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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Le Bel Âge: 1908

Le Bel Âge: 1908

Detroit, Michigan, circa 1908. "Crowd at Belle Isle Park casino." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Lots of weddings

My parents got married in the replacement casino in 1954. I've got lots of pictures of the interior that I should post. I no longer live in Detroit, but I believe the replacement casino got a big update a few years ago.

There, wolf?

Is that guy in the foreground a graying werewolf or did he just puff out some cigar smoke?

Staring boy

The whole composition appears to be a blurred whirl of activity around the still center of the boy in the cap with his hands behind his back, staring at the camera.

When casinos weren't casinos

This wouldn't have been a place for gambling, thus all the kids, one of whom seems to have an armload of presents. Originally, casino was another name for a ballroom or place of entertainment. Johann Strauss II, the Waltz King, often premiered his music at places like Dommayer's Casino in Vienna, which was a ballroom.

End of an Epoch

Built in 1887, torn down in 1908. (Hey, at least it didn't burn!) Replaced by a still existing Casino building.

Forget gambling!

The "Belle Isle Casino" was an open air building for decades on Detroit's Belle Isle, in the Detroit River. But it never was what we consider the "Casino" term today. No gaming in any form. It was just a nice place with tables and some food attractions then and forever more.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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