The Detroit History Club

The Detroit History Club is a place for lectures, events, and presentations celebrating over 300 years of stories in the great city of Detroit. As a members-only club we exist in the brightest of shadowy places - easy to join but bursting with membership pride.


Just some of The detroit history club’s Past events


Delray History Night: Witches, Bridges, Fairs, and Paprikash!

Two dates: Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 and Thursday June 6th, 2019

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

The Carbon Athletic Club, 111 Gates St, Detroit, MI 48209

Forgotten, buried, mined, paved over, shut down, yet still resilient, Delray is one of Detroit's oldest established neighborhoods -- and one of the most abused. Founded in the 1850’s, by Eastern European immigrants, this proud slice of land where the Detroit River meets the Rogue River has been home to factories, cemeteries, and salt mines for a century and a half. It has suffered through the installation of a wastewater treatment plant, a peninsula carved into an island, an overhead freeway, a wrongly accused “witch”, and now, the landing of the Gordie Howe International Bridge. Join The Detroit History Club as we celebrate its residents past and present, famous and infamous, with a Hungarian dinner hosted at the members only Carbon Athletic Club. During dinner Bailey Sisoy Isgro will regale guests with the stories of The Detroit International Exposition and Fair of 1889, which was hosted in Delray. , Following dinner, best selling author and brilliant lecturer Karen Dybis will present on Delray's storied history, its current home-swap program, the latest on the Gordie Howe International Bridge, and the “Witch of Delray" (The topic of her most recent book). A recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation Grant, she’ll share with us her current project to collect oral histories, objects and photographs of Delray history.

You won’t want to miss this chance to learn about one west side neighborhoods impact, and how a historic “witch” named Rose came to inspire an author named Karen to try preserve its history!

Buffet Menu:

House Salad

Chicken Paprikash with Homemade Dumplings

Pork Stuffed Cabbage

Cash Bar Available, please note the Carbon AC is a cash-only establishment.

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The Suffragette’s Ball

March 9th, 2019

It is with a full and open heart that we request the honor of your presence at The Suffragette’s Ball; a gala event celebrating the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of these United States of America. As we raise our glasses in celebration of the liberation of the American women, you’ll be transported back in time to the winter of 1919. Over a foot of snow laid on the ground in Detroit, and politically things were heating up fast. Michigan had just become the third state to ratify the 19th amendment. From socialites to shop girls, the city erupted into emotions ranging from celebration to anger, fear to excited anticipation, and of course, joy. After seven long decades of protest, activism, and lobbying, the previously disenfranchised half of America would be allowed, if not always welcome, at the polls. Throughout Michigan the gold, white, and purple flags of suffragism were flown, bunting was draped from windows, and women marched through the streets in victory. Within the year, the 19th amendment would be ratified as the law of the land. And today, one hundred years later, we welcome you to join us in a recreation celebration of that auspicious day.  

A party that hasn't been seen in 100 years...elegant rooms drenched in flowers, silk ball gowns, tailored tuxedos, and illegal prohibition era booze. Hallways full of brilliant women and men talking excitedly, plotting, planning, and creating a better future for all Detroiters. Excitement fueled by Federal agents, automotive tycoons, sultry dancing, wealthy heiresses, fierce politicians, and a red hot band. Balconies overflowing with with gold, purple, and white bunting and flowers, bars pouring out the newly illegal lifeblood of Detroit, and the revolution of the flapper. Grab a glass of ill gotten champagne, and join The Detroit History Club for The Suffragette’s Ball, a celebration of female liberation.

