On this day in 1843 the Ontonagon Boulder was on display in Detroit. Hardware store owner Julius Eldred had purchased the gigantic mass of copper from the Chippewa Indians two years earlier, and with great difficulty transported the boulder from
Ontonagan to Detroit, where he charged 25 cents a head to see the rock. But after all of that work, U.S. Secretary of War James Porter claimed eminent domain over the famous copper boulder, and order it seized.
Eldred was allowed to display it for several weeks before it was packed up and shipped off to its new home in Washington DC at the Smithsonian Institution. But you could have seen the Ontonagon Boulder on this day in 1843 in the future Motor City.