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Henry T. Brush and Jeanie Flora Campbell

Structures of Henry T. Brush

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The Essa's

The Storefront

1943 Detroit Riot

Urban renewal?

Population Change in Detroit

Rise of Architecture in Detroit

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le détroit (The Straits)

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Tiger Stadium, 100 Years On

Detroit Freeways

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House Photos for Sale

More pics on Flickr

1943 Detroit Riot

Until recently it was thought that the Ransom Gillis House had escaped the damage associated with the 1943 race riots that occured in Detroit as the incidents therein were mainly limited to structures along Woodward Ave. and the now defunct Hastings Street. The pictures below, taken from directly in front of the storefront that was once attached to the Ransom Gillis House, tell quite another story.


Ransom Gillis House easily seen with car on fire in front of it.  Note pasted on the back of this photo reads:
689155 . . . . . . . . . . . .NEW YORK BUREAU
DETROIT, MICH. - While a Negro's car burns fiercely at right after being set air by white rioters, police fire tear gas bombs into white mob in an attempt to disperse them. Note overturned car at extreme left. Spread of false rumors was said to be the cause of the violent riots which have already caused 23 deaths and a high absenteeism among Negro workers in Detroit war plants.
Photo found and purchased off Ebay. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Mueller)


Small grocery store, competitor to the Essa's, directly across the street from the Ransom Gillis House, showing the damage due to the riots that had one epicenter only a block away on Woodward Ave. This picture was taken by someone standing in front of the store front attached to the Ransom Gillis House looking directly across Alfred Street. This store was the one that Peter Essa, nephew of John and Amina Essa, worked in as a boy. Photo found and purchased off Ebay. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Mueller)


Photo taken from the northwest corner of John R and Alfred Street looking at the store across the street from the Ransom Gillis House during the 1943 race riot in Detroit. The canvas awning on the far left-hand part of the picture is actually the awning of the store front attached to the Ransom Gillis House built in the late 1930's by John Essa. Photo found and purchased off Ebay. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Mueller)


Aerial photo from 1949 of John R and Alfred Street area of Detroit. The red X's denote locations where the above pictures were taken from. Photo: CULMA - Aerial Photo Collection, Wayne State University [http://www.clas.wayne.edu/photos/part2/wayne/1949/ha-3-145.pdf](10/2010)


Same corner in Winter of 2005. (Photo John Kossik)

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