“We are here, not because we are law-breakers; we are here in our efforts to become law-makers. “

-Emmeline Pankhurst

The sounds of a full jazz band will great you as you glide up the 1928 grand staircase to the two ballrooms of the Detroit Yacht Club. Enjoy a glass of champagne and hors d'oeuvres as you stroll the balconies of the 150 year old gem before sitting for a three course dinner menu including 1919 Waldorf Salad, Suffragette Chicken Wellingtons with Duexell sauce, and scrumptious decade desserts. As dinner is served our suffragettes, politicians, and activists take to the stage to recreate the speeches of nearly 100 years before. Following dinner in the grand ball room you’ll shimmy out onto the dance floor of the fountain room to the smoky melodies and forgotten songs of Detroit's famed jazz age as a twenty person band plays. Or you can take a break from dancing to learn the manufacturing jobs that brought women financial independence through the teens and twenties, when Detroit was known as “The best five cent cigar city in the world” and “Little Havana” by trying your hand at rolling cigars with our master makers. Have your fortune told or tea leaves read along the hallowed hall of Peacock Alley under ornate chandeliers donated by Matilda Dodge and among the trophies of a century and a half of yacht racing.

Imbibe at the inclusive prohibition themed bar. Or sneak off for a bit of vice at our premium open bars or hidden gaming tables. Before the night is over, you may even find yourself embroiled in a life or death race to pass information among activist spies disguised as party goers in order to aid the women of Britain as they continue to fight for equal rights.

The Suffragist, Vol. 1 No. 4, published on December 6, 1913, describes the symbolism of the colors worn by suffrage supporters. “Purple is the color of loyalty, constancy to purpose, unswerving steadfastness to a cause. White, the emblem of purity, symbolizes the quality of our purpose; and gold, the color of light and life, is as the torch that guides our purpose, pure and unswerving.”

This evening is designed to be a fully immersive experience, a ghost of a legendary night, the reincarnation of a singular memory; rich in fantasy, history, and Detroit. Guests are required to dress for the occasion in full 1919 glamour. Brave women of Detroit, drape yourself with family jewels, wrap yourself in the colors of our cause, and perhaps tuck a forget-me-not or lily into your hair. Fine gentleman, don your tuxedos or dark suits and loop a ribbon for women's rights into your button hole, a corsage at your breast, or a necktie in honor of the day. Let the thrift store, vintage shops, and grandparent’s closet raiding begin.

A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit The League of Women Voters Education Foundation in their efforts to ensure all Americans the ability, honor, and dignity of a fair vote. For your support, we humbly thank you.


Cocktail hour to include champagne, premium bar service, and chilled hors d'oeuvres.


Waldorf Salad - Baby greens, romaine, apples, celery, candied walnuts and house yogurt dressing.

Suffragette Chicken Wellington - Grilled chicken breast wrapped in house puff pastry and drizzled with duxelles sauce, served with roasted carrots and a seasonal potato mash.

A vegetarian option is available. We apologize for being unable to accommodate vegans.

Following dinner a 1919 dessert presentation table will be open for the remainder of the night. It will feature desserts that date back to a time before women could vote, including custom Fairy Floss (cotton candy) provided by our friends at Detroit Spun Sugar.


A Morning with the J.W. Westcott; The Detroit River, Freighters, and the Mail

Saturday, July 28th, 2018

48222, a zip code unlike any other. This storied set of digits denotes mail destined for Great Lakes freighters, by way of the only floating zip code in America, The J.W. Westcott. The Westcott company was started by Captain John Ward Westcott nearly 150 years ago. Today it still delivers mail to ships passing down the Detroit River. It’s iconic white, orange, and black boats are skillfully driven alongside huge freighters whose crews lower buckets to the mail boat, and using ropes haul back up their supplies, mail, and even sometimes pizza. Join The Detroit History Club as we explore this uniquely Detroit company. We’ll meet the crew for coffee and donuts, hear the incredible tales of life on the Detroit River, and cheer as the mail pulls away from the dock for another routine delivery.


The Detroit History Club Krewe - MARCHE DU NAIN ROUGE

Since Detroit’s founding, the city has been haunted, terrorized, and all together harassed by our own personal harbinger of doom- The Nain Rouge.  He's been rumored to appear before terrible occurrences befall Detroit, since the time of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac’s founding of the city, when he'd spoiled the cheese in the larder, to the polling booths the night Kwame Kilpatrick was elected.  He danced in the flames of the great fire of 1805, and cut the power lines during the ice storm of 1976.  Every year, the citizens of our fine city band together to fight back in a style only Detroit can do: the Marche du Nain Rouge.  This year the Detroit History Club has been invited to join in the parade.  We chose the theme “Detroiters of the Past” as our group “float” entry.  So you’ll need to show up dressed up as your favorite historical Detroiter.  

