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Ronald Ahrens


The Century Club – 2022

♦ Detroit Historical Society ♦ Lear Corp. ♦ Team Schostak ♦ Harness IP ♦ ♦ Bagnasco and Calcaterra Funeral Homes ♦Back and Forward From yesteryear’s ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ to today’s ambitious oral history projects, the Detroit...
Blockchain abstract background horizontal.

Currency Events – From Coins to Cypto

In an indelible New Testament story, two travelers reach Capernaum, on the Sea of Galilee, and are expected to pay a tribute tax. Jesus tells Peter to cast his line into the water and...
all aboard The first Michigan Central Railroad Depot operated along Third Street, between Fort Street and the Detroit River, from the 1840s until 1884, when a new station was built on the same site. The original structure included a passenger depot, center, and a freight terminal, left. // Artist unknown, etching from "History of Detroit and Michigan" by Silas Farmer

Deriding the Rails

John Pierce had some sheep that were killed on the Michigan Central Railroad’s tracks, so he sent a letter to a Marshall newspaper. “No heathen altar ever smoked more continually with the blood of...
silhouette of michigan (left) and denmark (right)

Michigan and Denmark

The Kingdom of Denmark is a small Scandinavian country that has one land border — in the south, with Germany — which extends just 42 miles. With a population of 5.8 million people, Denmark...
Freedom Team - Then Gen. William Knudsen, center foreground in military uniform, led the U.S. war effort during World War II. To his left is Edsel Ford, president of Ford Motor Co., and to Ford’s left is Charles E. Sorensen, a vice president of Ford who oversaw the automaker’s defense contracts. The group was photographed in August 1942 at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti Township. The Danish film crew filming Knuden’s life story, opposite page, gathers at Willow Run Airport in front of a B-25D Mitchell bomber owned and operated by the Yankee Air Museum. // Courtesy of the Detroit Public Library

Genius of Production

Stephanie Surrugue likes to fly and enjoys, as she says, the “experiences that are not just, you know, the Boeing experience.” Her personal bests were helicopter flights over Iraq and Greenland as an international...
marque setting Max’s Jewelry store got its start in Detroit in 1914, and lasted until 1994 when a Hamtramck location closed. // Courtesy of Detroit Public Library

Glittering Success

The police raid at Alhambra Apartments netted a big fish two weeks before Christmas in 1919. The suite in question belonged to Caesar “Chester” LaMare, an affiliate of the breakaway Vitale gang that made...
a man standing behind a podium in the top left next to woman standing beside a building diorama to the right. A member of the crowd they're presenting to looks back with a concerned face.

Succession by Design

As he was nearing his 60th birthday, Carl Matisse happened to be conferring with his banker when a provocative question came up: Had he planned for the succession of his business, in order to...
tucker with hat

Magnetic Marketer

"We want the car!” the crowd chants during the reveal ceremony in the 1988 biopic, “Tucker: The Man and His Dream.” Event attendees at Preston Tucker’s Chicago factory in June of 1947 represented the...
horsepower haven The new M1 Concourse Event Center in Pontiac will open in stages in the coming months, starting in September. Once fully open, the public will be invited to use the restaurant and events facility. // Courtesy of M1 Concourse

Run of Shows

Last year, during the pandemic’s first blast, Cindy McGrane looked at her accumulated flight benefits and suggested to her husband, Tim, that they set forth and visit some car museums. They were staying at...
resident mechanic As a child, Betsy Ancker-Johnson said she spent more time taking apart her bicycle than riding it. Growing up in the Depression era, “we didn’t have a lot of new things,” she said. // Courtesy of Alamy

New Standards

Betsy Ancker-Johnson had much to learn upon joining General Motors as vice president for environmental activities in February of 1979. The distinguished physicist, 51 years old, had worked in academia, industry, and government while...