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Stories from 8 Mile is the newest multimedia effort form 8MBA. We will aim to amplify the voices of all of our region's stakeholders.

  • December 12, 2019 4:19 PM | Anonymous

    This post was made possible with the help of 8MBA intern Steve Cleaves-Jones

    Few things are a better remedy cold weather better than comfort food. And what’s more comforting than the potato. You can mash it, you can fry it, and you can add it to just about any other meal, as you attempt to warm up in the winter months. 


    And if you’re in the mood for some potatoes this winter you should look no further than Spud Headz who has been serving up potato based dishes on 8 Mile since 2012.


    Spud Headz specialty is a smashed baked potato, which consists of a baked potato that has been smashed flat on a plate, the potato is then covered in a wide variety of foods. A customer can order something simple like the Chicken & Broccoli Potato which consists of grilled chicken, broccoli and cheese or something extravagant like the The Thanksgiving Potato, which includes a feast of roasted turkey, cheese, gravy and cranberry sauce. If you desire a different carb as your base you can also order one of their fantastic rice dishes.

    Spud Headz set up shop on the north side of 8 Mile in Warren but proprietor, JR sometimes wishes he was on the Detroit side of the boulevard. But he also acknowledges that he has created a solid client base over the course of the decade.



    The public has taken to Spud Headz over the years. Multiple internet reviews mention its cool vintage looking sign was the first thing to catch their eye. Its sign, along with its large dining room has made it an attractive location to grab some comforting food on the East Side of 8 Mile. But the proprietor of Spud Headz, who goes by Jr, knows there is always room for improvement. Jr hopes that in the years to come some beautification will come to the area so that more people from both sides of 8 Mile feel comfortable coming into his space.


    As the region continues to grow, Spud Headz is primed to succeed due to their great designs, comfortable spaces, and tasty food.





  • November 27, 2019 11:21 AM | Anonymous

    Historians, photographers, and curious citizens have long been interested in the beauty behind Metro Detroit's architecture. Massive coffee table books and academic works have been published on the buildings that reside in our region.

    But now, with the rise of social media, more people than ever are being exposed to the region's architectural history through the devices that they hold in the palm of their own hand.

    One person who has been involved in Detroit area architecture's rise on social media is Jonathan Peters, better known on Instagram as JPInThe313.

    Peters, 33, is a Detroiter through and through. You can normally spot him in a Tigers hat and a Carhartt jacket, riding public transit, and conversing with locals outside of Detroit's historic buildings always with his phone in hand, ready to snap a picture of an architectural gem that catches his eye.

    When asked what makes our region's architecture special, Peters offers an eloquent but simple answer "Very few U.S. cities," he tells me, "can boast the building stock of our fair metropolis."

    But when you dive a little deeper it becomes clear that there is something else that drives Peters' love for Detroit's architecture: humanity.

    Peters believes that architecture tells stories and not just the stories of the big names normally associated with architecture, the designer, the engineers, and the business owners. Peters' brand of architectural documentation brings a light to neighborhoods and residents. To Peters, understanding architecture is essential if we want to understand our past. 

    "Architecture tells stories. Churches, for example, speak of what a neighborhood once was like, particularly the ethnic group that originally settled there. Detroit has many examples of this."

    This people first approach has made Peters quite popular. He says that the best thing about his time on Instagram has been all the friends he made and he is under the impression that this type of attitude can be useful around the region. He beleives that if we continue to focus on people's stories, we can bridge our divides. "Its time for a new direction."



  • November 27, 2019 11:18 AM | Anonymous

    Written by: Jacob Jones

    Nestled on a small plot of land on the south side of 8 Mile between Grand River and Middlebelt sits the Clarenceville Cemetery.

    The cemetery itself is difficult to spot. If one is driving down 8 Mile at the normal rapid rate of speed on your way to a busier part of town it would be easy to miss the tree obscured graveyard. But if you slow down enough, you can spot it. Guarded by a thigh height metal gate and a towering gate, the cemetery, especially at this time of year can be a bit foreboding.

    But if you work up the courage to make your way through that metal gate you will enter a spooky Oakland County time capsule.

    The cemetery is named for the town in which it once resided: Clarenceville. If you are looking for Clarenceville on a map today it may be tough to find but us locals know the importance of this forgotten town. Located on what is now 8 Mile Boulevard, Clarenceville was the last stop on the train route from Detroit to Lansing. Much like the Boulevard of today, Clarenceville became a prominent trade center. The man who most profited off this was the town’s postmaster and namesake: Thomas Clarency. The position of postmaster carried a lot of weight in these days and Clarency was able to open one of the region’s most successful Inns: the Botsford.

    The town’s prominence didn’t prevent sprawl from taking it over, eventually being absorbed by Farmington Hills and Livonia. But there are remnants of the old town visible to this day. A school district still bares the Clarenceville name as does the cemetery.

    Walking through the cemetery it appears as if the graves were aligned with no sense of rhyme or reason. Simple rectangular gravestones are scattered amongst towering headstones bearing the names of the area’s most prominent residents: The Vanleuven’s, the Sibley’s, the Lapham’s and the prominent 19th century attorney Benjamin Stevens are all resting in the Clarenceville Cemetery.

    But there is one name, and gravestone, in the cemetery that towers above the rest: Benjamin Grace.

    Benjamin Grace was a Revolutionary War Veteran who relocated from a crowded New York to Farmington to enjoy the open space that Oakland County afforded him.

