As some of you may know, I’m new to MCCI. My background is quite diverse so let me start off by saying that I am a girl who loves to have options. Case in point, when it came time to declare my major, I decided to do it all: double major in Communication Studies and History as well as minor in Museum Studies.
Here, on the Detroit Corner of the MCCI blog I’ll be sharing some interesting facts/stories about Detroit periodically that stem from my passions for the city. I hope you’ll enjoy! Detroit, like many cities, has a rich and vibrant history. It also has a few interesting twists that some people may not know about. So without further ado, here are some fun facts about Detroit.
- Fort Pontchartrain – Detroit’s original settlement sat at what is now COBO Center. The Fort was later extended and renamed Fort Lernoult when the British took over from the French in 1760. After the Revolutionary War the British refused to give up the settlement. They were eventually removed in 1796 and moved across the Detroit River to Canada where they built Fort Amherstburg.
- The War of 1812 – The British took control of Detroit for a brief time during the War of 1812. The Americans retook the Fort in 1812 and renamed it Fort Shelby, after Kentucky Governor Isaac Shelby who came to Detroit’s aid. His influence still lives on in the form of Shelby Street. The MCCI team is familiar with this since our office is located on the corner of Shelby and West Congress Street!
- Urban Farming – Detroit and the rest of the U.S. saw a huge economic recession in the 1890s. Mayor Hazen Pingree saw how the city’s poor was living and wanted to find a way to help. A true politician, he managed to acquire land inside the city so that those in need could farm/provide for themselves. This earned him the name “Potato Patch Pingree.” After seeing the success of this project, other cities followed Detroit’s lead.
I hope you remember these facts the next time you are in the city, (as well as the ones that are to come in future posts,) and look at Detroit in a new exciting way… For what it once was and what it can still become.