Exploring Hamtramck with Historic Photos

In honor of the Detroit Historical Society’s favorite donut holiday, Pączki Day, let’s take a look at Hamtramck, the Detroit-area “home” of the pączek! Hamtramck today is known for being a multi-cultural city, and it has traditionally been home to a large Polish population. Polish food and traditions have been at home in Hamtramck for generations – one of them being the delicious pre-Lenten treat, the pączek. Line-ups are a common sight at Hamtramck bakeries today, with customers craving that special treat that tastes so much sweeter on Pączki Day. 


Here are some examples of street photography in Hamtramck, ranging from the 1950s to 1980s. You’ll see Polish organizations, sausage shops, and more. Many of these images were done by Larry Abgarian, and come from our “Documenting Detroitphotography collection. These photos were taken by students at the College for Creative Studies in the 1970s and 1980s as part of a documentary photography class taught by Bill Rauhauser.