Rosie the Riveter- great.  Rosa Parks- awesome.  The Pistons “Bad Boys” of ‘89/’90- love it!  French settlers- in particular Antronie or Marie Cadillac- badass.  Henry Ford, John and Horace Dodge, or Billy Durant- our eternal love.  Fleeing British soldiers- hysterical.  Your favorite historical Detroit mayor- let the debate begin, whatever you'd like- but please, please, please be respectful, smart, and not a jackass.  End of the day, if we feel your costume is offensive, we'll refund your money and kick you out (the “don't be a jackass rule” is in full effect).  

We've enlisted the help of our friends at MOCAD who have generously agreed to let the Detroit History Club krewe park for free at their museum.  We will gather there at 10:30 am, to enjoy sweet, sweet, free parking, an open MOCAD cafe (in case you'd like to buy coffee or tea,) and clean, private bathrooms!  You'll check in at the parking lot, where you’ll be given a bag of custom Detroit History Tours Marche du Nain Rouge buttons; one to keep for yourself, and a handful to toss to the crowd.  We will pose for a group photo, and then march down four blocks to the start of the parade.  We will rendezvous with our illustrious friend and her giant French canoe, and at 1:00pm the parade begins- with you in the middle of the fun.  We will march over to the Masonic Temple, chasing the Nain the whole way, as he is once again pushed from the city.  From there, you're on your own.  You can move at your own pace, back to your cars, which we'll be kept at MOCAD until 5:00pm at no cost to you.

The Detroit Historical Museum Scavenger Hunt

February, 23rd, 2018

Are you a super sleuth? Can you put together clues and track stories back through history? Are you ready to see a museum in a whole new way? Join The Detroit History Club for an evening you’ll never forget as we take over The Detroit Historical Museum after dark. You’ll arrive to the closed museum, which was dedicated July 24th, 1951, on the 250th anniversary of Detroit’s founding. Together with your team you’ll explore the fascinating history of the Detroit Historical Society which was founded with the donation of Attorney and historian Clarence M. Burton’s personal collection. You’ll learn why the original home of the museum was on the 23rd floor of what is now Cadillac Tower and was billed as the “highest museum in the world” when it opened in 1928. You’ll see the oldest pieces in the collection, the gallery staff say is haunted, and the donations of the city's elite. For three hours the museum is yours to explore without crowds, but with a mission. It will be up to your team to solve the riddles to locate the correct artifacts, hunt down the moving targets of historical figures, and complete challenges for bonus points. As the time ticks down, your team will make their way back to our starting location where you’ll turn in your answers, and enjoy a crazy dessert buffet of gluttonous proportions to make even Frederick Sanders Schmidt proud. The team with the most points is the winner. First, second, and third place winning teams will leave with great Detroit themed prizes, Detroit Historical Museum swag, and of course bragging rights.


The Power of the Printing Press, a history lecture and printing class

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

When Father Gabriel Richard became the first person to bring a printing press to the Territory of Michigan, he understood its power. And the power of the press has grown only greater over the centuries. From religious texts to greeting cards, phone books to concert posters, and t-shirts to academic manuscripts the printing may have evolved, but the techniques remain incredible to witness. If you have ever wondered how a artist pulls their prints or what inks are used to make advertisement broadsides, newspapers, or a poster for a concert, we’ve got a night for you! Before computers, printers, and typewriters, printmaking was the mass form of communication world wide. Like most things that changed the world, Detroit was in the thick of it. Whether it was for the local newspapers, sings to rally activists to unionism, or for sheet music to be performed on one of our many stages, Detroit print-makers have served and still serve an incredible role in our history.

Join us for an evening history lesson on Detroit printmaking with our own, Bailey Sisoy Isgro along with a class with from the talented team of Detroit’s own Signal-Return. Wine and snacks will be served as you learn how to pull and ink your very own, custom designed, artist print on the 100-year-old machines of Signal-Returns presses.

