The Lost Synagogues of Detroit » THE SCHVITZ
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Lowell (admin)
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Post Number: 146
Registered: 1-2004
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Posted on Friday, May 13, 2005 - 1:07 am

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This a long Detroit Jewish tradition. Most frequented by jewish men, it has become a social gathering place for men and women. I here there have been some shenanigans going on their but I wouldn't know. I've never been anywhere that I've seen or participated in any coed nudity/sweating , drinking, and schmoozing there or any where else.

I was 8 years old when my dad took me to the schvitz. I was wonderful. We would shower downstairs and go into the schvits was. I had to spend 5 to 10 minutes there with my dad ubtil I could go to the large pill. The water was always very cold. My dad made me promise not to leave the steam bath and go to the pool only after showering. Then and only then, I could go in the frigid pool. After, probably 20 to 40 minuts of so my dad wiuld leave the steam room and shower and make me shower. Then we would go upstairs and Toots the cook would put on a steak for the grill. The meat was so simple and so wonderful, Just my dad being with me and me being with him and our resatiomshop mever got any better that that! My dad was a gambler and bookmaker. Some didn't like that, But, for me, my dad was a business man who
was always honorable and right. We went to the schvits once or twice each school season until I didn't want to be with him. I'd love to one more time to spend one mure evening with him. He was so wise, I was better educated. I could have learned so much more Leo dad marshall of Naples Florida


I have nothing historical about schvitz.. But sure does bring back memories (good) MY father my and my brothers and my husband and his father all have been there..(of course I was never there) I remember my father taking steaks and telling me them on the grill I do remember the purple gang ( was about 8 years old) and lived on 12th St. 1/2 a block from the Cream of MichiganI knew some of them by name They used to hang around the restaurant called the Cream of Michigan (Which made the best Lemon meringue pie in Detroit (was famous for L.M.Pie) It was on 12th street (Now Rosa Park) also the other restaurant (on 12th St. also) was called Boeskies They all had breakfast and snacks there And At Boeskies it was Corned Beef Sandwiches They, Almost all of them, would eat there meals at home Dinner ..If they didn't their mother would have killed them LOL(laugh out loud) There is more trivia but I do not know if you are interested?? My husband has some stories to tell, too. History (I think) the Purple gang kept the Mafia (Black Hand) from.
-- NN

I was born on Philidelphia near Pingrie between 12th & 14th. My Dad used to take me to the shvitz. There were men who would use big leaves to wash your back down. The pool was plan cement pored(very old) and cold. There was also an open sleeping type barracks. The restaurant area had wooden small freezer doors on a far wall.I have Fond memories of going there! But I recall being apprehensive, at first; as I was very young. And of course I knew Harry & Sam Boeski when I was very young. And everyone knows The Cream of Michigan. That was thee meeting place.Big corn beef sandwiches were 50 cents. Dinty Moores were 75 cents. Not to mention Shecktors Furniture store and many other stores.
-- Alan

riteallrongs (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From:
Posted on Monday, December 12, 2005 - 7:13 pm

I hate to be the guy that rains on your parade, but I wouldn't refer to the Purple Gang as "legendary." The adjective "infamous" would be more appropriate, though I'm not old enough to know of them by personal experience.

Although I never lived in Detroit, my late uncle did in the heyday of the Purple Gang, and he told me about them. Decent, law abiding Jews were told to stay as far away from the Purple Gang as possible. They were to the Jews as the Mafia was to the Italians.

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(Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 4:19 pm

I was a detective in the Highland Park police department, just north of the bath house. Several of us used to go to the Schivtz, known to us as the Oakland Baths.

The Purple Gang did frequent the place, back in the day.

Today, as a suburban detective, I sadly report that I have been told that the place has deterioriated into quite a bit of vice. Don't know it from personal experience. In my day, it was straight guys and guys and their kids on weekends. Things change. In Detroit, always for the worse. Go figure. CJH

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Hittsville (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Saturday, January 26, 2008 - 11:28 pm

The homophobic post by suburban detective CJH does not belong on such a quality site. It makes the rediculous suggestion that everything was just fine until the non-straight guys got involved. Yeah right. The Purple Gang has been referred to as the Jewish Mafia on this very site. And how much of the vice in the city of Detroit do you think is perpetrated by heterosexuals? I am guessing like maybe 98%? Please take the ignorant gay bashing elsewhere. Gay people have been integral to the preservation of Detroit history and continue to be involved in the rebuilding of Detroit's neighborhoods.

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