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Vernors Sign – Cool Place to Visit in Detroit #1


Vernors Sign – In fall of 2015 the City of Detroit demolished a building on Detroit’s west side. The demolition was part of a program to remove blighted commercial buildings throughout Detroit. To everyone’s surprise, what was exposed on the building adjacent to the one that was razed was a 40+ year old Vernors sign that reads “Drink Vernor’s Ginger Ale, mellowed 4 years in wood.”

Why is the Vernors Sign in Detroit A Cool Place to visit?

Vernor's Sign - Detroit Michigan

Image courtesy of ColinDetroit.com

The Vernors sign is a well-preserved piece of history of the Vernors company in the City of Detroit that dates back to Civil War times (late 1800s).

According to the Vernor’s website:

Without the Civil War, There Would be No Vernors. Before the conflict began, James Vernor, a Detroit pharmacist, had concocted a new drink. When Vernor was called off to war in 1862, he stored the secret mixture in an oak cask in his pharmacy. After returning from battle four years later, he opened his secret keg and found the drink inside had been transformed.

Upon his return from serving 4 years with the 4th Michigan Cavalry in the Civil War, James Vernor sold his first bottle of Vernor’s Ginger Ale in 1866. In fact, it holds the title as the oldest soft drink in America!

Vernor’s is a highly carbonated drink that is not only sold for the great taste but also for its medicinal purposes. Vernors is commonly used to cure stomachaches and often mixed with lemon to ease sore throats. Many (to include me) heat up Vernor’s and sip it on a cold Michigan winter night.

Vernor’s is often poured into vanilla ice cream to make what is known as a “Boston Cooler”. An iconic Michigan dessert. The Name hails from Detroit’s historic Boston Boulevard located in central Detroit.

I am sure many of us have heard of “Jack and Coke” which is a Jack Daniels mixed with Coca-Cola. How about “Jack and Ginger”? Jack Daniels mixed with Vernors Ginger Ale.  If not, give it a taste (21 and older please).

Where is the Vernors Sign Located in Detroit?

The Vernors sign is located on the 7500 block of West McNichols on Detroit’s west side.

Be sure to check out Detroit Opera House – Cool Places to See In Detroit #2

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