Friday, October 10, 2014

Identified Picture - Merrill Fountain in Detroit, Michigan

Yeah!  I can't believe it but I figured out where this picture of my Grandma Margie Flora Foster was taken.

Margie Flora Foster at Merrill Fountain, Palmer Park, Detroit, Michigan

Historic Detroit ( has all kinds of historic pictures and information on Detroit.  I've only begun to explore this website.  But I found a picture of Merrill Fountain in Detroit.  Yup, that's it.  That's where Margie is sitting in the above photo.  Merrill Fountain in Palmer Park in Detroit.  I haven't read up on it yet.  Too excited.  Had to post this right away.  You get it don't you?  I noticed older pictures of the fountain look to be in a city area, while later photos it appears to be in a park like setting.  It turns out they moved the fountain.  Originally Merrill Fountain was in front of the Detroit Opera House in downtown Detroit.  In 1925, when Woodward Avenue was widened, the fountain was moved to Palmer Park.  (How do you move a fountain?  Oh wait that would be a topic for some engineering blog.)

Here's one of my favorite pictures of Merrill Fountain I found at Historic Detroit.Org.

Merrill Fountain in Detroit, Michigan
Here's the link to the picture at Historic - Merrill Fountain.
I love this picture of the fountain with all the swimmers.  And yes I collect old pictures and postcards of people swimming and playing in the water.  Any kind of water - ocean, lake, pool, fountain, even playing in the water hose.  So this picture is right up my alley.

Here's some more pictures of Merrill Fountain -

Merrill Fountain in front of Detroit Opera House.  By Detroit Publishing Company [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

And below we have Merrill Fountain in 2012.  Still in Palmer Park, but dry and in a state of decline.
I think it's still pretty. This picture is from I Love Detroit  Maybe one of these days I'll get to go there and take a picture in the same place as my Grandma.

Margie Flora Foster In Highland Park and Detroit Michigan

While the rest of the world is talking about the abandoned and dangerous city of  Detroit, I have become obsessed with Detroit.  Yes, I want to go to Detroit.  But it's quite a distance from where I am at so I really need to do more research.  At this time I know very little about Detroit.  But I have found that it was once the quintessential American City.  It was where everyone went to achieve the American Dream.  Thanks to the war industry and auto industry it was full of growing factories promising jobs and a secure future.  And for many years, Detroit did fulfill the American Dream for our ancestors.  

One day while looking at old pictures with my Mom I discovered that I had family that went to live in Detroit, Michigan.  Highland Park, Michigan to be exact.  Highland Park is in the middle of Detroit. I don't know if I am stating this correctly, but Highland Park is it's own city (or town).  But since it is in the middle of Detroit, you could say it is also Detroit.

In this old box of pictures we were looking at I came across this envelope.  (very sadly the letter was not in the envelope)  This envelope was from my Grandpa Bill Foster, stationed in Hawaii during WWII,  addressed to his future bride, my Grandma Margie Flora, residing at 113 Church Ave., Highland Park, Michigan.  

Envelope from my Grandpa, William Foster, to his future bride, my Grandma Margie Flora, residing at 113 Church Ave., Highland Park, Michigan.  Grandpa was stationed in Hawaii at this time, 1944.

I learned that my Grandma lived with her brother who was married and had a little girl. The names of that family are Herman Flora, Alice Flora, and Beverly Flora.  I posted pictures of my grandma and her cousin, Beverly, a while back.  You can see that post here.  I think those two pictures were taken at a Detroit or Highland Park photography studio.

My Grandma Margie's mother, Maude Ann Choate Flora (1892 - 1930), died when Margie was around 4 or 5 years old.  I posted pictures earlier of Great Grandma Maude Ann Choate Flora's funeral  here.  Anyhow.... because Grandma Margie's mother died so early, Margie was shipped around to various family members to look after her.  Now I don't think this happened right away because Margie's older sisters still lived at home and could look after her.  It wasn't until the older sisters got married, moved out and moved away that Margie's addresses changed.  Great Grandpa Fred Flora (Charles Frederick Flora, 1883-1974) I guess did not want the responsibility of raising a daughter.  I can't prove it, but I believe my Great Grandpa Flora did some running around.  And I have one family member (I will not say who) that has given me the impression that he was not a very nice man.  Sorry to family who may be reading this and disagree.  But regardless, it is a fact that my Great Grandpa Fred Flora did not raise my Grandma Margie.

Places that I know or believe Margie Flora lived.
 -Tunnel Hill, Johnson County, Illinois
 -Crainville, Williamson County, Illinois
 -Carterville, Williamson County, Illinois
 -St. Louis, Missouri (with her sister, Freda Flora Briley and Freda's husband, Carol Briley)
 -Highland Park, Michigan (with her brother, Herman Flora, his wife, Alice, and cousin, Beverly)

So that brings me to these pictures of my Grandma Margie with friends that I am posting below. Where were they taken?  Johnson County, Illinois?  Williamson County, Illinois?  St. Louis, Missouri?  Highland Park, Michigan?  Detroit, Michigan?  She looks young in these pictures. But I'm not sure how young - grade school, junior high, or high school.  Anyone out there recognize the place or the other young ladies?

Margie Flora, 2nd from left.

Margie Flora, on the left

Margie Flora, 3rd from left. (or 2nd from right)

Margie Flora, 3rd from left, (or in the very middle) the girl that you can only see her face.

I have a few more pictures of my Grandma Margie that may have identifying landmarks.  Well if one knows of those identifying landmarks. LOL  Maybe someone out there will recognize the statue or monument that Margie is standing by in these pictures.

I have to admit I am not very savvy at this blog stuff.  I posted these pictures in their original size so that anyone interested could see the details in the backgrounds.  I normally don't post pictures so large.  Does this cause the page to load more slowly for you?  If it does please let me know and I'll make them smaller.  There is nothing I hate more then waiting on a slow loading page.  (which is one reason I don't have music playing in my blog)