1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

Detroit is the largest city in Michigan state. In the 20th century, Detroit boomed with an industrial powerhouse and automobile industry. Its population grew immensely, and in 1910 it became the 9th largest city in the United States. The “Great Migration brought large numbers of black Southerners into Detroit. The black population multiplied from 5700 in 1910 to 40,800 in the 1920s. Some other industries, including metal crafts, railcars, stove works, paints, iron, brass, and copper, progressed by leaps and bounds. Henry Ford built an assembly line at his Highland Park Plant in 1910. Later that decade, when World War I broke out, Detroiters fought valiantly.

Here below are some stunning historical photos that show Detroit city in the early 20th century from 1900 to 1910.

#1 Penobscot Building and State Savings Bank, Fort and Shelby Streets, Detroit, 1907

#3 The normally prosaic Detroit Publishing caption writers got creative on this one, , Detroit, 1907

#5 Majestic Building and Campus Martius, Detroit, 1910

#6 Launching of the Detroit (Detroit Yacht Club), 1905

#7 Wayne Hotel pavilion, Third Street, Detroit River, Detroit, 1910

#9 Residences on East Grand Boulevard, Detroit, Michigan, 1902

#10 Approach to the Detroit River tunnel, Detroit, 1910

#11 Michigan Central R.R. — Electric engine, Detroit River tunnel, Detroit, 1909

#12 Municipal Building, Washington Avenue and Mulberry Street, 1901

#15 Cadillac Square, Soldiers and Sailors at Monument and Hotel Pontchartrain, Detroit, 1907

#16 Hotel Pontchartrain under construction, , Detroit, 1907

#17 Ice fountain on Washington Boulevard, Detroit, 1906

#19 Alexander Macomb monument, Washington Boulevard Park. Adolph Weinman’s statue of the War of 1812 hero, flanked by the Lincoln and Cadillac hotels, Detroit, 1909

#20 Woodward Avenue looking north from Opera House corner, Detroit, 1909

#21 Steamer Sappho at Belle Isle Ferry dock, Woodward Avenue, Detroit, 1905

#22 Launching party, freighter Benjamin Noble, Wyandotte, 1909

#24 Photochrom Company Building, front view, Detroit, 1909

#25 Down Woodward Avenue from Peterboro Street, Detroit, 1900

#27 Woodward Avenue at the Campus Martius showing Bagley Fountain, Detroit, 1901

#28 Bastendorff block and G. & R. McMillan Co. store, Jefferson Avenue, , Detroit, 1910

#29 Union Depot, Fort and Third Streets, Detroit, 1909

#30 Looking up Woodward Avenue from the Campus Martius, Detroit, 1907

#32 Gas office, first floor, looking back; cashier windows at right, Detroit, 1908

#33 Detroit City Gas Co. building, Washington Boulevard and Clifford Street, 1908

#34 Wayne Hotel pavilion, Third Street, Detroit River, Detroit, 1910

#40 Great Lake Engineering Works. Steamer Detroit, Michigan Central Transfer, stern quarter, 1904

#41 Children’s Day, Playground at Belle Isle Park, Detroit, 1905

#45 Reimers Loco winning five-miles event in 10:51 4-5, Grosse Pointe track, Detroit, 1902

#46 Screw ferry excursion steamer Pleasure at Belle Isle ferry dock, Woodward Avenue, Detroit, 1901

#48 Hotel Ste. Claire, Randolph and Monroe streets, Detroit, 1906

#49 A Bed of “Snow-Ball” is the uncharacteristically fanciful title of this 1907 entry from the Detroit Publishing catalogue, showing Grand Circus Park and the Fine Arts Building.

#50 Windsor ferry dock, Woodward Avenue, Detroit, 1901

#51 The Motor City and Detroit Opera House and Palmer Fountain, 1905

#53 Chamber of Commerce, State and Griswold streets, Detroit, 1910

#54 Excursion steamers Tashmoo and Idlewild at wharves, Detroit, 1901

#55 Children’s playground, Belle Isle Park, Detroit, 1903

#56 Monroe Avenue, One of the nascent Motor City’s seedier (and moldier) districts, Detroit, 1909

#57 Griswold Street looking toward Ford Building, Detroit, 1910

#58 Walker Block, Griswold and Fort Streets, Detroit, 1908

#60 Walker Block, Griswold and Fort Sts, Detroit, 1908

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    • That’s such a weak statement. You used politics with zero facts. Detroits demise started from the very beginning with it being a one truck pony. Detroits biggest and most important industry IS and ALWAYS HAS BEEN the automotive industry. When the industry does well things are great and when it does bad everyone suffers. When the automotive industry started changing in the 1960’s-70’s Detroit started its decline.

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