Most people decorate their lawn for Halloween just one month out of the year. But in 1905, one Detroit man created a year-round stone altar dedicated to Beelzebub in front of his modest home at 308 Stanton Avenue. Herman Menz, an immigrant stonecutter, announced that he was dedicated to his true friend, Satan, and he added carved words declaring that man made the gods — not the other way around — on the altar’s base. He topped it with a carved half-devil, half-gargoyle that scowled down at passersby in a menacing way.
The good people of Detroit objected strenuously, pitching rocks and garbage at the statue. The newspapers covered the fracas in detail and quoted Menz as saying, “You say you will knock its head off, hey? Well let them hurt my – my image … I will make the city pay for it.” News articles continued to keep the outrage alive with headlines such as “Menz is making more devils.”
Menz, a former Episcopalian, said he inherited his “unorthodox opinions” from his father. The statue stayed on his lawn for several years until a Belle Isle amusement park bought it for a bridge decoration.
Linda writes: If anyone knows where it is I would love to know.
From “Strange Michigan; More Wolverine Weirdness,” Trails Books, 2008.