Signal-Return opened its doors to the community in 2011 as a letterpress print studio and community arts center located in Detroit's historic Eastern Market neighborhood. Join Detroit History Tours at Signal-Return from 7:00 pm-9:30 pm on Thursday, December 6th as we learn about the history of printing, Signal-Return's role in its revitalization and have our own hands-on-printing experience.  Each guest will take home our custom, Detroit History Club art print, they’ll print themselves.

Veterans Day on the Homefront; a historic behind the scenes tour of The Willow Run Factory.

Sunday, November 11th, 2018 at The Yankee Air Museum

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, the “The Great War.” The following year, President Woodrow Wilson commemorated Armistice Day and in 1938 it became a federal holiday in the United States. After World War II, Armistice Day was rebranded as Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to honoring American veterans of all wars. This year we are thrilled to invite you to join The Detroit History Club for a Veterans Day adventure on the hallowed, historic grounds of Willow Run.

“No battle was ever fought on this ground, but it helped win the war.”

Ford’s unimaginable factory, Willow Run, was hewn from the Ypsilanti farmland to become a symbol for both failure and success in American manufacturing, industrial hubris, mechanical advancement and sheer force of will. This factory--this dream--conceived in a California hotel, would be the single largest contributor to the Arsenal of Democracy.  It rose, where apple orchards once stood, to produce an entire B24 Liberator Bomber in an hour by 1945. A factory so powerful Hitler claimed it couldn’t exist.

At the exclusive invitation of the Yankee Air Museum, step behind the locked gates, past the construction equipment, and around the “No Access” signs into the hanger before it becomes The National Museum of Aviation & Technology. Under the sentinel eyes of the beautifully preserved historic aircraft, this cocktail attire evening will begin in the Yankee Air Museum. There you will sip cocktails and enjoy an exquisite strolling dinner as the Executive Director, Mr. Kevin Walsh, takes rotating, intimate groups into the archive rooms of the museum's extensive collection. The Detroit History Club’s founder, Bailey Sisoy Isgro, will present on some of her favorite moments in the factory's history and tell the tale of a president's visit, a son's success, and the grandsons who carried on in their father's footsteps. Following dinner and private access to the closed museum, you’ll drive yourself a half mile down private roads to the darkened hanger where you will stand in the shadow of the (one of the largest aircraft hangar doors in America, on the very floors, once tread by Edsel Ford, “Cast Iron” Charlie Sorenson, President and Mrs. Roosevelt, Frances Perkins, and thousands of Women War Workers who would come to be known as Rosies. Through that immense door rolled over half of all Liberator bombers built for Allied forces during World War Two and, out its mighty expanse, aviation icon, Charles Lindbergh, captained test flights.  You’ll learn the stories that earned Detroit its wartime reputation, feel the weight of the ladder into a Liberator as you climb inside, enter the pressure preserved rooms, and see, first-hand, some of the museum's most prized pieces. We promise historic aircraft, uniforms, war workers, military history, and of course the once-in-a-lifetime chance to breathe in the history of the Willow Run factory before it becomes the National Museum of Aviation & Technology.

The Repeal Ball

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

A party that hasn't been seen in 85 years...Dark rooms drenched in flowers, silk ball gowns, tailored tuxedos, and illegal booze. Hallways dripping in mysterious women and criminal miscreants. Excitement fueled by Federal agents, the Cold Water Army, sultry dancing, dirty politicians and a red hot band. Balconies overflowing with violent outbreaks or stolen kisses, and, bars pouring out the lifeblood of Detroit crime and the instantly re-legalized fiscal windfall of distilling. Grab a glass of ill gotten champagne, and join The Detroit History Club for The Repeal Ball.

On December 5th, 1933, thirteen long years of American prohibition came to an end. Liquor was once again legal and Detroiters celebrated in style. The Membership of the Detroit Yacht Club danced into the early morning hours, along the shore of the river which had seen so much of prohibitions crime. We are ready to do it again- December 2nd, 2017, 85 years after it happened in the same ballroom that hosted the original party to welcome back parties. Together we will celebrate the repeal of the Volstead Act.

