Our use of the name The Detroit Times is hardly original. In fact, publications bearing that same name have appeared in Detroit numerous times throughout the years. The first appeared in 1842, when a man named Warren Isham published an anti-slavery sheet-type publication. The paper lasted less than a year, but in 1854 another Detroit Times arrived. That one bounced from one publisher to another until 1856, when it ceased publication. In 1881, a third Detroit Times hit the streets, but it too lasted less than a year. A fourth version of The Detroit Times arrived in 1883, and was created in a building at 47 West Larned Street. Fire soon destroyed the printing plant, and though the paper was able to survive temporarily, it eventually was suspended in 1885.
The fifth version began publishing in 1890 when James Scripps (owner of the Detroit News) set out to prove the point that he could profit by creating a paper and selling it for a penny a copy. He did it for 18 months, proved his point, and ultimately absorbed the Times into the News.
The sixth, and most significant, version of the Times began publishing in 1900 and remained until 1960. William Randolph Hearst purchased it in 1921, at which time it was located in a small building at 131 Bagley. With Hearst as the owner, the Times became the fastest-growing paper in the city, competing head-to-head-to-head with the city's other two papers, the News and the Free Press. At its peak, the Times sold nearly a half-million copies a day. Hearst moved the company to a state-of-the-art building in what is now called the Times Square area downtown. Eventually, the Times lost its battle with the News and Free Press, and its final edition was printed on Nov. 6, 1960. The building was later demolished.
In an effort to sound "all professional like", the Kage has taken on the more conventional sounding name of The Detroit Times. New name, same mission, at least we think. Not sure what the mission was in the first place, really. All we know is that, after wandering, biking or People Mover-ing around Detroit, the Kage was a place to post a few notes, describe what we found, and continue in our efforts to get Dave to use the Internet. And so The Times presses forward, not looking for anything in particular, or anywhere in particular, because you never know where you might find:
• a bar that's been serving beers since the 1800s
• a new park just a short walk from the RenCen
• a statue with a really cool story
• or a homeless guy wearing a U-M hat
• or any other non-news that would fit in our content spaces
Why was it ever called the Kage? That's still a secret. And just for the record, we still think slavery is bad.