Of the 1,742 Michigan Historical Markers, 146 are located in Detroit—by far the most of any city in the state. With such important events and places as “Fort Wayne” and “Birthplace of Ford Automobile” commemorated with plaques, it’s not too surprising to learn that, at least by this unofficial statistical method, Detroit is the most important city to Michigan’s history.
The Michigan Historical Markers program began in 1955 and new plaques are dedicated every year. That’s because the markers matter—they educate residents about the state and often help preserve buildings and sites.
And ultimately, they contribute to creating a place’s identity. So it’s no surprise that almost all markers are sponsored by individuals or community groups. “We talk a lot about creating a sense of place and sense of community. This is a small way we build that,” says Sandra Clark, director of the Michigan History Center, which administers the program.
There’s so many markers in Detroit that many get less recognition than they should. We worked with the center and the Michigan Historic Commission, which approves and drafts the markers, to identify 15 of the city’s lesser-known ones.
Note: Markers are ordered from north to south.Read More