Terry Bond

Does anyone have info on this 1910 tour?

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Thanks to a forum member, I now have this great little pin in my collection.  Like all things I have collected, it's always great to know more about items, but I've not been able to find anything about this.  The pin is from "The Maple City to Detroit" tour in 1910.  I've learned there is a Maple City near Travers City Michigan, but it's a very small unincorporated community and had a population of only 270 people according to the 2010 census.  Doesn't seem to me like the kind of place where a tour might originate, especially one that would justify producing such a nice souvenir pin. 

A little further digging indicates that the city of Laporte, Indiana (located very near Chicago) was known as "The Maple City."  So, rather than "Maple City" being an actual place, I'm thinking the phrase "The Maple City" on the pin might more properly indicate the tour originated in Laporte, Indiana. 

I have contacted the Laporte Historical Society in hopes they might have some info, but if anyone out there is AACA Forum-land knows anything about the event, I'd love to learn more.

Thanks

Terry

Maple City Tour 1910.jpg

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26 minutes ago, 1937hd45 said:

Nice pin, is there a Maple City somewhere in Canada? Bob 

I was thinking that as the maple leaf is an iconic symbol up here right across the river from Detroit. Its a long shot but who knows. There is a Maple north west of Toronto. 

Now Terry if you came on the AACA National Vintage Tour in Kingston On. I would have given you a pin  that we gave out on that tour. 

 

Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)

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Thanks Joe, sorry to have missed the tour.  We had a local conflict, but I know good friends from here Mark and Marion, thoroughly enjoyed their time touring there.  

 

I am thinking that since the pin reads "THE Maple City" it is a nick-name rather than an actual place name.  Could be wrong, but if you dig up any info about an auto tour from Canada to Detroit it would be a good possibility.

Anxious to learn what the Laporte Historical Society has to say.

Terry

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1 hour ago, Terry Bond said:

I am thinking that since the pin reads "THE Maple City" it is a nick-name rather than an actual place name.  Could be wrong, but if you dig up any info about an auto tour from Canada to Detroit it would be a good possibility.

Anxious to learn what the Laporte Historical Society has to say.

Terry

Chatham, Ontario has the nickname of The Maple City, and not all that far from Detroit.  There was automobile production in Chatham at that time.  

Edited by 3macboys (see edit history)
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I’d lean towards Michigan. http://hastingsreminder.com/many-michigan-towns-once-had-maple-names-p15131-92.htm

The lumber boom had abruptly died out (when all the White Pine was exhausted) by 1906.

The only roads in 99% of the state were the supply trails built and maintained by the lumber companies. Same with the RR’s.

There was great push to establish these trails as roads and an attempt to establish the great lumber towns as cities — futile effort, most simply vanished.

Edited by Ben P. (see edit history)

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16 hours ago, 3macboys said:

Chatham, Ontario has the nickname of The Maple City, and not all that far from Detroit.  There was automobile production in Chatham at that time.  

 

There you have it I googled it cut and past.  3macboys was right

Chatham, since 1902 and courtesy of Mayor George W. Sulman, has been known as the Maple City. There are, of course, some negative brands applied. Toronto is often called Hog Town.Mar 15, 2018

cxgvd is in Chatham  and is hosting a 5 day tour in the area with the AACA Snappers called Fields Factories and Firetrucksur with Gary and Bev in the Maple City area.    RM / Sothebys head office and restoration shop is in Chatham.   

Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)

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It seems plausible that, in 1910, this was a 

fun outing for an automobile club, and possibly

not a long-distance endurance tour.  So it's likely

that the distance between towns, by today's standards,

is small.  Chatham, Ontario therefore seems more

reasonable than faraway La Porte, Indiana.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)

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They would have taken Hwy #2 that is the Old Kings Hwy about an hr. drive in a modern car. We used Hwy #2 on the AACA Vintage tour from Trenton headed back to Kingston. 

Read the last three lines and there may be a link between the tour and the Chatham Car Co.

