Detroit – Eastern Market
The Eastern Market is the largest historic public market district in the United States and was home to one of the largest Italian communities in Michigan which encompassed the area surrounding the market and extended northeast up Gratiot Avenue into the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood. Over the years all of the Italians have moved out of the neighborhood, yet dozens of Italian owned businesses, most prominently produce companies, still thrive in the market today.
It was home to the original San Francesco Church, the Italian Baptist Church of Our Savior, the First Italian Presbyterian Church, the nearby Church of the Holy Family of the former “Little Sicily” neighborhood, two Italian language newspapers, including The Italian Tribune which is still in operation 113 years later, Roma Cafe, which was founded in 1890 and was one of the longest running Italian restaurants in the United States which closed in 2017 after 127 years in operation, along with countless Italian societies, shops and restaurants. The popular Italian-American vocal group “The Gaylords”, best known for their songs “Tell Me You’re Mine” and “The Little Shoemaker”, was formed by residents of the neighborhood, Bonaldo Bonaldi and Ronald Fredianelli, in 1947.