The Lost Synagogues of Detroit » BETH OLEM CEMETERY
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Lowell (admin)
Board Administrator
Username: admin

Post Number: 114
Registered: 1-2004
Posted From:
Posted on Friday, May 13, 2005 - 12:14 am

Tell us about this site! To add your memories simply scroll to the bottom where you will find the "Add Your Message Here" posting box. Write your message, put any name you wish in the username box and click Preview/Post Message. [No password needed]

Lowell (lowell)
Username: lowell

Post Number: 62
Registered: 6-2004
Posted From:
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 3:02 pm

Lowell, this site is amazing, and I got here from the Fab Ruins of Detroit which is the coolest site I have seen! (I emailed it to my son now in Madrid and a friend in Colorado who like me lived years in France and sees ruins as part of the urban landscape. I have bookmarked your sites and will be sending more emails out to friends in Europe)

Have you seen the oldest Jewish cemetery which is now in the middle of the GM Poletown plant parking lot? I forget the name, but you need permission to get onto the GM lot, and the keys to the cemetery are kept by the Synagogue that cares for it. When they built the parking lot around it, GM put a wall around the cemetery, one of the most bizarre sites to see, especially as you approach the walled oasis through the vast lot...

Thanks for this incredible effort,
Jacki Cohen

Here you have it, although the Beth El Cemetery Cemetery.htm is actually older.


Saul (Unregistered Guest)
Permitted by Moderator
Posted From:
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 6:24 pm

My dad grew up in Detroit, and about 15 years ago when we were there he took me to this cemetery. He had to call GM to arrange for someone to meet is at the gatehouse with the key.

(Message approved by admin)

'PAINBRUSH' (Unregistered Guest)
Permitted by Moderator
Posted From:
Posted on Friday, October 06, 2006 - 1:59 pm

I grew up as kid right there on the border of Hamtramck & Detroit . In the late '70's early 80's as kids my friends & I would dare each other to climb over or under the old red-brick walls & walk into the giant old synagogue/mansion ( it looked like Draculas castle to us young knuckleheads !) - That old red-brick wall wasn't built by G.M - it was there long before - though they may have repaired it . That old mansion ( forgive me for calling it that - but through my entire childhood - that's what we called it ) - as you walked through all the Maple trees & others that had grown giant & unbothered over the years - as you approached the front porch/vestibule area - flocks of pigeons would take off scaring you really good . Inside , up the double set of stairs & through the door was a huge main room - about 30 foot long , at least 20 to 25 foot tall cathedral style open cieling . Along the walls both sides were rows of narrow 10 foot tall or so windows , long broken out over the years by the railroad hobos who'd occasionally stay in there . On the main huge back wall facing you was a 10-foot in diameter beautiful old Mogen David star stained window - almost half of which was still up there & not completely broken out . The light that came through it - it gives me goosebumpos to think of it even now almost like 25 years later . When G.M took over the old Poletown Dodge Main plant & fenced in the old cemetary - they had that old Victorian era looking 'mansion' knocked down inside because the wild rail-road dogs had taken over the place after all the old hobos had faded away over the decades . There were also legendary stories over the years about the 'giant Dodge-Main Rats' - that grew to the size of small dogs . As a kid who spent most of my summers out on a lake , I solved the mystery of those giant Pole-Town rats - they were Muskrats - there was inside , or more accurately right next to the old red-brick wall an old half-collapsed brick-lined tunnel that looked like an old well opening , it dropped down about 8 feet or so to one of the OLD wooden sewer tunnels that ran miles directly down to the Detroit River - you could see the old 1800's wood tunnel sides still , plain as day . The Muskrats lived & probably thrived in that water that still reached down beneath the old Chene/Poletwon neighborhood right to the river ! - None of this would probably be of any interest except to any old Hamtown residents who might remember the humorous old stories about those monster rats , the wild railroad dogs that undoubtedly lived on them & the Pheasants that still to this day live in & around the G.M grounds & the nearby fields & railroad wooded or overgrown areas . During the depression days the old timers from Poletown or Hamtramck used to hunt the pheasant right there in the city !!

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