Detroit Historical Museum

Shandra Gentle
Visual Art
Detroit Historical Museum

Detroit museums are highly, highly under visited and that really makes me sad.  The Detroit Historical Museum was awesome!  In fact, I will even go so far as to say it's better than the Chicago History Museum (sorry, Chicago!).  

There's a lot of stuff in here.  It'll take you about 1 1/2-2 hours to fully explore the museum, so give yourself some time.  When I visited recently, there were free Saturday admissions going on for the summer, so get in while the museum is hot!  I have reciprocal admission anyway, but it's awesome to know that museums have free days to accommodate everyone.  There's $4 parking in the lot right next to the museum which is pretty reasonable, especially since it doesn't seem to get full at all.  

There's a big exhibit near the entrance about the beginnings of a town called Detroit, which means straight.  The exhibit details the founding of the town as well as the French settlers who lived there as fur trappers.  The exhibit continues through the beginning of the 20th century, detailing the expansion of the city into a bustling industrial town.  There are lots to see, including some movies, so make you comfortable and take it all in!

On the other side of the first floor, there is a large car exhibit.  Obviously, Detroit is the automobile hub of the United States, so the history museum would not be complete without homage to the auto industry.  My favorite part of this exhibit: the very first car EVER driven in the city of Detroit (or the state of Michigan).  It was really awesome to see the actual first car preserved right there in the museum.  More highlights: a Tin Lizzie that you can actually sit in and pretend to drive (it even has a crank that makes noise when you turn it), history of immigrant auto workers in Detroit and old car commercials from the past.  

Upstairs, there's more car exhibit (you can see cars being put together on an assembly line) and a...