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

Mustang Fever!

The iconic 'pony car' marks its 50th anniversary

Earth Tones: Recycling Latex Paint

The Southeastern Oakland County Resource Recover Authority (SOCRRA) has teamed with Battle Creek-based ePaint Recycling to help divert latex paint from the waste stream.

Bigger Than Ever

Former 'underground party' now fills the Masonic Temple.

Is it Time for a New Nickname for 'The Wolverine State'?

Despite our moniker and U-M’s mascot, ‘The Wolverine State’ seems to be weasel words

Wall to Wall Art

Park West Gallery and Dearborn's The Henry team up to decorate a 'boutique' hotel
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. An Animated Life
    As Rob Paulsen prepares to publish his memoir, the Hollywood veteran and voice behind some of the...
  2. An Hour With ... Teddy Dorsette III
    President, Detroit Black Deaf Advocates
  3. State of the Arts
  4. A New Noodle Shop on the Block
    Midtown Detroit welcomes Urban Ramen
  5. Gold Standard
    Tucked into an industrial strip in Ann Arbor, a new restaurant offers French fare
  6. In Tune
    Influenced by its storied past, Willis Show Bar sets the tone for a nostalgic sound
  7. Drink Beer, Do Good
    Local breweries and pubs jump on the charity bandwagon
  8. Recipe: Roast Boneless Pork Loin With Tart Cherry Chutney
    Executive chef at Ford’s Garage, Darin Thompson’s boneless pork loin marvel
  9. Business Class
    Trim suits, creative layers, and crisp white shirts - Fall's wardrobe essentials are fitting for...
  10. Meet the Makers: Sydney James
    For muralist Sydney James, the city of Detroit is her canvas. Matters of the country are her muse