A few days ago we spoke with Carol Mull, a local historian of the Underground Railroad. Carol talked about her upcoming book on the Underground Railroad in Michigan and her work with the Michigan Freedom Trail Commission. She also spoke about some of the gems she found in The Signal of Liberty, a 19th century abolitionist newspaper published in Ann Arbor. On Saturday, October 17, Carol will be on hand at the launch event for The Signal of Liberty online. A related bus tour of local stops on the Underground Railroad will take place Sunday, October 18 at 2:00.
On Sunday, October 18, from 2-5:00 p.m., the African American Cultural & Historical Museum (AACHM) will host a special "Journey to Freedom" bus tour. This popular tour of historical points of interest on the Underground Railroad--an official tour of the National Park Service--is led by Deborah Meadows of the AACHM. The bus departs from the front of the Industrial Technology Building on the campus of Washtenaw Community College, 4800 E. Huron Drive. (map) and tickets are $15. To reserve a seat, call 734-476-3158 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. This special tour accompanies the launch of The Signal of Liberty online, Saturday, October 17, from 2-4:00 p.m.
Join us at the Traverwood branch on Saturday, October 17, 2-4:00 p.m. to help us launch the online version of Ann Arbor's Signal of Liberty newspaper. The full text of this abolitionist newspaper, published in Ann Arbor in the 1840s, will be available online for the first time. Carol Mull, local historian of the Underground Railroad in Michigan, will be on hand at the launch to talk about some of the unique content in the Signal of Liberty and its role in her research; and Library staff will demonstrate browsing and full text access to over 12,000 articles and 312 issues of the newspaper. This project was done in partnership with the Bentley Historical Library and Digital Library Productions Services.
City staff prepared a 32-page Report briefing City Council on the options to consider in responding to the order by the Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality regarding Argo Dam. City Council reviewed the report at a Sept. 8 public work session. The session will be replayed tonight Friday, Sept. 11 at 7:30 p.m. on CTN Channel 16.
Otto’s Band used to help Ann Arbor celebrate Labor Day, marching from downtown to Schwaben Park at Madison and Fifth for a picnic for labor union members. Starting around 1875 and continuing for about 50 years, this fascinating band drummed up enthusiasm by marching in parades, playing at dances, giving concerts, and sending soldiers off to war. Once the band became professional, participants became the first local members of the musicians’ union. Among other honors was being the first to play the U-M fight song, “The Victors.” Read all about the band in Ann Arbor Observer Then and Now.
Peter "Madcat" Ruth, a world-class harmonica player who's lived and played in Ann Arbor for over 30 years, celebrated his 60th birthday last April. We had the privilege of talking with Madcat about his varied career, which included lessons from Chicago blues harmonica legend Big Walter Horton; touring with Dave Brubeck; inventing the Madcat harmonica microphone; and winning a Grammy for his solo performance in Songs of Innocence and Experience. Madcat also reminisces about playing the many lost music venues in Ann Arbor and treats us with his signature harmonica rendition of "Take Five".
In celebration of the 50th Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, AADL brings you an interview with the only artist whose art has appeared in every fair, JT Abernathy. Fresh off a recent successful show at the Clay Gallery, JT sat down with us and Stan Baker, another Ann Arbor pottery great and former student of JT's, to talk about his career and how pottery is different from half a century ago. Stan and JT gives us a good look at how they think about their work and how their 30-year relationship has shaped them as artists.
Local musician Mark Lincoln Braun, aka Mr. B, is celebrating his 30th year playing street boogie-woogie piano as part of the original Ann Arbor Street Art Fair. We talked recently with Mr. B about his memories of art fairs past; his musical influences; and his most recent venture, Mr. B's Joybox Express, a 125-mile bike ride he began July 13 for charity, riding a special bike designed to haul his piano. You'll find Mr. B playing every day during the art fair, Wednesday, July 15 through Saturday, July 18, on North University near Ingalls Mall.
Curious about a building in your neighborhood? Check the Ann Arbor Architecture Archive to learn the history of the buildings around us. This gallery of images and text about Ann Arbor's historic structures includes the full text of Historic Buildings Ann Arbor, Michigan by Marjorie Reade and Susan Wineberg.