Historians to explore first road at museum program

Going PlacesCDownriver residents who attend the Lincoln Park Historical Society’s April 5 meeting may be surprised to learn that Dixie Highway, M-125, Monroe Street, the U.S. Turnpike and Jefferson and Biddle avenues were once part of a Native American pathway from Detroit into northern Ohio.

That and additional fascinating facts will be revealed and discussed by Monroe County historians Rusty Davis and Bill Saul in a talk titled “Michigan’s First Road” at 7 p.m. in the Lincoln Park Historical Museum, 1335 Southfield Road.

Jeff Day, museum curator, said the speakers will offer a historic overview of the road, which originally was named for U. S. Gen. William Hull, as Hull’s Trace, and was the location of three battles of the War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain.

The conflicts were the battles of Brownstown, Monguagon and Frenchtown (River Raisin), Day said. He added that even today, at low-water level, remains of the original road, an old-plank-type (or “corduroy”) construction, are still visible at the Huron River and Jefferson Avenue in Brownstown Township.

As part of their research, the speakers traveled to Washington, D.C., to retrieve better copies of maps that have been hanging in the Monroe County Historical Museum for years and began to prepare a power-point presentation to share what they had discovered.

The men will offer details of Hull’s Trace’s history and their efforts to have the road recognized by the Michigan Department of Transportation as a Historic Pure Michigan Byway.

Davis volunteers at the River Raisin National Battlefield Park, carrying out research on projects to interpret and advance the understanding of the unique culture and circumstances of southeast Michigan in the territorial era.

He is retired from the state of Michigan and the United Way of Monroe and Lenawee counties.

Saul, who also volunteers at the Battlefield Park and conducts research, has carried out major construction projects at the park, including the erection of new signs at the Visitor Center.

There is no charge for the program, which is open to the public.

The deadline for table registrations for the Historical Society’s first fundraising flea market, slated for April 22, has been changed to April 19. The cost for a table for the sale, to be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., is $30. To register, call 313-386-3137 or email lpmuseum@gmail.com.

Applications are being accepted by the society for engraved memorial paver bricks to be dedicated in memory, in honor or recognition of individuals, families, organizations, civic or community service and military service, past or present.

The bricks will be installed in front of the museum and dedicated in a ceremony at noon May 20. The annual memorial bell ringing and an indoor reception will follow.

Forms also are available at Lincoln Park City Hall, 1355 Southfield Road, and Public Library,1381 Southfield Road. For more information, call 313-366-3137.

The Lincoln Park Exchange Club recently presented its Book of Golden Deeds award to Day in recognition of his cumulative service as curator of the historical museum for the past eight years.

Comedy set at Prechter Center

Tickets are available for Pat Hazell’s “The Wonder Bread Years,” to be staged at 8 p.m. April 8 at the Heinz C. Prechter Educational and Performing Arts Center of Wayne County Community College District Downriver Campus.

A fast-paced comedy, the show has been described by Jerry Seinfeld as “a fresh and funny slice of Americana” and the Los Angeles Times as “pure unpasteurized nostalgia.” Hazell is a former Seinfeld writer.

Tickets, $25, are available at the box office of the college, 21000 Northline in Taylor, or online at www.wcccd.edu/about/ArtsCenter/htm.

For more information, call 734-374-3200.