Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

How Detroit Got Laid

Out, okay? How Detroit Got Laid Out. Doin' my best to spice up history and bring your attention to what is quite possibly the best explanation you will ever get about why Detroit is laid out the way it is. Where has this movie been all my life?

You will have a full minute of beginning credits--plenty of time to go hot up your cup of coffee or clear enough room on your desk so you can lean back and put your feet up.

I know, I know... 15 minutes is a huge time commitment. Just do it.

Detroiters will be amused by the narrator's pronounciation of one of the main drags, Gratiot. For those of you who don't live here, the rest of us do not say Grah-zhit. In fact, I'd venture to say that no one in the known universe ever said Grah-zhit except the narrator of this movie.  Say Grass-shit. Go ahead, say it. Run it together and don't worry about those esses. It's Grass-shit. And there is no Warrant Avenue. Apparently the narrator of this movie was nearsighted and misread Warren. Just sayin'.

For quick reference on other detroit street topics, here are some links:

Steve Morse's list of street name changes

City of Detroit Old and New House Numbers - the 197-page PDF you can't live without

List of Detroit Street Names Linked to Map & Street View - very useful!

 The Streets of Detroit  - a work in progress

The Detroit 10 Street Names - how they were named

Metro Detroit Mile Roads - The movie only goes up to 8 Mile Road but, people, there is life beyond the city limits. This is a handy printable list of what the rest of the mile roads are called in suburbs where "Mile Road" just doesn't seem good enough. Personally, I find the number designation quite useful. I took my 94-year-old dad on a little joy-ride out Grass-shit to Richmond yesterday, and the numbered mile-road signs were very nice for noting our progress.

Boulevard, Avenue, Road and Street in Detroit - interesting article with overview maps

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Blog Archive


Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

  • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
  • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
  • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
  • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
  • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
  • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
  • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
  • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
  • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
  • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
  • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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