Local History Photos

1895 plat map of Ann Arbor


1895 plat map of Ann Arbor

Detail of an 1895 plat map of Ann Arbor shows the subdivision established by Olivia Hall.



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Rights Held by: Image Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Historical Society


The Orpheum


The Orpheum

J. Fred Wuerth's Orpheum at 326 South Main Street was Ann Arbor's first theater built for movies, though it included vaudeville acts when it opened in 1913. In the next two years the Arcade opened on North University and the tiny Rae on West Huron. Wuerth then expanded his holdings by building a new business block next door to the Orpheum. His clothing shop was in the front with another movie theater—the Wuerth—across the rear, reached from Main Street by an arcade of small shops. The two theaters were at right angles to each other, sharing backstage space as well as one theater organ. When they both closed in 1957, the Orpheum was remodeled into a store and both buildings were covered with expanded metal mesh screening. The facade of the Orpheum (later Gratzi's restaurant) was renovated in 1985, but the original front of Wuerth's office building remained covered until 2005.


Article Keywords: Businesses, Films, Gratzi (Restaurant), Movie Theaters, Movies, Orpheum Theater, Theater, Vaudeville
Places: 326 S Main St

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Rights Held by: Image Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Historical Society


Dr. Eliza Mosher


Dr. Eliza Mosher

Angell persuaded Dr. Eliza Mosher, one of the Medical School's earliest women graduates, to leave her prosperous medical practice and become the first dean of women in 1895. As professor of hygiene, she was the first female faculty member and a strong believer in exercise for women.


People: Eliza M. Mosher

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Rights Held by: Image Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Historical Society


Ann Arbor High School


Ann Arbor High School

Like the Clark School, the Union School attracted many students from outside Ann Arbor.


Article Keywords: Ann Arbor High School, Ann Arbor Public Schools - Buildings, Ann Arbor Union School

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Rights Held by: Image Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Historical Society


Bertha Muehlig


Bertha Muehlig

Several of Ann Arbor's smaller-scale businesses remained in the same family for generations. Florian C. Muehlig founded a funeral business that continues today. His son Andrew Muehlig ran a successful hardware business. Andrew's daughter Bertha Muehlig began working in 1891 at age seventeen as a bookkeeper for Philip Bach's dry goods store. In 1911 she bought the business and ran it until her death in 1956. Loyal customers depended on her to stock hard-to-find, old-fashioned items such as "Tillie Open Bottoms" (women's long underwear).


People: Bertha E. Muehlig

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Rights Held by: Image Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Historical Society


Charles & Alva Sink


Charles & Alva Sink

Charles A. Sink became secretary of UMS upon graduating from UM in 1904. By 1927 he was named UMS president, a post he held with great distinction until 1968. He and his wife, Alva Gordon Sink, often entertained visiting musical artists at their home on Olivia Street.


People: Alva Gordon Sink, Charles A. Sink

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Rights Held by: Image Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Historical Society


William E. Brown, Jr.


William E. Brown, Jr.

Energetic and engaging businessman William E. Brown, Jr. was first elected mayor in 1945. Vowing to "run the town like a business," Brown worked tirelessly, doubling the size of the city to encourage new housing and "clean" industries. He solved downtown's growing parking problem by introducing parking meters that then helped pay for the country's first municipal parking structure—still standing at First and Washington.

Mayor Brown was re-elected five times, by ever-increasing majorities.


People: William E. Brown Jr

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Rights Held by: Image Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Historical Society


J. Fred Wuerth


J. Fred Wuerth

In early 1929 J. Fred Wuerth was the first to recognize the importance of "talkies." He figured the cost of the new sound equipment would be offset by eliminating live entertainment. Other theaters had to scramble to catch up.


People: J. Frederick Wuerth

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Rights Held by: Image Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Historical Society


Henry Simmons Frieze


Henry Simmons Frieze

Much beloved professor of Latin, Henry Simmons Frieze served three times as acting president. A gifted musician, he founded the University Musical Society and collected classical works of art that formed the beginning of what grew into the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

Bentley Image Bank: BL003648


People: Henry Simmons Frieze

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Rights Held by: Image Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Historical Society


Mary Clark


Mary Clark

The most important of the early schools was begun in 1839 by Miss Mary Clark with her sisters Chloe and Roby, who had all been educated at the Willard School in Troy, New York. Young ladies from throughout southeast Michigan, New York, and Ohio were attracted to the school by Miss Clark's promise of a "thorough and polite" education where students were encouraged to think independently. The school closed in 1875 after Mary's death.

A recognized authority on botany, Miss Clark took her students on weekly excursions to collect and catalog native wildflowers.


People: Mary Clark

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Rights Held by: Image Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Historical Society