Location for archive Detroit film, anyone know where this might be?
March 31, 2018 1:44 PM   Subscribe

Hi, I'm trying to find out more info about this amazing piece of archive footage I've found showing soldiers parading and saying goodbye to their loved ones in 1917 Detroit - Can anyone shed any light?

I'm especially keen to try and find out which train station this might have been? -- 00:22 City of Detroit turns out to say goodbye to soldiers of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), patriotic parade in Detroit Michigan. WW1 Soldiers marching to train station and boarding train. WWI soldier kissing goodbye to woman under umbrella at train station.
posted by ebear to Travel & Transportation around Detroit, MI (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It seems like it would almost certainly be Michigan Central Station.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:33 PM on March 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Here's a contemporaneous news article (12/9/1917): "Shouting and singing 'Over There' and 'We're Going Over,' 212 army recruits held sway at the Michigan Central station Saturday afternoon as they left for Columbus barracks...."
posted by mudpuppie at 2:41 PM on March 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Sorry, one more tidbit: There was a grand army parade in Detroit on September 18, 1917, and I think it's probably the one captured in the film. All of the city's businesses shut down; half a million were expected to attend; 25,000 soldiers and "supporters" were expected to march in the parade. There are a couple of multi-page articles about it in that day's issue of the Detroit Free Press. If you sign up for a 7-day trial at Newspapers.com, you can read them. If you don't want to do that, you can probably get a copy of the main front-page article from that day's paper from the Detroit Public Library for a nominal fee. It's on page 1, column 1, and is continued on the following page.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:53 PM on March 31, 2018 [3 favorites]

I also suspect it's the central train station since that would have been the only major train station in the city. And I'd guess they're marching down Woodward Ave. in the parade shots.
posted by zebrabananafish at 7:19 PM on March 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

Soldiers would definitely have left from Michigan Central Station. The old depot at Third and Jefferson actually burned while MCS was under construction in 1913 and they hastily moved to the new station. My grandfather left from MCS during World War II. In the clip starting at :22, the march on wide city streets would almost certainly have been along Woodward Avenue (if indeed this is Detroit). The later shot at around :28 of soldiers in full gear marching past more modest frame buildings may have been Michigan Avenue, where the station was located.

At 1:08 and 1:18 you get a glimpse of Henry Ford and I think Edsel as well.
posted by Preserver at 9:24 AM on April 1, 2018 [3 favorites]

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