the making of modern michigan

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Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 104-105
Smith, Kay, 1925-

Bloomfield Township Public Library

Bloomfield Township (Mich.) -- History

Street-railroads -- Michigan -- Birmingham -- History

Automobiles -- Michigan -- Birmingham -- History

Item Number

part of 'Bloomfield Blossoms' by Kay Smith

text, image


THE AUTOMOBILE AND THE INTERURBAN COME TO BLOOMFIELD Within four years of each other, the two modes of trans- portation which would permanently change life in Bloomfield arrived on Woodward Avenue. On June 18, 1896, there was much excitement and a holiday atmosphere as horse-drawn carriages filled the street. Everyone was streaming down to Royal Oak to ride back in the first Interurban electric car. George Hendrie, its promoter, was the motorman and the man of the day. It was he who had made the decision to build the line's power plant in Birmingham instead of Royal Oak. He didn't disappoint his riders as the car clipped along at 40 miles an hour and came triumphantly into town, linking city and suburbs and signaling a whole new era. Four years later, travelers waiting for the Interurban at Opdyke and Woodward gasped to see a strange new vehicle, an automobile, drive into town. It was a little French 1899 DeDion-Bouton motorette, the prize possession of W. J. Moore, of Caro. Moore had read of the new European fad of driving horseless carriages and in 1899 dispatched $1,500 to France for one. Four months later it arrived. The instruc- tions were in French, and a wild time ensued while Moore tried to start the car, and, having achieved that, couldn't get it stopped. It was early the following summer, 1900, when Mr. and Mrs. Moore decided to go "Touring" --the first use of the word in this country--and set off for Detroit. They came to Bloomfield via Opdyke Road and from there proceeded down Woodward Avenue beside the tracks of the Inter- urban. At Birmingham they stopped at the tollgate where the amazed tollgate keeper, a woman, was unable to find any rate in the book for a carriage without horses. She raised the gate and the first automobile to enter Bloomfield exited free of charge.

Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 104-105 part 1 Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 104-105 part 2

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