 

History on the Chatham car co.

The company was created in 1906.[2] Investors included Joseph T. O'Keefe and Thomas A. Drew (partners in the O'Keefe and Drew pork retailers),[3] T.K. Holmes (who became company president). W.J. Taylor (vice president), D. N. McMullen, Thomas Dillon (secretary-treasurer), J.F. Dillon (general manager).[4]

They established a factory in a two-story building on Adelaide Street, about halfway between McGregor Creek and King Street,[5] previously used by Hyslop and Ronald to build fire engines.[6] The plant had 40 employees.[7]

The company built only one model, the Chatham, right-hand drive[8] five-passenger tourer with a 20 horsepower (15 kW; 20 PS)[9] (later 25 horsepower (19 kW; 25 PS))[10]watercooled four cylinder engine.[11]

The Chatham was priced at C$2500,[12] when the Colt Runabout was priced at US$1500,[13] the FAL US$1750,[14] the Enger 40 and (in 1905) the Ford Model F were US$2000,[15] while the high-volume Oldsmobile Runabout was US$650[16] and (in 1907) the $700 for the Ford Model S was US$700.

Chatham did not build its own bodies, instead, they were subcontracted to William Gray & Sons, a local carriage builder.[17]

The car earned the loyalty of its buyers, but the company suffered financial difficulties, and in 1907, it was sued by a Detroit creditor and ultimately liquidated. Chatham dentist G. W. Cornell bought the company's assets and resumed production.[18]

In 1908, a new Chatham appeared, the Chatham 30, with a new 30 hp (22 kW; 30 PS) engine and "tulip-style" body.[19]

The new car was entered in endurance trials and scored some successes.[20] One example was driven 3,000 mi (4,800 km) from Arcola, Saskatchewan to Chatham by J.B. Stauffer.[21]

The company sold only 35 cars, mainly to Chatham's wealthiest residents, before shutting down in 1909.[22]

The factory was purchased by Detroit's Anhut Motor Car Company in 1910,[23] which continued to manufacture badge engineered Chathams under its own brand.[24]

The factory building still stood in the 1960s.[25]

Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)

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Lots of good guesses so far, but nothing firm.

 

I'd not considered the possible Canadian connection ( the  Maple Leaf).  I'm still thinking however, a souvenir like this badge would not have been produced except for a fairly significant event.  Narrowing it down to a specific location would lead me to a local historical society or newspaper archive that might have more info.  Still waiting to hear from the Laporte Historical Society.

Terry

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1 hour ago, Terry Bond said:

...I'm still thinking however, a souvenir like this badge would not have been produced except for a fairly significant event...

 

Terry, historical accounts make even small tours

sound like big events.  Consider this account of a 1911

twelve-mile tour, as related by a participant in the

First Quarter 1947 issue of The Antique Automobile

(our club's own publication).  I reprinted the article in our

AACA region's own newsletter.

 

Their local club organized a car tour to another small town 12 miles away.

At that time, it was stated, most people didn't know local roads

more than 5 miles from their home, and no maps existed--so it was

an adventure. About a dozen cars showed up and organized themselves

at the courthouse square.  They were each given a pennant for the event.

At the neighboring town, "it seemed as if the whole countryside

turned out to see so many horseless carriages in one location.

We were made to feel welcome and were royally entertained."

 

Just as today, we may issue dash plaques for small shows

and tours, it's very possible that your Maple City tour was a

"significant event" even though those brass cars didn't travel far.

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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You could try searching the Detroit News newspaper archives (it was established in 1873) or Detroit Free Press newspaper archives (it was established in 1831).  They operate jointly now, so I don't know if they've combined their archives, but there may have been something about the tour in one or both of the newspapers back then.  (If you have access to Lexis-Nexis, you should be able to run a search of these two newspapers and others sources.)  Another possible research resource would be the Detroit Historical Society.

