it) in the Detroit River. According to Wikipedia the Canada Southern Railroad Company operated rail service from 1873 until about ten years later, when the service was folded. Service was then provided by Michigan Central Railroad, which built a brick and stone depot building a few years after this photo was taken, in 1904. If the market was serviceable enough to warrant a new building, I wonder why the rails in this picture are so neglected that they're covered with soil and scrub in the foreground? Maybe this location was the end of the line.

Looking at the island on Google Earth, there's now not a trace of rail visible.

[Scroll down. - Dave]

The perspective of time

My modern eye quickly identified the central heat/air unit in front, only to be corrected by the brain that it was just a box.

Defunct Depot

This is the old Canada Southern Railway station. Just out of view to the left is a bridge that led to the railroad ferry, which crossed the Detroit River to Amherstburg, Ontario.

So many details!

A scratch-built modeler's treasure.

The sagging roofline, the awning (on the East side?), the writing desk (or possibly two), the old handtruck, the safety bar across the 6-over-9 windows, so the handtruck doesn't crash them. Why the one little extension to the roof, over, well, nothing in particular?

I'd say that was a solar collector or dehydrator, if it were 60-80 years later - and on the south side!

Platinum

American Express was originally a freight company. It was one of many serving the railroad industry.They were included in the group of freight companies nationalized by the Government when we entered WW1. This was done to make sure troop and supply movement went smoothly during the National Emergency. The merged companies formed the Railway Express Agency which existed until it went bankrupt in 1975.

Buzz would say

"magnificent desolation"

Sunnyside Station

This frame building, Sunnyside Station, was on the west side of the island next to the bridge.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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