This is my blog which functions as mainly a listing of new occurences relating to old locations, new info I happen to learn, and updates to my Downriver History webpage. In other words, a kind of "What's New" page.
MARCH 14, 2009:
Whew! Been a while since I've updated this site, eh? Well, I have a semi-good excuse... I didn't have home access to the internet from around June 2007 thru October 2008! Anyway, I recently updated a couple pages on the site to add information about when houses in Trenton were built. The pages I added this info to are the Grange Road, West Road, Van Horn, Riverside (very little), King Road (ditto), and Trenton pages. The site that this info came from is located here, which I found thru a link on the official City of Trenton website. Unfortunately, the site doesn't give building dates for commercial locations (stores, etc.) and even a few homes give a "0" for the year built. Also, the only Downriver city that has info on that site is Trenton. But it's a lot better than nothing, and I now know for certain which house on Grange Road is the oldest and when it was built (something I had long wondered about). In fact, the Grange Road page is the one that I've added the most "Year built" info to. Anyway, hopefully it won't be another 2 years before I add more info to this page!
MAY 24, 2007:
Writing this at 2am, time for bed! I went to the Wyandotte library on Tuesday for around 4 hours and have put all the stuff that I jotted down from old newspapers that day onto the webpage. I also learned of the existence of another set of city directories at the library. The old Polk ones that I'd been using all this time didn't include listings for Lincoln Park, Allen Park, Southgate, Woodhaven, and Taylor. Well, it turns out that there are directories published by Bresser, which included address numbers for all of those cities and more. The oldest Bresser directory that the library had was the 1977-78 edition, and the newest was around 2002. Unfortunately, the info they give is even more abbreviated (and smaller print) than the Polk books. For example, some entries will simply list a "Boron Oil Co." I assume that means it's a gas station, but just to be on the safe side I'm putting a "gas station?" next to those, in parentheses, until I know for sure. I have updated many of the webpages with this new info, with more to come over time. Still don't know when the Woodhaven Kroger opened, but I'm leaning now towards 1977 since some of the stores in Woodhaven Commons (including Cunningham Drugs, Wear Else, and Good Times Cafe) were open by 1977. (Oddly, their 1977 ads -- so far -- don't mention them being next to Kroger.) The 1977-78 Bresser directory has them there, too, but no Kroger. Hmmm.
MARCH 7, 2007:
Went to Southgate Shopping Center yesterday and noticed that the MIGun Lifestyles store, next to the recently-closed Hallmark store, was also now closed. That means there are now only 6 open stores on the mall's eastern (Eureka entrance) wing. The Fantastic Sam's is surrounded by empty buildings: 3 vacant stores on its left side, 3 vacant stores on its right. Not good!
MARCH 4, 2007:
Completed adding the address number info from the 1958 city directory for Eureka in Wyandotte onto my page for Eureka.
FEBRUARY 25, 2007:
Demlotion of Owen Elementary School in Trenton began on Wednesday, February 21. I took some photos around 5pm there, after work had stopped for the day, with the building still standing but the walls near the playground having been knocked down. I'll post the pics sometime in the next few weeks.
Updates to the website: Noted that the address 3842 Van Horn, that goes back to at least 1936, still has a home there today. Noted that the Hallmark store in Southgate Shopping Center has closed. (That store had been there for many years; I remember it in the mid-1980s.) This means that the only stores remaining on the east side of the mall are: CVS (in separate building at the Eureka entrance), Aaron's, U.S. Armed Forces, Approved Cash Advance, Once Upon a Child, Fantastic Sam's, and MIGUN Lifestyles -- only 7 stores and most of them smaller ones. That's a lot of empty space in between.
Also, on my website's main page, I re-posted an item that I had written last night on a message board which was about how local convenience stores and drugstores used to carry comics.
FEBRUARY 11, 2007:
A few days ago, I wrote a post here about the Woodhaven Kroger, including some new photos of the store's interior.
JANUARY 30, 2007:
Created this blog page.
Sunday night (Jan 28) I read a message board post which said that the Craft Mall where OfficeMax and T. J. Maxx are currently located, at the SW corner of Dix and Eureka, used to be a Topps department store, which was described as being like K-Mart. The old (pre-1990s) city directories at the Wyandotte and Trenton libraries don't contain (for the most part) any listings for Southgate (or for that matter, Woodhaven, Brownstown Township, Lincoln Park, Allen Park, or Flat Rock) so info about old Southgate addresses is harder to come by, having to be pieced together from old newspaper articles, phonebooks, etc. I talked to a co-worker yesterday and she seemed to remember there being a Topps store there.
Also on Sunday I learned about what S & H Green Stamps were. I had known since the summer (upon seeing an ad for it in an old newspaper) that there had been an S & H Green Stamps store on Dix across the street from the present-day location of the Lincoln Park Meijer store. (At the same address as Hollywood Video, in fact.) But I didn't know what the stamps were for. Now I know. People would get green stamps for purchases they made at other stores and then could redeem the stamps for products (licking them and putting them in a book) at a S & H Green Stamps Redemption Center like the one on Dix. A co-worker remembered them and said that some people got by on those stamps during hard times.
Wrote a post here on Sunday compiling all my existing info on Wrigely's Supermarkets and asking if anyone had more info.
On Friday January 26 I went to the Best Buy on Dix to take some photos. (I haven't yet seen their new location in Southland Mall.) The store is now closed, and the "Best Buy" lettering had been removed from the sign out front and above the doors (the "ticket stub" is still there but the lettering has been removed). Construction workers were inside the building, presumably emptying it out. Now there are only one or two stores left inside that entire strip mall, the biggest being a dollar store. I wouldn't be surprised if a year from now the whole strip mall is demolished and replaced by a Target or something.
Also went to the OfficeMax on Dix and saw that they had remodeled the OfficeMax and T. J. Maxx signage atop the stores, making it more impressive looking. This took me by surprise; I'd seen a month or two ago that they were doing something to the tops of the stores, but wasn't sure what.
Found an interesting page where someone (no name given) had photos of the Woodhaven Kroger (click here and scroll down near bottom) and the Riverview Farmer Jack (click here). I don't know when the Woodhaven Kroger was built (don't even know its store number, couldn't find that info online) but I suspect it opened around 1978.