1890 Detroit – Growing, Brewing and Showing Off to the World

Detroit Exposition Souvenir 1889

Detroit Exposition Souvenir 1889

Detroit Expo Postcard

Detroit was not only the largest producer of heating and cooking stoves, it was also on the forefront of ship building, rail car manufacturing, cigar production and development of cutting edge pharmaceuticals. Detroit was also on the verge of launching a bustling automotive industry but at this point factories were being constructed to design and build gasoline engines.

To showcase how industrial and technologically advanced Detroit was leading into the new century, the city hosted the Detroit International Exposition on 156 square acres of land immediately south of Fort Wayne and bordered by the Rouge River and Jefferson Avenue (then called River Road).

Birds Eye View of Detroit Expo Grounds

Birds Eye View of Detroit Expo Grounds

Detroit, along the Detroit River, looking north

Detroit, along the Detroit River, looking north

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overlay - Current map of Delray with map of Detroit Expo grounds

Overlay – Current map of Delray with map of Detroit Expo grounds

ExpositionBrewingCo

Exposition Brewing Company – 1890

American Brewery - 1917

American Brewery – 1920

Former home of the "Exposition Brewery", the former American Brewery - 2014

Former home of the “Exposition Brewery”, the former American Brewery – 2014

In preparation for the 1889-90 Detroit International Exposition a new brewery was constructed on what was then the corner of Cary Street and Mechanics Street in the southern corner of the expo grounds. Mechanic Street was later re-named Barnes Street as Delray became more of Detroit suburb.

Built as the Exposition Brewery, this company later became the American Brewing Company in 1901.

American Brewing survived Prohibition as the American Products Company by brewing birch beer and ginger ale. After the repeal of Prohibition, the name changed back to the American Beverage Company and then changed again to the American Brewing Company in 1934. The little brewery succumbed to the proliferation of other breweries that sprung up in Detroit in the 1930’s and finally going out of business in 1938. Much of the original building still stands and is the only reminder of the Detroit International Exposition.

Today the property which hosted the Detroit Expo is pretty much desolate but is home to the Delray Public Boat Access, a cement factory and a trucking firm. It is here where the US span of the second international bridge crossing is supposed to be built.


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Posted in Detroit History.