 

With nothing to base my opinion on other than geographic proximity, I lean toward Joe Konarowski's suggestion that the tour was from Chatham, Ontario, to Detroit.  First, Chatham is only about 60 miles from Detroit.  LaPorte, IN, and Traverse City, MI, are considerably farther.  Obviously it was a different time in 1910 (I'm old, but not that old), but I remember taking day trips to Chatham with my parents and/or grandparents many times as a child.  (We lived in Detroit and my grandparents lived in Windsor, Ontario, just across the river from Detroit.)  Second, the maple leaf on the pin is pretty prominent--as a national symbol of Canada, I'd think that would be more reflective of the tour originating in Canada than in LaPorte, IN, or somewhere near Traverse City, MI.

 

Good luck on solving the historical mystery, Terry.  Let us know how it turns out.

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The only thing that I have been able to find so far is a regatta of powerboats from Detroit taking place in Chatham in 1910.  I think that the Ambassador Bridge didn't open until 1927 and the tunnel in 1930, so in 1910 a trip to Detroit would have most likely have involved a ferry crossing of the Detroit river to add to the adventure.  There was a lot of industrial connections between Detroit, Walkerville (now best described as a part of Windsor) and Chatham at the time.  The Dodge Brothers come to mind and the border was far more porous in those days.  I'm with Mark McAlpine above that there is bound to be a photo in an archive someplace recording this event where ever it originated.  The Detroit Public Library seems to have an incredible collection of automobile pictures, now I just need to figure out how to search it online.

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Terry,

What are those letters printed on the top line above ‘THE MAPLE CITY’?

All I can make out over the remnants of the green + red paint is a P and an M.

Edited by Ben P. (see edit history)

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Lord, I’m thinking too hard. 🙂

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I reside near Chatham, On and I could try to get some local historians to look into this pin.  As Joe K reminds us Chatham had a car culture, William Gray built bodies for Ford of Canada, there was the Chatham car and an active car club, though I have only seen pictures of the tourists at the beach for picnics, day trips.  Detroit would have been overnight, maybe two, and would have involved a ferry from the end of Ouellette St in Windsor.  Detroit is our major city, Hamilton, Toronto are at least twice as far, London is sixty miles away, perhaps the group wanted to catch a Tiger's game?

 

Sorry for the delay, we have been on our own road trip and just returned home.  Gary

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I may have the reason and the occasion for the pin found in a history text book called Romantic Kent by Victor Lauriston.  On page 565 the author is reciting the activities and history of the Couzens family of Chatham, Ontario.  I won't bore you with the details except to say their home and factory were located in a place which has become not very attractive today.

 

In 1910, young Jim Couzens was working for the Malcolmson coal yards.  I quote from the text " Through that he got in on the ground floor of the Henry Ford new motor enterprise.  He ultimately retired a millionaire, to become the Mayor of Detroit and United States Senator.  If not for his Canadian birth, he would have become President of the United States."

 

I am going to have to put his residence as a stop on our Snapper's tour when we drive around Chatham in July in our 100 year old vehicles.

 

Regards, Gary

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Well, the Laporte Historical Society has nothing, and they referred me to someone else who was more specifically in tune with early automotive history, and again, nothing in Laporte.  It was pointed out though that Goshen was also known as "The Maple City."

Interesting to see the connection with Couzens from Chatham Ontario.  As his birthplace, it indeed would have seemed logical to have a tour from there to Detroit.  I'm sure there is lots more to uncover, but I don't plan to go to Detroit and spend a month reading old newspapers.  Perhaps better coverage can be found in some of the automobile periodicals of the day - Horseless Age, Motor, etc.  The search continues.

Terry

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Doing a little more digging, the Glidden Tour went through Detroit in 1910, so wondering if this pin was perhaps made as part of that tour?  There's only 46,963 photos on the Detroit Library Archive site when I search Detroit Automobile Tour 1910, I think that I might need to narrow that search down a bit.    

 

Don 

 

Upon further checking might just be that the photographer for a bunch of the pictures was from Detroit - still looking

Edited by 3macboys (see edit history)

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