From the Collection

Detroit's Doorway to Freedom

Learn why Detroit is called the Doorway to Freedom.  

Found Footage: Black Bottom Detroit

Detroit's Black Bottom neighborhood was razed to make way for I-375, displacing residents and erasing the neighborhood's footprint. Discover unearthed footage of the neighborhood from the Detroit Video History Archive. 

Detroit's First Maritime History Museum

Detroit's first maritime history museum was actually on a ship! Learn more about the legacy of the J.T. Wing here. 

Maritime Miniatures: The Mayflower

In January 2022, The Dossin Great Lakes Museum will host a display of more than 100 Great Lakes model ships. The Detroit Historical Society maintains an extensive collection of models of multiple types, including intricately detailed steamers and schooners, half-hull models, pond models, and more. The oldest model in our collection, that of the steamer Mayflower, was built at the time the ship was active, and is a prize-winner! 

The First State In and the First State Out

Michigan was the first state to ratify Prohibition, but it was also the first state to ratify the 21st Amendment, repealing Prohibition. 

The Fisher Family Story

The Fisher Body company is one of the most influential and important autobody producers in automotive history. Learn more about the family that sparked a century’s worth of innovation. 

The Iconic Fisher Body Carriage

The Fisher Body Company, one of the most significant auto part producers in Detroit history, had a reputation for craftsmanship, luxury, and style. To represent these qualities, the glamorous Napoleonic coach was chosen as a fitting emblem for the auto body firm

The Society's Most Requested Images

To date, the Society has scanned and photographed more than 50,000 objects which are now available for viewing around the clock, and around the world, by anyone with an internet connection! 

Haunted History: Detroit's Horror Movies

When you think of Detroit, you might think of cars or sports, but the city is also a generator of horror films! This is our list of the top horror movies related to the city of Detroit.

Haunted History: The Crow

While today’s media landscape is dominated by comic book characters, it was actually an independent creator from Detroit who beat the Avengers and the Justice League to the punch on the silver screen.  In 1989, Detroit’s own James O’Barr debuted his character The Crow in a locally-published comic book.  From that initial seed would spring follow-up comic series, novels, a video game, a television series, four feature films, and perpetual rumors of a modern film remake.