This evening is designed to be a fully immersive experience, a ghost of a legendary night, the reincarnation of a singular memory. Rich in fantasy, history, and Detroit. Guests are required to dress for the occasion in full 1930’s glamour. Tuxedo or dark suit and evening or cocktail dress. Perhaps slip a carnation in his lapel or a silk ribbon in her hair. Draw on straight nylon seams with a charcoal eyeliner all the way up her calves and slip a hidden flask into his vest pocket. Let the thrift store, vintage shops, and grandparent’s closet raiding begin.

The sounds of a full jazz band will greet you as you glide up the 1928 grand staircase to the ballroom of the Detroit Yacht Club. Shimmy out onto the dance floor to the smoky melodies and forgotten songs of Detroit's famed jazz age as sixteen person band plays. Grab a (candy) cigar off the tray of a cigarette girl and watch the river from the private balconies. Have your fortune told or tea leaves read along the hallowed hall of Peacock Alley under ornate chandlers donated by Matilda Dodge and among the trophies of a century and a half of yacht racing. you'll be tempted to the delights of a spirit inspired strolling dinner and an inclusive prohibition themed bar.

Throughout the night clinking glasses will sound as political figures, anti drink crusaders, and even a few wild surprises stand to deliver their speeches, warnings, and toasts to the occasion of Repeal. Arrests will be made, conversions will be sought, and prayers for your immoral and sinful soul will be offered.

Surprises are in store. The drinks are on ice. The band is hot. And prohibition is once again ending in Detroit.











Shipwrecks, a Pirate, and Other Tales from The Great Lakes.

Friday, March 3rd, 2017 at The Detroit Yacht Club

From sunken ships to huge freighters, pirates to prohibition, the Great Lakes are soaking in history. Join The Detroit History Club as we proudly present Detroit researcher and writer Mickey Lyons. Mickey will present a lecture on the history of Great Lakes shipwrecks, the one and only pirate to sail our waters, and the hauntings that have persisted for generations. With more than 6,000 shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, there is plenty to talk about. We'll hear stories of fabled and lesser known wrecks, including the SS Eastland, the Great Storm of 1913, and the Edmund Fitzgerald. All while looking out over the beautiful Detroit River from one of the nation's oldest yacht clubs, as we enjoy a feast of Great Lakes sourced food. Following dinner and the lecture, guests will be treated to a behind-closed-doors tour of the private Detroit Yacht Club as we break into small groups to learn about the historic 1922 building. From the gun range to the Pewabic tile pool, the grand ballroom to the Dodge family art, the 1868 founding of the club to the tradition of lighted boat parades today, you'll explore what generations of boaters have called their second home.

Who is this wonderful lecturer?
Mickey Lyons is a Detroit-based historian and lecturer. Currently working on a book titled City on a Still: Detroit During Prohibition, she also writes and lectures about Great Lakes history and the colorful characters who make up Michigan's past. You can find her work in numerous local and national periodicals and at Mickey earned her sea legs aboard the SS Victory this past summer as the ship's lecturer. She sailed the Great Lakes bestowing her knowledge on passengers and dealing with unfriendly seagulls from Detroit to Chicago and the Upper Peninsula. Mickey now lives in Hamtramck where she writes, researches, and cleverly explains historic drinking habits from some of the city's finest bar stools.

Executive Chef Joseph Paxton's menu for the evening:

Michigan salad
Baby  greens with preserved red onions, dried Michigan cherries, walnuts and smoked blue cheese
Cheese and charcuterie plate
Pinconning sharp cheddar, dancing goat chevre, pickled nantes carrots, shaved house cured guanciale.
A duo of herb crusted Great Lakes whitefish and Michigan duck confit
Shaved fennel and cucumber salad, roasted beets and butternut squash, fingerling potato Lyonnais.
Brioche bread pudding
Bourbon vanilla custard, toasted walnut and raisins, topped with bourbon crème anglaise.


