Post Civil War Detroit GAR notes

The old GAR Building, Detroit

The old GAR Building, Detroit

 

The Union veterans had returned to their homes. However, they were not to forget what they accomplished. And they didn’t want the world to forget what they had done, as well. Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) posts were established throughout the Northern states. Detroit had five posts total. In 1891, Detroit was the site of the GAR’s national encampment. Union veterans, family members, and guests came from all over. There were so many in attendance that Detroit’s population doubled during the event. August 4, 1891 was particularly noteworthy. On that day, 30,000 Civil War Union veterans marched through downtown Detroit in a spectacular parade- the likes of which had not been seen before. It took six hours for the marchers to pass the reviewing stand. The gala made the front page of the newspapers, including the Free Press.

 

The GAR building on Grand River Avenue in Detroit had not existed as yet in 1891, during the aforementioned parade. That particular building came into being as a result of the efforts of Detroit’s GAR members and the City of Detroit. Its formal opening took place on January 15, 1901. It would served GAR members for the next 30 years. It also saw the GAR national encampment in Detroit in 1914. By that time, the GAR membership had decreased down to 179,000.  By 1934, the few Detroit GAR members finally deeded the Grand River post building to the city. Over the decades, it was used for various purposes, then stood vacant. Then, as if the ghosts of it’s deceased members cried out for help for the place-there were plans to “save it.” The Mindfield Company purchased it in 2011.  The American flag flies again on top of the building today. A new era for the building has begun. The old GAR Detroit veterans are honored…

 

Source: Old Slow Town: Detroit During The Civil War by Paul Taylor.

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One Response to “Post Civil War Detroit GAR notes”

  1. Kevin Lindsey says:

    Huzzah!!

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