Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Flint Postcards: Detroit Street



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14 comments:

  1. Is the viewer standing just south of the corner of Detroit (i.e. MLK) and Welch, looking ~ northward?

    As of the mid 60s, the housing stock in that area still looked like what's depicted. I think the streetcar line ran at least as far north as Forest Park and Flint Park in that time period, so that would fit.

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  2. That's what I was thinking, JWilly. It's the only place I can recall where Detroit Street had an angle point, i.e., straight from downtown to Welch, deflection there, running straight north from Welch to city limits and beyond.

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  3. I have that postcard somewhere. And I always thought it was facing south from the intersection of Welch (coming in from the west) with Oren Avenue (coming in from the north east). You also have Page street (coming in from the east). Detroit street (Martin Luther now) I believe is heading off to the south/southeast. That strange intersection was always a quick way or a short cut I used going to work at Buick.

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  4. Heh. Re-reading what I wrote above, I seem to have said that the image was from the mid 60s. Not so, of course, it's from the 30s or maybe early 40s. I had a friend who lived up there in the mid 60s, though, so I recall what those neighborhoods looked like.

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  5. Gerry...but wasn't the trolley track only on Detroit? Oren was a residential-width street, not suitable for trolley, and I don't think Welch ever had tracks.

    At least we all agree on what intersection it is. 8^)

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  6. JWilly, I never thought about the trolley tracks. You can find one of the old maps here http://www.trolleybuses.net/fnt/fnt.htm and your right, they do not show tracks on Welch. They do show tracks at 3rd going off of Detroit. I also have a different trolley map on my Buick site. It has more detail but still no Welch tracks. Now the fun begins,"More research".

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  7. North or south, I would say your right on the intersection. I'll have to try and get some current photos of that intersection and see if that helps. Maybe even some of those houses are still standing. "I love research".

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  8. not being much of a researcher but the home pictured on the left with the white columned portico is still some what standing on the west side of detroit st (ml king) going north....unfortunately a postcard from the same vantage point looks less uptopian than the postcard you pictured.

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  9. Hi,

    Looks like Stockdale & M.L. King facing north. House w/columns I believe was Arthur Mason's; Durant used his engine for the (eventual) first Flint Chevy

    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=flint,+mi&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&ie=UTF8&split=0&gl=us&ei=aeIMSsqPNJP0MrTM6KoG&ll=43.03182,-83.704233&spn=0.018195,0.04549&z=15&layer=c&cbll=43.031737,-83.704148&panoid=44ewcwf-A7N8aS7Am24_lA&cbp=12,345.22,,0,9.25

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  10. Looks like Slick solved the mystery. Great work.

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  11. That link seems to be specific to Firefox, and I'm not sure how to paste an acceptable Internet Exploder link here. However, pasting

    corner of Stockdale and ML King, Flint, Michigan, USA

    into the Search box at Google Maps will get you not only the map, but also a Street View (i.e. 360 degree photo track) up ML King. Thus you can eyeball the corner's recent down-at-the-heels appearance in comparison to during Arthur Mason's day.

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  12. Way to go Anonymous. I went to the link you provided. And that is some amazing technology. You definitely nipped that in the bud. Do you remember where you acquired the Arthur Mason information?

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  13. Gerry,

    I will doulbe-check on Monday, but my recollection has that house showing up in the Flint City Directory starting in the mid-teens. Mason had a more humble dwelling before Mason Motors/Little/Whiting/Flint Wagon Works/Chevrolet became just Chevrolet. The story I remember most is about one of Durant's investors telling him not to use that motor because it was certain to blow up. Mason knelt down, rested his head on it, and said "Fire it up." Durant was duly impressed, the story goes. There are, of course, variations of that story.

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  14. This brings back memories for me. I lived in an apartment which at one time was the servants quarters above the garage of the ivy covered brick house on the corner of Detroit and Stockdale. This was fall 1969 when I was a student at Flint Jr. College (now Mott).

    One of my most vivid recollection of this time is having two cops pull their guns on me at this corner. This was, to say the least, a frightening experience, intensified by the general feeling amongst my contemporaries that the police were somewhat "on edge" at the time. If anyone remembers, they sported riot helmets as part of their standard uniform of the day.

    As my roommate turned off of Detroit onto Stockdale, the cops flashed their lights to pull us over. Since we were right at our usual parking spot, we pulled up to the curb and both got out of the car. This turned out to be one of the dumbest moves of the century. FREEZE!!! We suddenly look and both cops are tucked behind open doors with guns drawn and aimed at us just like on TV. My roommate dropped the bag of groceries he was holding as his hands went up and he yelled "don't shoot".

    The cops ended up being somewhat apologetic about the whole thing and strongly cautioned us to never hop out of a car like that when pulled over. They interpreted this as aggressive behavior, even from a couple of long-haired youngsters holding grocery bags.

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