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  1. #1

    Default Delray Campbell Branch library

    My mom (Southwestern High, class of '39) and I were talking about her childhood in 1920s and 30s Delray.

    She mentioned that one stormy summer day in the 30s, her mother sent her to fetch her brothers after a tornado went through Delray. Her brothers were at the Campbell Branch library. Along the way, she saw a childhood acquaintance laying dead after a crane blew over and hit him, somewhere around South St., I forget now.

    What threw me was that she said the Campbell Branch library was a beautiful Old English style building and it was on Fort and Waterman. The present Campbell is in Springwells, at Vernor and Cabot. I can't find any pictures or historic reference to Campbell being opposite of Southwestern on Fort and Waterman.

    Any old-old-time Delray people out there? Her favorite places were Campbell and the firehouse at Jefferson and Solvay.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    The Campbell Branch's site seems to corroborate that it was on Fort, but moved to Vernor about 11 years ago:

    Named in honor of the first president of the Library Commission, James Valentine Campbell, the Campbell Branch originally opened in a rented store building at West End Avenue near West Jefferson on September 1, 1907. The branch was known as the Delray Branch and the West Fort Street Branch. The branch opened in its current location in March, 2006.

  3. #3

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    Thank you, archfan. She did describe it as a storefront and she is quite sure it was right on the SE corner of Fort and Waterman. All of the old buildings are gone there.

  4. #4

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    Wikipedia:In September 1907, Branch 8 of the Detroit Public Library system opened as the Delray Branch on West End Avenue. In January 1922, the branch was replaced with the James Valentine Campbell Branch on M-85 (West Fort Street). The branch operated until its closure in December 1996. In July 1999, the Campbell Annex Branch opened at the Holy Redeemer Cultural Center and closed in August 2004, only to reopen as the Campbell Branch at Lawndale Station. The neighborhood currently contains no libraries but is closest served by the Campbell Branch Library. It is located outside of the neighborbood at 8733 West Vernor in the Springwells neighborhood.[33]

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by goggomobil View Post
    My mom (Southwestern High, class of '39) and I were talking about her childhood in 1920s and 30s Delray.

    She mentioned that one stormy summer day in the 30s, her mother sent her to fetch her brothers after a tornado went through Delray. Her brothers were at the Campbell Branch library. Along the way, she saw a childhood acquaintance laying dead after a crane blew over and hit him, somewhere around South St., I forget now.

    What threw me was that she said the Campbell Branch library was a beautiful Old English style building and it was on Fort and Waterman. The present Campbell is in Springwells, at Vernor and Cabot. I can't find any pictures or historic reference to Campbell being opposite of Southwestern on Fort and Waterman.

    Any old-old-time Delray people out there? Her favorite places were Campbell and the firehouse at Jefferson and Solvay.

    Thanks!
    Hi goggomobil, I didn't think Campbell Branch was as far as Fort & Waterman, I RECALL it being closer to Southwestern High, but it's been a while, and I could be wrong. We road our bikes there as kids, and checked out books in the 60's. I'm also familiar with the firehouse @ Jefferson and Solvay. As kids, we would wander in, look @ the trucks, and chat with whoever was around on duty. Once on a school field trip we walked to that firehouse and the firemen did a presentation on the various equipment. @ the end of the presentation, we were on the 2nd floor and one of them asked if anyone wanted to slide down the brass pole. I volunteered, and after brief instruction, down I went. A few other guys went after me. Very different times in Detroit. That's all I have, which probably isn't much.
    Last edited by Honky Tonk; August-07-17 at 09:30 AM.

  6. #6

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    There's an old thread on the library that was located near Fort & Green (river side of Fort). Somebody even provided a link to a couple of pics.
    Whether this was the Campbell Branch is unknown to me.

  7. #7

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    Designed by Stratton & Snyder. James V. Campbell Branch Detroit Public Library, 6625 West Fort Street built 1920-1921 Delray, Detroit, MI. Includes a rendering of the building from a 1921 issue of Michigan Architect and Engineer.

    Demolished: Date unknown to me
    Image from Indiana University's Building a Nation: Indiana Limestone Photograph Collection, date unknown.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  8. #8

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    Lived in sw Detroit, on Livernois, spent a good bit of time at the Campbell Library on Fort St. I remember you had to be a certain age to check out some of the fiction, my girlfriend and I would just stay at the table and read the "forbidden" books. I was sorry to see the the building torn down after I moved back close to the area.

  9. #9

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    Here's a few Delray pictures, one with the old FD.
    http://www.riverrougemuseum.com/page...st&category=16

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcole View Post
    Here's a few Delray pictures, one with the old FD.
    http://www.riverrougemuseum.com/page...st&category=16

    Wow, Thanx, JC. A lot of memories in those photos.

  11. #11

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    p69rrh51, thank you very much. My mom will be very happy to see her beloved library, even if only as an image.

    Honky Tonk, thanks for taking us along on your school outing

    Mom lived at Solvay and Gould, in the back of a combination storefront and house that operated as an Armenian coffee house around 1930. She later lived on South St. near Harrington.

    One of her recollections that really impressed me with life as it was in Delray in the 30s was the Scottish man who lived on Harrington, north of South St. She said that at that time, that part of Harrington was still unpaved. Every night, for a time, the Scotsman would play a solemn song on his bagpipe at 9:00 p.m.

    Another was the Jewish produce peddler on a horse-drawn cart, yelling 'bee-nano, waddy-mellon!' and also her dad walking home with a box of fruits and vegetables from the produce terminal.

    Every now and then, we go down to Delray and it's always fun to see her randomly point to a weedy lot and paint a visual with her vivid recollections.

  12. #12

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    jcole, thank you. I looked for that on the Detroit Public Library website and completely missed it. Very interesting that a library branch has moved so many times in a relatively small area.

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