Souvenir of Detroit highlights cycling in 1891

Souvenir of Detroit booklet from 1891I recently purchased a Souvenir of Detroit booklet which contains “a sketch of Detroit’s History, Resources and Points of Interest to Visitors.”

It was written in 1891 during the golden age of bicycling. Sure enough, the booklet contained this text on the city’s cycling scene:

The Detroit Wheelmen are the outgrowth of the two Bicycle Clubs, the Detroit and the Star. These, after several meetings, united in the spring of 1890, everything seeming favorable for re-organization. Wheeling up to this time, owning to many reasons, had been indulged in by but the few, and was looked upon as a pastime. Since that time the club has grown in membership, and among its members may be found many of the brightest and most energetic young men in the city.

The Club House, 64 Washington Ave., is cosy and comfortable, where any visiting wheelman finds a welcome. The twelfth annual meet of the League of American Wheelmen fell in good hands, and was the largest and most successful in the League’s history, and stamps Detroit as an important cycling center, around which the rider will find many delightful tours.

The booklet also highlighted Detroit’s early parks, including Belle Isle and Clark, and concludes that “the city is wonderously well provided with lungs.”

And while describing Belle Isle, it notes its “perfect roadbeds furnish facilities for wheelsmen and their ‘bikes’ not excelled anywhere.” It’s not clear why “bikes” is in quotes unless that was a newer term in 1891.

Tags: , , , ,

2 Responses to “Souvenir of Detroit highlights cycling in 1891”

  1. Jon Heywood Says:

    Looking for info/ads, etc on “Schulenburg Cycles” business, operating from 1890 thru at least 1896+ (?) at 188 Jefferson and later 24 Woodward (in 1920 street # system changed, so #s are now off). Schulenburg Billiards was famous Detroit based billiards table mfr on Randolph from 1860 thru about 1911. I suspect they started this business about the time the billiards craze was beginning to show its age and wind down a bit.

  2. Todd Scott Says:

    I’ve looked through my incomplete historical research. I do seem them listed in the Polk directories as a “Bicycle Agency” in 1893, but not in 1895 or 1900. You can look at the 1920 Polk Business directory to convert the old addresses. That edition published both.

Leave a Reply