It’s Memorial Day 2016. Reflection and BBQ’s. I see a lot of memes asking to remember “this day isn’t about the BBQ”. If you think about it, a lot of personal history gets discussed and shared over food, so maybe it does go hand-in-hand. We’ve covered a lot of veteran’s stories thus far in this blog. This post hits a few categories:
Gone – a park that was decommissioned or no longer exists
Survivor – someone who received a namesake park / playground while living
Back in the day, the Detroit Parks and Recreation Department had a somewhat staunch rule about naming parks. Specifically they were named for those persons who had died; persons who contributed significantly to the City of Detroit and/or highly decorated war veterans. Exceptions were sometimes made. There are only a handful of parks where the person was living when they ‘received’ their honorary park. Joseph Pagel falls into this category. Lyle Maxton Skinner, John Yaksich, Robert Simanek and Leroy Messmer were other veterans with this honor as well as a few non-veterans. Continue reading “SK2c Joseph Lloyd Pagel Park 78”
Edward Voigt is a fairly well known story. Hopefully, I put in a few details outside of the norm. Historic accounts of Voigt park call it a “breathing space” – a great description. One letter to the editor of a local paper (circa 1922) recommended erecting a memorial hall in Voigt park due to: 1) the city owned the land 2) the park’s lack of use 3) probability that the park would be there in 100 years [yep] 4) saving taxpayer’s money [genius]. Maybe the city fathers and mothers should have heeded that advice? ahh. ag
Edward Voigt (1844 – 1920) had a solid reputation for his work ethic and business acumen.
As a landowner, he turned his 150 acre farm off Woodward into Voigt Park Subdivision in the 1890’s. We can thank him for Boston Boulevard, Chicago Boulevard as well as several of the surrounding streets west of Woodward.
Raised in Germany, he traveled to America with his folks Carl William and Pauline in 1854 on the trans-Atlantic ship, the Malabar. The trio crisscrossed the Midwest settling in Madison, Wisconsin where his father started the Capitol Steam Brewery. Edward began his education and attended the University of Wisconsin. He achieved the status of Brew Master at age 17. In 1864, the family brewery was sold to Carl Hausmann, a local WI ale competitor. William Voigt moved to Detroit to start a new brewery; his son Edward went on an adventure to California. The Detroit Voigt Brewery was built on Grand River at High Street [today this is around Grand River and I-75 area). Eventually, its 150 ft. chimney would grace the Detroit skyline. Continue reading “EDWARD WILLIAM VOIGT – Park #59”
“Like the famous Flemish tapestries that tell stories, we are the weavers, the creators of the patterns in our own lives,” wrote Minerva Maiullo in her 1972 memoir, A Tapestry of Memories.
There’s a handful of parks in Detroit honoring the lives of women.. Here’s one of them.
Minerva Maiullo’s life was filled with culture, elegance, art and philanthropy. Born in Ontario, Canada in October 1891, genealogical accounts trace her ancestral line to the royal Etruscan House of Tarquin whose kings ruled Rome hundreds of years before Caesar.
Her parents were both musically gifted. Minerva followed suit with demonstrated talents in song composition and voice training that prepared her for an operatic life. In 1925 she performed the role of Nedda in Il Pagliacci in Verona, Italy as an operatic debut. Regardless of professional praise and promise, Minerva chose familial instinct and married her childhood sweetheart, Anthony Maiullo. Together, they raised a family in Detroit’s grand Boston-Edison neighborhood.
The Maiullo’s led a busy and charmed life. Minerva was well known as Detroit’s cultural hostess. She entertained many celebrities at her once famous salons. She sang only at benefit performances and for close friends. A Detroit club woman, her philanthropic efforts included involvement with The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, DIA Founder’s Society, Detroit Grand Opera Association, Women’s City Club, Detroit Historical Society, Friends of the Detroit Public Library and on.
She was awarded a citation from the US War Department for founding and organizing the “Adopt a Soldier’s Son” program during WWII.
Her husband, Anthony Maiullo (1886-1976) was a prominent criminal and corporate Detroit attorney who once survived an assassination attempt when answering his front door. The Maiullo’s were benefactors of Detroit Institute of Arts, gifting sculpture to the museum.
WHO KNEW THESE WERE NAMED PARKS?
During the 1960’s, Anthony donated two lots at the corner of Chicago Boulevard and Woodward to the city of Detroit naming them “Minerva Maiullo Parks” in honor of his wife.
Today, these lots are unmarked and provide a buffer green space to the entrance of this historic Detroit neighborhood. Minerva Maiullo passed in May 1973; she is buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield, MI.