There’s no little hotel called “The Shady Rest” on the Junction (street)

Looking for long-ish roads to cover on my rides, I decided to ride Junction Street from its foot to its head, mostly to discover the Junction for which I assumed the street was named.

(BTW, the title of this post will probably mystify anyone younger than a baby boomer – it’s a reference to one part of the “Hooterville” trilogy – “The Beverly Hillbillies”, “Petticoat Junction”, and “Green Acres”.)  All TeeVee Klassics.

On the way down to the start of Junction, I passed a “coming soon” sign for what I can only imagine is a motorcycle club:

Brick City? A nickname for Detroit that’s new to me

“Brick City”, according to Wikipedia, is the nickname of Newark New Jersey. Maybe this is a franchise of some kind.  Over at the Urban Dictionary, the claim is made that the nickname “is derived from the large amount of crack bricks that can be purchased” [there].  Your guess is as good as mine as to the truthiness of that claim.

The Mies Van Der Rohe memorial on Lafayette is looking pretty sharp, though I can’t tell for sure whether the foliage is on purpose or is just weeds.

Sadly, “Less is More” appears to refer to the number of empty shops in the plaza

To get to Junction, I rode down Fort Street.  Along the way, I passed McCarthy’s Pub. From what I can tell, via a cursory internet hunt, it’s open for business.

Free Poo

More incendiary delights awaited, as further along, I spotted a plume of smoke to my right.  It so happened that I rode past a fire station shortly after I saw the smoke, and spoke to a firefighter who informed me it was a car fire.  Sure enough, on Military & The Fisher Freeway service drive, a Mustang GT convertible was being doused with water.

Move along folks, nothing to see here

Making a detour onto Military turned out to be a good thing.  I spotted this nice sign for a defunct appliance dealer:

Does a happy owner make for happy customers?

I also pedaled by an interesting metals provider.  Devoted readers of this site will know that I have a particular fondness for misspelled signage.  In this case, however, I suspect the word in question (you’ll spot it) is probably not a mistake as much as it is some nomenclature peculiar to that industry. You decide.

How much is that fine, anyway?

Back at the junction of Junction and West Jefferson, I began my trek up the street. I wouldn’t call this intersection a junction.

Riding in the Shadows of Mistersky

I began the hunt for whichever junction that was the inspiration for the street’s name. The junction of what. I don’t think a railroad crossing qualifies.

Not exactly a junction

Nor does a Mexican seafood restaurant.

Mmmm. Seafood. Not a junction

A bit further up, I passed one of two beautiful churches on Junction.  This is Holy Redeemer.

A junction betwixt heaven and earth?

At the intersection of Junction and Vernor, I spotted some tracks in the pavement – but I think these were street car tracks, and, since they’re curved, seemed like an oxymoronic junction anyway.

Tour De Hood philosophical question: Can a curve without a stop be a junction?

At the same intersection, I spotted this nice Coney Sign. Not a junction.

Duly noted

Crossing under 4 railroad tracks near Junction and McGregor was the closest thing yet to a junction – but even they didn’t seem to be the inspiration for the street name.

Not a junction. Maybe an intersection

The second beautiful church I passed is St. Hedwig. Saint Hedwig, the Duchess of Silesia, was married at the age of 12(!) to Henry I “The Bearded”, had seven children, then took a vow of chastity. She’s the patron saint of brides and Bavaria (among other things).

Two towers do not a junction make

While junctions were difficult to find, riding up Junction Street led me past another great ghost sign.  This one’s for Finck’s Overalls.  I’m going to post a couple of photos.  One of the sign itself,

Always look for the Union Label

the other, a close-up of Finck’s great advertising slogan:

“They wear like a Pig’s nose”. That’s a good thing

As usual, the superb blog Sweet Juniper got there first, and researched the company. Please pay the site a visit to read more.

Still, a mighty ghost sign is not a junction.

I was beginning to believe that there was no junction to be found on Junction Street.  Detroit did have a Milwaukee Junction (about which you can read here), and there is a West Vernor-Junction historical district, but no actual junction that I could see.  And I was running out of Junction Street.

Before its terminus, I cycled by this place for tots:

Nothing up my sleeve. Including a junction

The Kronk Community Center (on Junction & McGraw), looks as if it hasn’t been open since our former Mayor,  Kwame “The Disreputable” Kilpatrick was in office.

Kwame Kilpatrick, jailbird

At Warren, Junction Street ends. Across Warren you’ll find Hazlett Street. But at the end of the road, no Junction. No Shady Rest.  Just a do-it-all auto repair store.

Virtually no spelling errors! (Maybe there should be an “s” on “hose”)

Riding down Warren, I passed this nice community billboard

Look closely – there are ghosts on the swing set

Another sign attracted my attention. Simple and to the point.

I’ve heard of Parker House rolls, but not the sausage to go in them

I stopped, as is my wont, for refreshment and sustenance at the Avalon International Bakery.  I had, unfortunately, missed their anniversary party.  My cinnamon roll (with pecans), and a double short cappuccino were delicious, as always.  I did espy this mysterious tag on the Avalon’s wall.

Paging Dr. Brule

Junctionless, but sated, the rest of the ride was over grounds that I’ve covered before, so I won’t bore you with repetition.

Afterword.  Douglas Grant was kind enough to send me “The list of streets in Detroit, the names of which have been changed, with the dates of city ordinances changing the same”, published in 1891.  Until March 19, 1887, Junction Avenue was named “Lover’s Lane”.  Awww.

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7 thoughts on “There’s no little hotel called “The Shady Rest” on the Junction (street)

  1. Why don’t you and the legal beagle take us on a bike photo tour of the Detroit River Isles? Belle Isle and Grosse Isle, and maybe ride up and down some slag piles on Zug Island. It would be a relief from the urban decay and chronicling of the slow rot of our local portion of western culture. Some post-industrial apocalypse scenes from a bicyle perspective would be diversionary and possibly lead away from the clinical depression that seems inevitable for someone who reflects on the scenes you present.
    I visited my optometrist office the other day, inside a Meijers in Ann Arbor, for some glasses and the lady who worked behind the counter grew up in Trenton but lives in Taylor now. I asked her where she grew up because I heard a country music AM station playing very softly in the background. So I figured she had some southern roots somewhere in her background. Trenton, country music; a picture is starting to emerge here, maybe second or third generation transplanted hillbilly. When I told her I rode my bike on Grosse Isle last weekend she was taken aback. Her eyes opened wide and she asked in disbelief, “you went on a bike ride vacation downriver?” Yes, I said. I’ve never been on Grosse Isle and I went there out of curiosity to see what it was like. It made her chuckle and she seemed a little condescending. Anyway, there are some nice historical markers and a historical society building I’d like to visit some day.

    • Good idea. We were actually on Belle Isle last weekend, but I didn’t take many photos; there are some shots of a particularly beautiful bridge there in an earlier post. You can’t get onto Zug Island. (Or even take photos of it – I wrote about that in an earlier post). Grosse Ile is a good idea. It’s not really in “Detroit”, per se, and getting there is quite a haul. Maybe when it cools off a tad.

  2. Anywhere else in the wrold all that amazing signage would be getting heritage listed and looked after…….i get the feeling that is the last of detroits priorities….but my goodness if they could it would be great.

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