Detroit’s Bicentennial Medal

Turn of the century relic shows how Detroiters celebrated city’s 200th birthday


Published:

On July 24, Detroit turns 316 years old. Back in 1901, Detroiters went all out for the city’s 200th birthday. The bronze medal above, donning a rendering of Detroit founder Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac’s home, was issued by an official committee with the city at Detroit’s bicentennial celebration. Emblems representing the United States, Great Britain, and France are shown on the back.

The medal was one of the more stylish accessories fashioned for the ceremony, which also included horse-drawn floats and re-enactments of Cadillac’s landing in Detroit.

Mayor William C. Maybury headed the celebrations and also sealed descriptions of the city and predictions into a shoe-box-sized copper time capsule. When the city opened it in 2001, they discovered testimonies like the 1901 police commissioners’ prophecy that prisoners would be transported around the city in pneumatic tubes by the 21st century.

Our prediction from 2017? The tubes may not happen, but our ingenuity will strike gold.


The 200th anniversary medal is part of the Detroit Historical Society’s archives. Detroit Historical Museum; 5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7935; detroithistorical.org
Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Meet the Michigan Native Known for His Palm Beach Landscapes

Keith Williams’ inherent knack for landscaping blossomed from his Bloomfield Hills yard

The Greatest (Woman) Of All Time

Flint boxer Claressa Shields may have Olympic gold medals under her belt, but she’s just getting started

The Way it Was

The Detroit Club, 1937

Cocktails Meet Conservation at this Annual Event

The Detroit Zoo gala aims to support endangered animals

Meet Some of the Women Running for Office in Michigan

Michigan voters are seeing more female candidates on the ballot than ever before
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. The Suburban Polish Restaurant That Rivals Hamtramck
    Troy’s Polka Restaurant is a thoroughly modern take on Polish traditions
  2. The Greatest (Woman) Of All Time
    Flint boxer Claressa Shields may have Olympic gold medals under her belt, but she’s just...
  3. Meet Some of the Women Running for Office in Michigan
    Michigan voters are seeing more female candidates on the ballot than ever before
  4. An Hour With... Rachelle Vartanian
    Founder and President, Living and Learning Enrichment Center
  5. Meet the Makers: Tree Trunk Arts
    A Detroit metalsmith and jewelry designer is transforming greenery into accessories
  6. An Hour With... Carmen McIntyre
    Chief Medical Officer, Michigan Department of Corrections
  7. Fashion Report: Spring’s Top Trends
    Get the look with the season’s best dresses, tops, accessories, and more
  8. City Bakery Finds a Home Inside the Fisher Building
    Detroit gets a taste of New York with the bakery's first Midwest expansion
  9. Meet the Michigan Native Known for His Palm Beach Landscapes
    Keith Williams’ inherent knack for landscaping blossomed from his Bloomfield Hills yard
  10. Cocktail Recipe: Black Widow Margarita