Today and temporarily, Detroit is loosing population with so many business leaders traveling north on I-75 for the Detroit Regional Chamber's Annual Mackinac Conference (#MPC15). As you travel north, climb aboard the Shepler's ferry and step onto the main street on Mackinac Island, here are some  quick and fascinating facts about Detroit:

  • Detroit is the oldest city in the Midwest, and the only one from which one can look south to Canada. 
  • The Ambassador Bridge, linking Detroit with Windsor (Ontario, Canada) is one of the longest international suspension bridges in the world. 
  • James Vernor, who owned a Detroit drugstore and was Michigan's first registered pharmacist, developed the world's first carbonated drink in 1866. The Boston Cooler (vanilla ice cream and the ginger-flavored soda) is a classic Detroit taste sensation. The drink apparently was named for the city's Boston Boulevard, not the city in Massachusetts.
  • Detroit has Henry Ford, the man who put America on wheels, to thank for the advent of snack food. He allowed workers on his assembly line to take short breaks, which led to the trend of workers purchasing small bags of food that could be quickly consumed. 
  • Cold Duck, the bubbly blend of wine and champagne, was introduced to Detroit at the Pontchartrain Wine Cellars, a former downtown Detroit restaurant. 
  • The Eastern Market, a major commercial food distribution center famous for the quality, freshness and variety of its produce, meat, fish and even flowers, has been in existence since 1892.
  • In 1915, the first Kiwanis Club began in Detroit. 
  • Detroit's downtown turn-of-the-century trolley cars, complete with old-fashioned, uniformed conductors, operated along Washington Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue.  The vintage trolley cars made their Detroit debut in 1976. The electric-powered cars were built in England, Germany, Portugal and the United States between 1895 and the 1920s.

    Enjoy Mackinac!