Mar. 4, 1963: Garfield Hotel is destroyed in a five-alarm fire

Mar. 4, 1963: Garfield Hotel is destroyed in a five-alarm fire

On this day in 1963, an inferno overtakes the Garfield Hotel killing two people during a spectacular five-alarm blaze. The two-story structure, located in the heart of the popular African-American entertainment district called Paradise Valley, is virtually destroyed. The victims are 65-year-old William Ellis and 29-year-old Mildred Harris. The Garfield is located at 4457 John R. […]

Feb. 17, 1906: Noted entrepreneur and pharmacist Sidney Barthwell born in Georgia

Feb. 17, 1906: Noted entrepreneur and pharmacist Sidney Barthwell born in Georgia

On this day in 1906, Sidney Barthwell is born in Georgia. He will migrate to Detroit at age 14 and attend Cass Technical High School and Detroit Technological Institute (the forerunner of Wayne State’s College of Pharmacy), graduating with a degree in pharmacy. An ambitious entrepreneur, he will open Barthwell Drugs during the 1930s in the midst of the […]

Feb. 10, 2006: Legendary Detroit producer J. Dilla dies

Feb. 10, 2006: Legendary Detroit producer J. Dilla dies

On this day in 2006, celebrated hip hop producer and city native J Dilla joins the ancestors after a long illness believed to have been lupus. He was only 32. Born James Dewitt Yancey, he produced tracks for a who’s who of artists including: Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Common, Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde, and Erykah […]

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