In the spring of 2018, Sheldon Cunningham, a grandson of one of the early settlers in Detroit, Florida, contacted me seeking more information about his grandparent’s time here. We had a very productive collaboration that resulted in Sheldon writing and publishing the two booklets below. Sheldon supplied the photographs and the background on his family and I did most of the research, using newspaper articles and a lot of previous information I had gathered on the history of Detroit. I also provided documents to Sheldon that are owned by the Historic Homestead Town Hall Museum and contacted a member of the Shields family who kindly provided information about her family. Both booklets are copyrighted by Sheldon Cunningham. You may not use any of the information or photographs in the booklets without the express written permission of the author. Please contact me, Jeff Blakley, using the Contact tab on the website, for Sheldon’s contact information.
The first book, The A. R. Cunningham Family Moving to Florida in 1911 to Grow Tomatoes, is the story of Sheldon’s grandparents and father as a young boy in Detroit. The booklet relates the time-line of the Cunningham family adventure and is a very interesting read. The Cunninghams, who arrived in early 1911, were not among the first group of settlers, who arrived in late October, 1910.
Download this booklet by clicking on this link: A.R.Cunningham Family in Detroit
The second book, Ella May Cunningham’s Photos of Life in Detroit, Florida in 1911, is a compilation of photographs taken by Sheldon’s grandmother with a Brownie box camera. Sheldon and I worked for quite some time, unearthing the background information about some of the people in the photographs. By providing wider access to this document, I hope that other people interested in early Detroit might be able to make some contributions also.
Download this booklet by clicking on this link: Ella May Cunningham’s Detroit Photographs