An Evening of Detroit Theater History, Past and Present

Friday, May 19th 2017 at The Detroit Public Theater inside Orchestra Hall at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center

With the second largest theater district in the country, Detroit has a long and storied history in the theater. Step behind the velvet curtain and tread the boards with us as we dive into those tales. Detroit History Tours is thrilled to pair off in a double act with The Detroit Public Theater to host  An Evening of Detroit Theater History, Past and Present. You’ll be greeted with a cocktail as you enter the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center - home of the world renowned Detroit Symphony Orchestra. We’ve assembled a dream team of Detroit Theater legends, including David Regal and Courtney Burkett , who will take the stage for a discussion, moderated by Bailey Sisoy Isgro. They’ll share their personal memories of the shows they’ll never forget, the jobs that scared the hell out of them, and what they are looking forward to in the future. After the discussion you’ll enjoy an included hor d'oeuvres cocktail break before being seated for the season finale of Detroit Public Theaters The Harassment of Iris Malloy. As the lights come up and the applause dies down you’ll be escorted on a behind the scenes tour of the Detroit Public Theater space, complete with the dressing rooms, hiding spots, and technical studios, that make the theater so magical to its patrons. As an encore the award winning cast will host a short meet and greet for autographs and photos; so hold onto your playbill or allow a member of our staff to take and instantly print a photo for you to have signed. When the music starts and the lights dim we hope you’ll be sitting beside us.

The Play:

The Harassment of Iris Malloy

A single mother places a bet on a new life after an intimate encounter with a decorated senator, and the fallout will change them both forever. The Harassment of Iris Malloy is an epic political thriller that challenges us to explore power, privilege and parenthood. Zak Berkman’s new drama is a rolling world premiere.

The Panelists:

Courtney Burkett - is a 4th generation native Detroiter and a Founding Producing Artistic Director at Detroit Public Theatre.  For five seasons Courtney was the Director of Theatre Programs with Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, directing the internationally-acclaimed Mosaic Acting Company. Prior to joining Mosaic, Burkett was a founding Artistic Partner with Breathe Art Theatre Project. She also served as the the Business Manager for the University of Detroit Mercy Theatre Company, and the Managing Director of the CRLT Players at the University of Michigan. Burkett performs and directs with Detroit-area theatres on a regular basis. Her work has been recognized with several local theatre awards and nominations. She received her BFA from Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts in St. Louis, and her MFA from Wayne State's Hilberry Theatre program.

David Regal - has been a part of the local theatre community for over 45 years, 40 of them spent as Artistic Director of the Theatre Company. His credentials and accomplishments are unparalleled. As chair of the University of Detroit Theatre Arts Department, he supervised the production of 148 plays which ended up winning numerous Best Play, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actor awards for The Theatre Company. Of those 148 plays, he directed 60 and acted in 47. He personally holds several awards for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Director. During his 40 years as Theatre Company Artistic Director, he shared his talents with other area theatres, directing more than 35 plays for other venues and appearing onstage in a like number. Concurrent with his UofD/UDM career, he served as Artistic Director of Meadow Brook Theatre for five years. He is a recipient of the prestigious Lee Hills Career Achievement Award given by the Detroit Free Press, who once called him “Detroit Theatre Royalty”.

The Detroit Institute of Art Scavenger Hunt


August 10th, 2018 at The Detroit Institute of Arts

Are you a super sleuth? Can you put together clues and track stories back through history? Join The Detroit History Club for an evening you’ll never forget. When you arrive to the closed museum, built in 1927 to house the world renowned art collection of one of the finests cities on earth, you’ll be greeted with a glass of craft beer or wine before you take your seat. After a brief lecture on the fascinating history of the Detroit Institute of Arts which, after being founded by prominent Detroit citizens in 1885, opened on September 1, 1888 in a building on Jefferson Avenue. You’ll learn about the oldest piece in the collections, the gallery staff say is haunted, and the donations of the city's elite. Then our team will split you into groups, arm you with your equipment, and set you free in the museum. For two hours the museum is yours to explore without crowds, but with a mission. It will be up to your team to solve the riddles to locate the correct piece of art or artifact; once there, your team will take a photo using the provided camera. As the time ticks down, your team will make their way back to our starting location where you’ll turn in your photos, grab a drink, and enjoy seasonal Michigan hors d'oeuvres as we tally scores.  The team with the most correctly solved riddles is the winner. First, second, and third place winning teams will leave with great Detroit-themed prizes, Detroit Institute of Arts swag, and of course bragging rights.

