Nike Missile Site D-87

The Commerce / Union Lake area was home to a cold war relic: Nike missile defense base D-87. The base was one of 14 built in the mid 50's as part of the Detroit Defense Area, which was tasked with stopping Soviet Bombers from striking the industrial center of the Midwest.

The base consisted of two main parts: the IFC (Integrated Fire Control) area and the rocket assembly & launching area. The launcher buildings and pads were demolished in 1994, but the barracks, administration, and some of the radar buildings remained.

D-87 started operation in January of 1955 with a compliment of 30 AJAX missiles. The site was upgraded in 1959 to accommodate the newer Hercules missiles, which had superior flight capabilities and could be armed with an atomic warhead. The base was deactivated in 1974 as advancements in bomber technology and treaty obligations had made the Nike network obsolete. At some point the launchers were filled in with cement to keep people out.

In 1984 the base was turned into a camp for the Michigan Department of National Resources called Camp Proud Lake. Sometime after 2002 the former base became a day camp and an alternative juvenile offenders program. The site was vacated altogether in 2008 or 2009.

Several of the buildings were damaged by a suspicious fire in June of 2010. Commerce Township bought the land from the Michigan Department of National Resources for $2.8 million dollars in 2011, and demolished the structures in 2012.