    Grace’s war record is something right out of a Hollywood film. Born in New Hampshire, Grace joined the legendary 1st New Hampshire Infantry at the age of 15. His fighting careers spans the entire war. His was present at the Battle of Lexington as well as the surrender at Yorktown.

    Grace stayed in New England for most of his post-war life. He would create a large family and try his hand at farming. But as his life went on his children began to move away from him. His family moved westward and settled in Oakland County. Grace himself would move to Oakland County to live with his children in 1868.

    A Revolutionary War veteran migrating to Oakland County was far from rare. It was reported in the 1912 edition of “The History of Oakland County” by historian Thaddeus De Witt Seeley, that no other county in Michigan attracted so many Revolutionary War Veterans. In fact, the first non-native person to settle in what is now Oakland County, James Graham, was a Veteran of the war.

    Veterans traveled through Detroit, Ontario, Romeo, Rochester, and up and down the Clinton River making their way into the county. Revolutionary War Veterans built mills, churches, and successful boarding houses across the county.

    In all, 35 Revolutionary War veterans would move to present day Oakland County and 19 of these veterans would be buried in the County but Grace is the only one to be buried in the Clarenceville Cemetery.

    Much like many of the remnants of old Clarenceville, active citizens have fought valiantly throughout the years to preserve the cemetery. The Daughters of the American Revolution began decorating Grace’s grave in 1912 and other groups have given it recognition in the more recent past. But as time goes on the fight becomes harder.

    As part of our 2020 initiative, 8MBA is proud to announce that we are actively pursuing historic recognition for the Clarenceville Cemetery to ensure the protection of the grounds, the town, and those resting in it for years to come.




A Lost Town, a Forgotten Cemetery, and a War Hero Who Calls it Home

By: Jacob Jones

Nestled on a small plot of land on the southside of 8 Mile between Grand River and Middlebelt sits the Clarenceville Cemetery.

The cemetery itself is difficult to spot. If one is driving down 8 Mile at the normal rapid rate of speed on your way to a busier part of town it would be easy to miss the tree obscured graveyard. But if you slow down enough, you can spot it. Guarded by a thigh height metal gate and a towering gate, the cemetery, especially at this time of year can be a bit foreboding.

But if you work up the courage to make your way through that metal gate you will enter a spooky Oakland County time capsule.

The cemetery is named for the town in which it once resided: Clarenceville. If you are looking for Clarenceville on a map today it may be tough to find but us locals know the importance of this forgotten town. Located on what is now 8 Mile Boulevard, Clarenceville was the last stop on the train route from Detroit to Lansing. Much like the Boulevard of today, Clarenceville became a prominent trade center. The man who most profited off this was the town’s postmaster and namesake: Thomas Clarency. The position of postmaster carried a lot of weight in these days and Clarency was able to open one of the region’s most successful Inns: the Botsford.

The town’s prominence didn’t prevent sprawl from taking it over, eventually being absorbed by Farmington Hills and Livonia. But there are remnants of the old town visible to this day. A school district still bares the Clarenceville name as does the cemetery.

Walking through the cemetery it appears as if the graves were aligned with no sense of rhyme or reason. Simple rectangular gravestones are scattered amongst towering headstones bearing the names of the area’s most prominent residents: The Vanleuven’s, the Sibley’s, the Lapham’s and the prominent 19th century attorney Benjamin Stevens are all resting in the Clarenceville Cemetery.

But there is one name, and gravestone, in the cemetery that towers above the rest: Benjamin Grace.

Benjamin Grace was a Revolutionary War Veteran who relocated from a crowded New York to Farmington to enjoy the open space that Oakland County afforded him.

Grace’s war record is something right out of a Hollywood film. Born in New Hampshire, Grace joined the legendary 1st New Hampshire Infantry at the age of 15. His fighting careers spans the entire war. His was present at the Battle of Lexington as well as the surrender at Yorktown.

Grace stayed in New England for most of his post-war life. He would create a large family and try his hand at farming. But as his life went on his children began to move away from him. His family moved westward and settled in Oakland County. Grace himself would move to Oakland County to live with his children in 1868.

A Revolutionary War veteran migrating to Oakland County was far from rare. It was reported in the 1912 edition of “The History of Oakland County” by historian Thaddeus De Witt Seeley, that no other county in Michigan attracted so many Revolutionary War Veterans. In fact, the first non-native person to settle in what is now Oakland County, James Graham, was a Veteran of the war.

Veterans traveled through Detroit, Ontario, Romeo, Rochester, and up and down the Clinton River making their way into the county. Revolutionary War Veterans built mills, churches, and successful boarding houses across the county.

In all, 35 Revolutionary War veterans would move to present day Oakland County and 19 of these veterans would be buried in the County but Grace is the only one to be buried in the Clarenceville Cemetery.

Much like many of the remnants of old Clarenceville, active citizens have fought valiantly throughout the years to preserve the cemetery. The Daughters of the American Revolution began decorating Grace’s grave in 1912 and other groups have given it recognition in the more recent past. But as time goes on the fight becomes harder.

As part of our 2020 initiative, 8MBA is proud to announce that we are actively pursuing historic recognition for the Clarenceville Cemetery to ensure the protection of the grounds, the town, and those resting in it for years to come.

Eight Mile Boulevard Association

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Operations Manager:

Jacob Jones:

586-625-6496

Address:
20500 Conant

Detroit, Mi
48234

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