Post Number: 49
|Posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 - 2:54 pm: || |
A good friend growing up, his dad worked at some place on the river that had seven smokestacks that they called sisters. went to a company picnic there once. He showed us how they take water or something from the river and how their filters cleaned out whatever was floating in. Interesting stuff
Post Number: 135
|Posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 - 3:22 pm: || |
I believe they were on the Conner Creek generating station. The plant burned coal, made steam and used the steam to generate electricity. It was part of the Detroit Edison company.
Post Number: 25
|Posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 - 3:24 pm: || |
I grew up with the view of the Seven Sisters and Two brothers out my bedroom window when I lived on the first block of Chalmers down by the canals. They were the exhaust chimney's of the Edison plant and were a fixture on the east side for decades. Not sure who gave them the moniker but it was gospel.
Post Number: 1421
|Posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 - 3:24 pm: || |
Here is a photo, courtesy of the WSU Virtual Motor City Collection.
Post Number: 15
|Posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 - 3:39 pm: || |
They were also used by pilots ( during WWII I believe)to help them line themselves up with the runways at Detroit City Airport. They were a well known landmark for airplanes back in the day, much like "9 mile Marker" (the high rise on 9 mile near the lake) is to ships on Lake St. Clair.
Post Number: 176
|Posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 - 3:59 pm: || |
They also left an impression on Frida Kahlo during her stay Here in Detroit.
Post Number: 681
|Posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 - 4:16 pm: || |
i always heard it as two brother + seven sister... maybe that was just my family's thing, though... (there were 9 smokestacks originally... but some were torn down a few years ago...)
Post Number: 6187
|Posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 - 4:24 pm: || |
Most of the east side folks I have ever known have referred it as "the 7 sisters and 2 brothers".
It was reminiscent of the great smoke stacks of a giant ocean liner...
Sadly the older 7 sisters were torn down about 2 decades ago.
Post Number: 246
|Posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 - 4:28 pm: || |
I thought they demolished them in the mid 90's
Post Number: 1002
|Posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 - 5:13 pm: || |
Raptor56 is correct. August 10, 1996 was the implosion date....
Post Number: 2721
|Posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 - 5:16 pm: || |
Here's a link to Lowell's webisode on this subject:
Post Number: 136
|Posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 - 5:49 pm: || |
What were they ?
They were beautiful!
Post Number: 2262
|Posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 - 7:41 pm: || |
HA! Just like the soon to be built Cadillac Centre--nobody really likes the look of smoke stacks, but you learn to love them and they grow on you...
Post Number: 19
|Posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 - 8:05 pm: || |
My dad used to call the stacks "The 7 sisters and the 2 sister-in-laws.
Post Number: 419
|Posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 - 10:43 pm: || |
In the days pre-radar, mariners used to use the 7 sisters (and later their two brothers, or two ugly step-sisters) to get a bearing when crossing Lake Saint Clair and lining up with the entrance to the Detroit River. As built, the 7 (and later 9) stacks sat directly on a north-south line, which probably helped those City Airport pilots.
I believe the Conners Creek generating station, as it is today, is used as a peaker plant, coming on-line during the summer when demand is at its peak. It can also be used in the event that another generation plant needs to be shut down.
Post Number: 1423
|Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 6:45 am: || |
The link I provided above is to a 1938 photo of the original power plant.
Here is an aerial view from the DTE/WSU collection that was taken in 1981 showing the original power plant with the seven stacks plus the newer plant with the two stacks:
Here is a recent aerial from Google Maps showing the remaining plant with the two stacks:
Post Number: 22
|Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 11:51 am: || |
Anyone hear of a pastry called 7 sisters? A seven layered, dry, chocolate covered cake.
Post Number: 3
|Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 2:21 pm: || |
Also called simply 7 layer cake...and it's delicious. My favorite comes from the Star Bakery, but it can be easily found in Hamtramck.
Post Number: 178
|Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 4:37 pm: || |
And the 7 bothers can be found there as well
Post Number: 386
|Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 5:59 pm: || |
My dead father used to manage Conners Creek in the 60's. He took me on a tour in the massive loud plant. He ended up carrying me on his shoulders.
As an exercise, for Detroit Edison, my father was asked if he could develop a method for bringing the plant up from a cold start. They shut down the whole system. My father then had his team load up the boilers with tons of kerosene soaked railroad ties. (I think it was in the boilers...it may have been in another section) The whole process took 18 hours. Dad was really proud of this accomplishment. Detroit Edison recorded this process for emergency use.
Post Number: 119
|Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 8:24 pm: || |
My father told me that my grandfather worked on digging the foundation for the Seven Sisters power station.
He said that it took two guys on a shovel, one to hold it in place while the other pounded it in to the hard clay with a sludge hammer.
Post Number: 230
|Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 1:56 am: || |
even as a westsider i remember them, silas got me thinking of all the hard work that went into building all them old factories,power plants , etc.
Post Number: 3562
|Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 5:37 pm: || |
The Conners Creek power plant was built during 1913-1915, but its construction and the installation of boilers and generators was delayed by the war, with the final generator installation in 1920. Upon its completion, it had doubled the generating capacity of the Detroit Edison company. There were 14 steam boilers, two per stack. The stacks were 352 feet tall, 17 feet in diameter. Not only were they the tallest structures in Detroit at the time, but the tallest smokestacks in the world.
The plant went through a major rebuild during the 1930s, and the expansion which added the two extra stacks took place from 1949-1951.
For Silas, this description of the foundation preparation is from Raymond Miller's "Kilowatts at Work", an early history of the Detroit Edison company:
The site chosen was the low swamp and flood land at the mouth of the small creek from which the name came. The harbor line was several hundred feet from the apparent shore of the river, with the ground between under three to five feet of water. The original twenty-eight acres of the site were purchased in November, 1913 at a mere $3086.97 per acre. A series of subsequent purchases, the most important of them in 1929, more than doubled the area to sixty-six acres and increased the average price for the total to $10,258.95 per acre.
The test bores revealed a subsoil structure similar to that which had made Delray such a problem. Rock was as much as 125 feet below the surface. The adopted solution to the problem proved reasonably satisfactory but quite expensive. Piles, forty to forty-five feet in length, were driven into the ground so close together that they were nearly touching; they were cut off at the water line to prevent rotting. On top of them a monolithic slab of reinforced concrete was poured: a one hundred foot mixing tower gave a continuous flow of concrete to create a solid stone mat of six and one-half to seven feet in thickness. An awe-struck Detroit noted that this demanded 9,000 piles, 23,000 yards of concrete, and 1,257 tons of reinforcing steel.
Post Number: 3563
|Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 8:51 pm: || |
The Seven Sisters, flood-lighted for Light's Golden Jubilee, honoring Thomas Edison and 50 years of electric lighting, October 1929:
Post Number: 1422
|Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 8:54 pm: || |
To make it short and sweet, the Seven Sisters were around Conner and Jefferson.
Post Number: 3564
|Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 9:22 pm: || |
Here are two photos of the new boiler house (the one that still remains, with the two brothers on top) while under construction in 1950. The two generators to be installed will triple the capacity of the existing plant.