Event, Memorial Day Parade

Sons of Union Veterans Memorial Day Ceremony

In Wayne and Monroe Counties, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is represented by the Sgt. John S. Cosbey Camp 427. This group assists families in researching and ordering headstones for Civil War veterans, and helps to organize dedication ceremonies for these veterans once their headstones are placed. They also participate in many community events, including parades and award ceremonies for Eagle Scouts and JROTC Cadets.

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5th, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans- the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR)- established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Civil War dead with flowers. It was directed that this event be held on May 30th each year. After World War I, the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday and was placed on the last Monday of May. Even though it is still often called Decoration Day, to honor the history of GAR the SUVCW continues to celebrate the original Decoration Day on May 30th with various ceremonies and dedications nationwide.

Each year this group hosts a community event at the Museum’s Commandant’s Quarters. We hope you will join us for this historic event this May to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

collection, Memorial Day Parade, Model T

Dearborn Tradition

May is almost over and you know what that means; the Dearborn Memorial Day Parade is almost here! This year is Dearborn’s 89th Memorial Day Parade and is the longest running Memorial Day Parade in Michigan.
For years, the Dearborn Historical Museum has taken part in this Dearborn tradition by driving the Model Ts down Michigan Avenue and waving to all the celebrating Dearbornites.

And this year is going to be no different!

To make this happen means putting in some extra work. Keeping the museum’s Model Ts safe, means not driving them around needlessly in our unpredictable Michigan weather. But as anyone with a car can tell you, letting the car sit for too long can cause all sorts of problems. That’s where our intrepid volunteer Tom Saroglia comes in.

"When gas sits too long it rots. You can smell it!"
“When gas sits too long it rots. You can smell it!”

Tom’s job today is performing general maintenance on the museum’s Model Ts and get them in tip-top performance for the parade. The most important job he will do today is changing out the old gas already in the engines with new gas.

The problem with old gas is that it gets thick and gunky. This is caused by oxidation– air gets into the fuel and changes the nature of the gas. This gunk can block up the fuel lines, the carburetor, filters, anywhere the gas travels there is a potential for blockage. Old gas can not only cause a car to run poorly, but can stop it altogether if left untreated.

Thank goodness Tom is here to make sure this doesn’t happen!

When asked about how he likes working on the Model Ts, Tom replied “They built this car for the common man; just some farmer who could have it in his backyard and tinker with it. It’s a simple car. It’s a wonderful car! If kept up, it’ll run forever!”

Hard at work
Hard at work

With Tom’s help and volunteers like him, it’s our hope here at the Dearborn Historical Museum that our Model Ts will run forever so that we can take part in the great Dearborn tradition: the Memorial Day Parade!