Among articles called out in the recent “Proposed Fourth and Fifth Avenues Historic District Study” is Grace Shackman’s Old West Side Story: The Germans in Ann Arbor. In this article, Grace carefully traces the longstanding German influence, back to 1825 when Mannheim baker Conrad Bissinger apparently became the first German to set foot in town. Reading this article, you can see why some people want an historic district that might include Bethlehem United Church of Christ and nearby historic homes. Click here to read a news story from AnnArbor.com. The actual report about the proposed historic district is here.
Lola Jones and Carol Gibson are well-known to anyone familiar with Ann Arbor history. Over the past 30 years they have sought out and documented the history of the African American experience in Ann Arbor through a series of projects under the moniker Another Ann Arbor; it is largely through their work that the Ann Arbor African American story is a part of our shared community identity. Lola and Carol stopped by the library to talk with us one day about the work they have done over the years and where they are headed next. They shared with us some of the interesting people and events they have learned about and brought to the community in their television program, their documentaries, and their book.
You can now watch one of their documentaries online at aadl.org in our video collection. A Woman's Town was produced in 1991 and tells the story of Ann Arbor through the voices of prominent African American women.
How can you preserve and protect precious photographs so that memories may last for future generations? Learn how to protect your personal mementos with local experts. Dianna Samuelson of the Bentley Historical Library will explain how to preserve and restore photographs, while George Borel Jr. of Huron Camera Shop will give information on what can be done digitally to repair photos. Get a head start by checking out these books on photography and some on digital preservation.
In the 1890s, electric mass transportation flourished in Washtenaw County, yet suddenly became extinct after only a few decades. What made this mode of transportation so popular and why did it die so quickly? Find out when authors H. Mark Hildebrandt and Martha Churchill join us to discuss their new book, 'Electric Trolleys of Washtenaw County' on Wed. Dec. 2nd, 7 p.m., at the Downtown Library. This event will include a book signing and books will be on sale courtesy of Nicola's Books.
Founded in 1857, Forest Hill is Ann Arbor's oldest cemetery, rich in history and remarkably colorful this time of year. Indeed, it's a perfect time for an interpretive tour of the graveyard with local historian Wystan Stevens, who leads groups through the grounds with stories of Ann Arbor's history every Sunday from Oct. 4 - Nov. 8 starting at 2pm. Be sure to catch him this time around, for Stevens will end his popular 30 year tradition this year. The tours are $10 for adults and free for children, and they begin at the cemetery gate on Observatory, north of Geddes. Additional information is available at 734.662.5438. For a further glimpse into the lore of Michigan's past, try the books Ann Arbor Area Ghosts, and Ghost Towns of Michigan.
Find out the history of the city around you with this collection of over 130 local history articles published in the Ann Arbor Observer. The articles (many written by renowned local historian and author Grace Shackman) describe everything in Ann Arbor, from its churches to its shops to its gardens. Articles are illustrated by a large collection of photographs from Ann Arbor's early days to its present days.