Archive for the ‘Plymouth history’ Category

Only one wall of the famed Daisy Manufacturing Company’s Plymouth factory stands.  In truth, it is merely a facade of one wall of what used to be a manufacturing facility that cranked out millions of “air rifles” aka BB guns from the early to mid 20th century.

I’m linking some articles here (one written by me) that lay out what’s going on.  The long and short  of it is that the Developer of what is now Daisy Square was supposed to preserve at least one wall (and that was after the original agreement was renegotiated) and incorporate it into a new structure.  That never happened and the project is 7 years old at this point.  The fate of what is left of the Daisy factory could be decided at next month’s Planning Commission meeting.




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I normally do not write about events outside of the Plymouth community but I simply couldn’t resist sharing this.  I happened upon this site purely by accident while — and I’m not kidding — sipping a Diet Vernors.

If you like Vernors or just Detroit-area history, you’ll enjoy this site.


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It appears that the U. S. Postal Service intends to sell the landmark downtown post office.  The hope is that the building will still be used as a post office but there’s no guarantee of that.  Here’s the article from the Plymouth Observer

The U.S. Postal Service, which has been working to cut costs nationwide as mail volumes and revenues fall, plans to sell its branch on Penniman in downtown Plymouth while keeping a presence in the city.Ideally, the postal service would rent space in the same building and continue current operations there, said Ed Moore, a postal service spokesman for the Detroit area. If such an arrangement can’t be made, Moore said, the postal service would rent space in another downtown building to continue current service.

“We would not change the type of service the community receives,” said Moore. “If we’re able to sell that facility and lease space there, that would be the optimum thing.”

The building, which is named for the late Carl Pursell, a longtime Republican U.S. congressman from Plymouth, could be put on the market as early as May or June, Moore said.

Moore said he couldn’t yet provide an asking price. Nor did he have an estimate on how much the postal service might save in the move, as that depends on the sales price and postal service leasing arrangements.

If the building can’t be sold, Moore said, the post office would stay in the current building.

The postal service’s plan was announced by Mayor Dan Dwyer at Monday’s Plymouth City Commission meeting.

“I know that people are very accustomed to using that,” Dwyer said. “I know it’s part of our community.”

A letter sent to the city, read at the meeting by Dwyer, said that upon a sale, the postal service would rent about 1,890 square feet of space for its operations, either in the same building or at another building downtown.

There are five to seven postal service branches in the Detroit area that might be put up for sale in what the service is calling “facility optimization” of excess space, Moore said.

“It’s basically just to cut down on the cost, with the number of facilities we have,” he said.  The Pursell post office branch, according to Moore, opened in 1936 and has 21,436 square feet.


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There has been lots of life at Wilcox House the last several months.  Right now the “Wilcox Winter Gathering” is underway.  Most interesting to me is that the home itself is now open to the public:

The Wilcox House opens to the public for the first
time in its 100 year history on Dec. 6th at 10:00 a.m.
and will be open Tuesday-Thursday, 2pm-6pm
through Christmas Eve.

Special Christmas Eve hours: noon-4pm
Adults $5 each. Children must be accompanied
by an adult to enter the house.

Additionally, you can meet Santa there and Christmas trees and other items are being sold at the outdoor market, which is on the grounds of the home:

Outdoor Market:
Tree, wreath and garland sales: Tuesday – Sunday
Outdoor Sales begin Friday, Nov. 27th.
Hours will be posted on the gates of the Wilcox Home

Visit Santa:
Bring the kids and the camera! Santa will be
receiving guests inside the house free of charge on:
Sunday, Dec. 6th 10am-2pm
Friday, Dec 11th & Dec. 18th 2pm-7
Saturday, Dec. 12th & Dec. 19th noon-7pm
Sunday, Dec. 13th & Dec. 20th 11am-4pm

If you use Facebook, you can keep up with all the events at Wilcox House through “The Gathering at the Wilcox” group.  http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=188851708939&ref=search&sid=100000005451152.626029927..1&v=info#/group.php?v=wall&ref=search&gid=188851708939

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Anyone familiar with Plymouth history probably knows that our town is known for b-b gun manufacturing.  The Red Ryder gun of A Christmas Story (maybe the best Christmas comedy ever) fame was made here in Plymouth.  The Plymouth Historical Museum will be honoring that history, tying it into other themes from the movie, in an exhibit that opens next week.

When the Plymouth Historical Museum reopens Nov. 18, officials will showcase their newest exhibit, “A Red Ryder Christmas Story.”The exhibit draws its inspiration from the popular 1983 movie, A Christmas Story, in which the main character, Ralphie, longs for a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Throughout the museum’s Main Street there will be vignettes of scenes from the movie and from the original story upon which the movie is based.


The museum’s exhibit seeks to recapture that nostalgic spirit by displaying period toys, clothing and other artifacts.

Read the full Plymouth Observer article here.


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AmadeusCloseup Last night my wife, daughter and I watched Amadeus.  It was the 3rd time my wife and I saw this brilliant film; my daughter’s first.

Toward the end of the movie it came rushing back to me that the movie’s star, Tom Hulce, grew up right here in Plymouth.  The Joanne Winkelman Hulce Center for the Arts on Sheldon Road is named in honor of Tom’s mother.

Tom has made a number of movies, but besides Amadeus, he’s probably best known for his work in the classic comedy Animal House (he played Larry ‘Pinto’ Kroger) and the solid Steve Martin flick Parenthood (he played the ne’er do well brother/son, Larry Buckman.)

I wish I knew more about his history, especially here in town.   I have no idea whether he visits here anymore or maintains any ongoing connection to the community.  He is probably one of Plymouth’s most recognizable sons.  I like his work and would love to see him back in town for whatever reason.

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Yesterday I checked three excellent books on Plymouth history from the library (more about the books later.)  In just thumbing through them I was surprised at how many historical buildings in Plymouth have burned to the ground over the years.

We all know that homes and buildings in the past weren’t built or maintained with the kind of fire prevention features we have today.  People also used to have to use candles for light and wood fires for heat.  We are also blessed with better trained professional firefighters that use effective equipment.  I’m not surprised that relatively fewer homes and building burn these days.  I’m just surprised at how many fantastic old buildings are no longer in town because of fires.  It seems that fires have claimed as many buildings as the wrecking ball.

Here’s just one example of many that I ran across, the Penniman-Allen Theater, which used to be on Penniman (surprise!)  It was a destroyed by fire in 1968.  I wasn’t around the see it but it must have been a beautiful building.


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