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Detroit in Wayne County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Ossian Sweet House / Dr. Ossian Sweet

 
 
Ossian Sweet House / Dr. Ossian Sweet Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, May 5, 2021
1. Ossian Sweet House / Dr. Ossian Sweet Marker
Side 1
Inscription.  
Ossian Sweet House
African American physician Ossian Sweet and his wife, Gladys, purchased this house in May 1925. When the Sweets moved into their home on September 8, white residents who objected to blacks moving into the neighborhood formed a crowd on the street. The next day hundreds of people converged on the corner of Charlevoix and Garland Streets intent on driving the Sweets from their home. The mob threw rocks and bricks at the house while the Sweets and nine others took refuge inside. In the evening shots rang out and a white man was killed. The police charged the people inside the Sweet house with murder. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People hired attorney Clarence Darrow, who argued that people, regardless of their race, have a right to protect their homes.
Dr. Ossian Sweet
The murder trial of Dr. Ossian Sweet, his wife, Gladys, and nine others was one of the most celebrated cases in Detroit’s legal history. The Honorable Frank Murphy, a future Michigan governor and U.S. Supreme Court justice, presided, and eminent attorney Clarence Darrow defended. The trial
Ossian Sweet House / Dr. Ossian Sweet Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, May 5, 2021
2. Ossian Sweet House / Dr. Ossian Sweet Marker
Side 2
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ended in a hung jury with the judge declaring a mistrial. Sweet’s brother Henry was tried separately and acquitted. After the trial, Ossian returned to the medical practice he had started in 1921 following graduation from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and study in Vienna, Austria. His wife and daughter died of tuberculosis in 1926. In 1929 Sweet co-founded Good Samaritan Hospital, which became a tuberculosis hospital in 1936. Ossian Sweet lived in this house until 1944. He died in 1960.
 
Erected 2004 by Michigan Historical Commission - Michigan Historical Center. (Marker Number S461.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil Rights. In addition, it is included in the Michigan Historical Commission series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1925.
 
Location. 42° 22.211′ N, 82° 59.06′ W. Marker is in Detroit, Michigan, in Wayne County. Marker is at the intersection of Charlevoix Street and Charlevoix Street, on the right when traveling west on Charlevoix Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2905 Garland St, Detroit MI 48214, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Pewabic Pottery / Mary Chase Perry Stratton (approx. 0.6 miles away); Eastern Liggett School / Detroit Waldorf School (approx. ¾ mile away);
Ossian Sweet House NRHP Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, May 5, 2021
3. Ossian Sweet House NRHP Marker
The Ossian Sweet House was added to the National Register of Historic Places April 4, 1985.
Indian Village (approx. 0.9 miles away); St. Anthony Church (approx. 1.8 miles away); Police Radio Dispatch (approx. 2.1 miles away); Alpheus S. Williams (approx. 2.2 miles away); Detroit Spanish American War Monument (approx. 2.2 miles away); Ransom Eli Olds (approx. 2.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Detroit.
 
Also see . . .  Encyclopedia of Detroit. Excerpt:
In 1925, Dr. Ossian Sweet, a prominent African American physician, purchased a home in an all-white Detroit neighborhood. The result was a mob scene, a murder charge, and a landmark lawsuit that helped define Detroit race relations.
(Submitted on May 11, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan.) 
 
Ossian Sweet House / Dr. Ossian Sweet Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, May 5, 2021
4. Ossian Sweet House / Dr. Ossian Sweet Marker
Intersection of Charlevoix and Garland as discussed on marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 12, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 11, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. This page has been viewed 39 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 11, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 16, 2021