Uncovering Cranbrook: Two Pilgrimages to Kentish Cranbrook

Tuesday, March 28th 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Cranbrook Center Virtual Lecture
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304


Presented by Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research

$20 per viewer 
Tour will be Password-Protected 
Advance Registration is Required 

Lecturer and Pilgrim
Kevin Adkisson, Curator, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research 

Proceeds from this event support the educational programs and Archives initiatives of Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.


Join the Cranbrook Center as we explore two pilgrimages to the fascinating market town of Cranbrook in Kent, England—one in 1901 and the other in 2023—and the remarkable connections between the two Cranbrooks—all in anticipation of the Center’s gala fundraiser on May 20, 2023: A House Party at Two Cranbrooks.

In May of 1901, three residents of Detroit visited the small market town of Cranbrook, Kent, fifty miles southeast of London. George Gough Booth, his wife Ellen Scripps Booth, and his father Henry Wood Booth were on a pilgrimage back to the Booth family’s ancestral home. Since the late 18th century, the Booths had been coppersmiths in the town, the birthplace of both Henry in 1837 and his father, the first Henry Booth, in 1811. They were part of a rich community of clothmakers, hops growers, and religious dissenters. In 1844, seven-year-old Henry left Cranbrook with his father, stepmother, and siblings for new opportunities in North America.

The trip back to Cranbrook, Kent, in 1901 would have a lasting impact on the Booths. They returned to Michigan with stories of life in the town, photographs, and a copper teakettle from the Fennimore shop where the Booth men had worked. After George and Ellen purchased land outside of Detroit for a country estate in 1904, they not only named the estate Cranbrook, but continued to turn to Cranbrook, Kent, for inspiration for place names and design ideas for decades—even establishing an exchange program between the two Cranbrook Schools by the early 1930s.

In January 2023, Center Curator Kevin Adkisson made the same pilgrimage. As he walked the streets of this market town, he literally was following the footsteps of the Booths, even sleeping in same hotel, the 500-year-old George Hotel. In this Uncovering Cranbrook lecture, Kevin will share the story of the Booths in Cranbrook, Kent, and discuss the ways in which the two Cranbrooks—one in England and one in America—are interconnected. This lecture will share findings and images from Kevin’s research trip where he uncovered new information about the Booths before 1844 in the Cranbrook (Kent) Museum and Archives—information that sometimes contradicts long-standing narratives.


The Uncovering Cranbrook Lecture Series gives audiences an inside look at the many stories of Cranbrook from the staff of the Center for Collections and Research. The series highlights the people and personalities who helped shape our community and form the rich legacy of art, architecture, science, and education that define Cranbrook.

On the Friday prior to the program date, registered participants will receive an email with instructions on how to join this virtual experience. As this program benefits the operations of Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, we ask that you do not share the login link with others. Registrations are non-refundable. The program will begin promptly at 12:00pm and 7:00pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).
For additional information in advance of the program, please send an email to center@cranbrook.edu or call the Center at 248.645.3307. The Center’s Administrative Office is open Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 4:30pm.


Banner:  Cranbrook, Kent, today with the Union Windmill in the distance, 2023; Photography by Kevin Adkisson, Courtesy of Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.

St. Dunstan's Church, Cranbrook, Kent, England, 2023; Photography by Kevin Adkisson, Courtesy of Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.

Cranbrook Museum, Cranbrook, Kent, England, 2023; Photography by Kevin Adkisson, Courtesy of Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.

View looking down Stone Street, Cranbrook, Kent, England; Ellen Scripps Booth is standing on the left side of the street, February 1901; Courtesy of Cranbrook Archives, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.

Center Curator Kevin Adkisson in Cranbrook, Kent, today, matching Ellen Scripps Booth's 1901 photograph, 2023; Courtesy of Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.

Registration for this event has closed.