Monday, December 13, 2010

Boat #143, A Tour of Detroit

This week we're on a postcard tour through early 20th century Detroit. Detroit is (in the humble opinion of your tour guide) the most interesting city in America—the city you have to understand if you want to understand the story of this country in the last 100 years. Detroit today is like a time capsule. More than half of its population (over 2 million at its peak) skedaddled to the suburbs over the last 40 years. As a result, things look pretty much the same as they did 50 years ago, or even 100 years ago. Things are a little dusty, sure, and a tad weathered. But the building and sidewalks, boat docks and warehouses are mostly still there, empty, just waiting for people to come back.
So this week we're coming back to Detroit. We arrive via the Steamer Greater Detroit. The SGD was the largest steamship operating in the Great Lakes in its day. It ran overnight passenger service to and from Buffalo, NY.

Tomorrow we'll be visiting lovely Belle Isle.

1 comment:

  1. The numbers below show the Detroit drain in population. When I was born in Detroit in 1950, where were almost 2 million in the city. In the past 60 years, Detroit's population decreased by 938,648 and the Detroit metropolitan area increase by 1,184,181. In other words, Detroit proper decreased by almost 50% while the Greater Metro Detroit area increased by almost 137%.

    City: 1,849,568
    Metro: 3,219,256
    Region: 3,700,490

    City: 910,920
    Metro: 4,403,437
    Region: 5,327,764