The Bagley community is a hometown neighborhood in Northwest Detroit. The boundaries of the community are West Outer Drive to the north, Livernois Avenue to the east, West McNichols (Six Mile Road) to the south, and Wyoming Avenue to the west. The community is located just north of Marygrove College and is home to the famous Lou’s Deli located on Roselawn and 6 Mile road. Lou’s Deli serves the best corned beef sandwiches in Detroit.
The housing stock is older. Most of it built in the late 1920’s. There are beautiful brick two family and single family homes in the area. Many of the residents take great pride in their gardens and landscaping.
The community’s name is likely derived from cigar magnate, John Judson Bagley. Bagley Elementary School is the only public school located in the community. Bagley Street in downtown Detroit is also named for John J. Bagley. Bagley migrated to Michigan from New York. He was a very active political figure in Michigan. John J. Bagley served on the Detroit Common Council from 1860 to 1861, and was a member of the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners from 1865 to 1872. Bagley assisted in creating the Michigan Mutual Life Insurance Company. He served as president of Michigan Mutual from 1867-1872. He was also chairman of the Michigan Republican Party from 1868-1870 and eventually became Michigan’s sixteenth governor. He lived from July 24, 1832 – July 27, 1881. (1)
Late this past summer a majestic oak tree, which had been standing for many, many years, on Roselawn sustained severe storm damage. The homeowner, Diane Terrell was very attached to the tree which had been growing there for decades. It was a home to the squirrels in the neighborhood.
She contacted the Chainsaw Men of Michigan. Dr. Emil M. Szkipala is a renowned chiseler. He was born in Romania and is a student of fine arts and woodcarving. More information about him and his extraordinary craft can be found at www.treecarvings.com.
Dr. Szkipala created Zoey the squirrel who now resides on Roselawn and Santa Maria. The large squirrel figure is crafted from the majestic oak tree which had to be sacrificed because of storm damage. Local artist, David Petty added lacquer and a touch of color to the acorns at Zoey’s feet to create a masterpiece.
To say Zoey has created a stir in the neighborhood is an understatement. Longtime residents who usually drive the route have had to stop and back up to check out the carving. Many people are stopping to take photos. Many simply can’t believe their eyes when they see it!
In times when Detroit is getting bashed for its rundown neighborhoods and other problems, an addition such as this carving is truly a refreshing sight.