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Lunch and Lecture-The Great Depression in Detroit: Near Beer, Bank Runs, and Ruin.

July 30th, 2017 at Bank Suey - 10345 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck

On a chilly Tuesday in October 1929, Detroit was rocked by the crash of the stock market. The crash and America’s response to it would soon plummet the nation into the Great Depression. Banks closed and businesses shuttered. Hoovervilles, script bills, and breadlines became common sights, and few cities felt the depression in a more unique way than Detroit. Factories laid off workers in droves. Henry Ford refused to believe it was happening. Prohibition made some men rich and cost others everything. From eating muskrat to carrying a few bottles of whiskey across the river, Detroiters learned to survive until Roosevelt's New Deal, World War Two, and the greatest undertaking of public works projects in our nation's history dragged the country back onto its feet. Join The Detroit History Club as we explore Detroit in The Great Depression.

This event will take place inside a building built to be the Merchants & Mechanics Bank of Hamtramck. Later the building changed hands, becoming The State Bank of America, Hamtramck in 1929. A run on the bank, criminal charges against a member of its board, and the Great Depression shuttered it in 1930. Today the building has found new life as Bank Suey, a privately owned community space. For lunch, you’ll enjoy a meal common to Detroit residents of the 1930’s: soup and homemade sausage with bread and “near beer” (after all prohibition was the law of the land). Our chef for this humble but delicious meal is Chef Gary Marquardt C.E.C. Chef Gary is a native Detroiter and the chef emeritus of the University of Michigan.  A two time Bocuse d'Or finalist. Chef Gary is currently chef instructor at Washtenaw Community College specializing in charcuterie and classical cuisine. He hold numerous awards in both ice sculpting and culinary competitions. The afternoon's lecture will be presented by The Detroit History Club’s own Bailey Sisoy Isgro. Following our discussion of the tragedies, adventures, and innovation of the Great Depression, Alissa Shelton of Bank Suey will speak to her family's rehabilitation of the former bank/Chinese restaurant (is the name making sense yet?) including a tour of the behind the scenes workings of a roaring twenties bank turned Chinese food restaurant turned community space.

World Record Rosies!

Saturday, October 14, 2018


Do you want to celebrate history and break a world record? Do you love Detroit, Women War Workers, and getting dressed up? Then grab your bright red socks because we have a day in store for you! The Yankee Air Museum is hosting a attempt to reclaim the Guinness World Record for most tributie Rosie the Riveters. Together we will bring the World Record back to the Arsenal of Democracy, and show our support for the renovation of Rosie’s WWII-era factory, the Willow Run Bomber Plant. This event is sponsored by Yankee and you can go for FREE ( But,  because we want to guarantee Detroit is well represented we are making it extra easy for you to attend, build comradery, and even get your uniform. For 40 bucks a person (approximately a week's salary for a Woman War Worker) we will provide your transportation to and from the event along with some fun and games, a custom made Detroit Rosie button, Detroit themed snacks, and of course full hair and makeup support. We will meet at the Ford Highland Park Factory where we will don our uniforms, our team will roll your hair into victory curls, slap on some red lipstick, tie up your polka dot bandana, pin on your amazing Detroit Rosie button, and take a large group photo in front of the factory where so many Detroit Rosies worked. Then we will board the buses (that’s right - buses- we are taking two! 108 Rosies!) to head out to Ypsilanti. To make sure you're prepared we’ll even practice (in our godawful singing voices) James Kay Kisner's  Rosie the Riveter song. The song that not only gave Rosie her name, but soared to the top of the charts during WW2. Once we arrive you’ll be lead into the event where at 11am the official Guinness World Record will be counted. Food will be available for purchase at the event as well as educational vendors and Rosie and World War II  learning opportunities.  Upon completion, tons of photos, scoring sweet Rosie gear, and seeing historic aircraft, we will meet back up and reboard the buses where tasty snacks and ice cold drinks will be waiting for us to enjoy on the ride home. 313-539-7377

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