Attractions & Self-Guided Tours




Provide Feedback




Historic Sites Tour


Ford Rouge Factory -- The Detroit News

Tour Overview

Detroit was founded in 1701 when French Explorer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac landed in what is now the Civic Center area of the city.  Tragically, the great fire of 1805 destroyed nearly all of Detroit's historic sites.  Many of those that emerged from the ashes or were built since the fire have struggled to survive recently due to the city's economic condition.  Fortunately, through hard work, persistence, and tremendous philanthropic efforts, a number of Detroit's historic sites have been preserved and/or rebuilt.  This tour highlights six of the most significant historic sites in Detroit that are alive and well and looking forward to your visit!



Skip To…

Tour Map

Related Tours

Resources & Links



Battle of the Overpass -- Wayne State Walter PFord Rouge Factory [A]

Vicinity of Miller Road & Dix, Dearborn



Henry Ford's creation of this monsterous manufacturing complex ushered in an age of tremendous American manufacturing might.  By 1927, the Rouge Factory had become the largest manufacturing facility in the world and a symbol of industrial strength and ingenuity.  The facility not only paved the way for the expansion of the auto industry, but it was also the site of the historic Battle of the Overpass which resulted in the emergence of the powerful United Auto Workers.  Ford gave new life to the aging Rouge complex with a top-to-bottom overhaul initiated in 2000.  The company spent three years and $2 billion turning the Rouge into a world-class and environmentally responsible manufacturing gem.  The improvements include state-of-the-art manufacturing flexibility and the world's largest ecologically inspired living roof.




Fort Wayne 2 -- The Detroit NewsFort Wayne [B]

6325 West Jefferson Avenue, Detroit



Hard to imagine war with Canada!  Not in the 1840s, however, when tensions ran high with our British-controlled neighbor to the north and Detroiters demanded a stronghold to protect them from attack.  The threat of war with Canada eventually faded, but the importance of the Fort increased.  Fort Wayne played major roles in the Civil War and both World Wars.  The Fort is open to the public on weekends only, so make sure to plan accordingly.





Ste. Anne de Detroit [C]

1000 Ste. Anne St., Detroit



Construction of the original Ste. Anne Roman Catholic Church began a mere two days after Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac's landing in Detroit in 1701.  Due to fires and urban renewal, Ste. Anne's was re-built eight times in its history.  The present Ste. Anne's located near the Ambassador Bridge was completed in 1887.  Ste. Anne's is the second oldest parish in the country with an unbroken history, founded 75 years before the United States of America came into existence, and is the sole operating entity that dates to Detroit's founding.  The church's historical records are considered highly significant and comprehensively document Detroit's evolution from a French settlement to a British-claimed territory to a U.S. city.


Campus Martius 2 -- The Detroit News


Campus Martius [D]

Intersection of Woodward and Monroe



A fire devastated the city of Detroit in 1805, and the rebuilding process began in Campus Martius.  The intersection of Woodward and Monroe was designated the City's "Point of Origin", from which a new street grid was developed.  With the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Monument serving as a marker, the park became the center of a bustling downtown area and a major gathering place for citizens.  By the 1960s, Campus Martius was no longer vibrant as the city rezoned the area to accommodate increased downtown traffic and shifted the focal point of the city to Hart Plaza.  But, after a long hiatus, Campus Martius Park is back -- and in a big way!  In 1999, the City initiated redevelopment of the park with the goal of creating the best public space in the world.  The first phase of this project opened in late 2004 and includes sculptures, spectacular lighted fountains, a seasonal ice skating rink, and two entertainment stages.  The park is anchored by the new Compuware office center which complete with a spectacular 16-story atrium, a waterfall, and retail and dining amenities.

Hitsville U



Motown Historical Museum [E]

2648 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit



In 1959, upstart Detroit songwriter and record producer Berry Gordy Jr. purchased a humble two story home, moving his family into one half and setting up a studio in the other.  He christened it "Hitsville U.S.A.", and from this building grew Motown from a startup business to what became by the mid-70s the largest independent record company in the world.  Motown expanded its operation by acquiring some of the homes adjacent to Hitsville U.S.A., which today house the Motown Historical Museum.  Among the many displays, visitors are treated to a tour of the studio where Motown greats such as Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Diana Ross and the Supremes, and the Jackson Five actually recorded their hits.


Piquette Plant 2

Ford Piquette Plant - Birthplace of the Model T [F]

411 Piquette Avenue, Detroit



This 66,000 square foot factory was the proving ground for the moving assembly line and birthplace of the Model T, the car that would change the world.  Otherwise known as Tin Lizzie, the Model T was designed and developed by Henry Ford and a small group of dedicated engineers in a secure third floor room inside this plant located on Piquette Avenue just east of Detroit's New Center area.   The factory assembled nearly 12,000 Model Ts between 1908 and 1910 before Ford opened his Highland Park Model T facility.  There, the assembly line technique was improved and another 12 million Tin Lizzies produced.  Tours of the Piquette Plant are offered periodically and for special events.


Tour Map

Number of Destinations:  6

Overall Tour Time:  1 day (includes extended stops or tours at one or two of the sites)



Historic Sites





Click Me to Rent a Car!!!

Related Tours

African American Heritage

Architectural Tours

Automotive Heritage


Ethnic Neighborhoods

Forgotten Landmarks

Historic Hines Drive

Mansions & Great Estates


Woodward Avenue Scenic Tours

Resources & Links


Michigan Historical Markers

National Register of Historic Places



Back to Top

Home Page



Copyright © 2005-2011 SEK Inc.