Posts of interest to local history buffs, written by local history buffs!

Five women cook up some local history in 1899

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While testing the recipes in Ann Arbor Cooks you can savor an extra slice of Ann Arbor history: Several recipes, particularly within the 1899 Ann Arbor Cookbook, bear the names of prominent Ann Arbor citizens. On your next visit to Allmendinger Park you can take along Miss E. C. Allmendinger's Quince Tents; or you can enjoy Mrs. W. B. Hinsdale's Cream Puffs at the Broadway Park near the former intersection of 19th century Indian trails mentioned in her husband's book, The Indians of Washtenaw County. Mrs. Junius Beal probably whipped up her Marguerites at her home on the corner of 5th Avenue and William St., now the site of the Downtown library. Mrs. Samuel W. Beakes, whose husband wrote The Past and Present of Washtenaw County, baked Excellent Cocoanut Cookies, and Mrs. Frank Kelsey actually makes Prune Pudding sound...ok.

The names Allmendinger, Hinsdale, Beal, Beakes and Kelsey are frequently cited within the text and image collections of The Ann Arbor Observer: Then & Now, Ann Arbor Founders, The Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit and The Making of Ann Arbor.

AADL Productions Podcast: Grace Shackman

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Last week we had the opportunity to talk with local historian, author and teacher, Grace Shackman, about how Ann Arbor has changed over the years. Throughout the discussion, Grace looks back at articles she's written; how she got her start writing about Ann Arbor history; the importance of preserving local landmarks; and her memories of early Ann Arbor art fairs. Over 130 of Grace's articles are featured in Ann Arbor Observer: Then & Now, a new website with full text searching and browsing access to articles on local history from the Ann Arbor Observer.

The Ann Arbor Observer: Then & Now

Ann Arbor Observer: Then & NowAnn Arbor Observer: Then & Now

This Wednesday, June 24, we'll be launching Ann Arbor Observer: Then & Now, a new site with searching and browsing access to over 130 full-text articles on local history written for the Ann Arbor Observer over the past three decades by local historian and author, Grace Shackman. Stop by for a demonstration of the site, refreshments, and a lively discussion by Grace and Observer editor, John Hilton, at 7:00 p.m. in the Downtown lower level Multi-Purpose Room.

Fifty Years of Books and Authors

Since about 1958, a lively local book group -- under the umbrella of the U-M Faculty Women's Club -- has been reading favorite books and meeting to discuss them. Several years ago members hosted Peter Ho Davies, and last night, Michael Byers, author of Long for this World, who even received a copy of the group's 1958-2009 reading list to take home with him. For an idea of this group's tastes, visit LibraryThing.

AADL Blogs

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I’m sure many aadl.org visitors are familiar with the staff written blogs that show up on the main catalog page. If you don’t wish to read through them all and just want to read ones on music, magazines, or perhaps movies, with a few clicks you can. Blogs are accessible on various pages of aadl.org, under Services, Events, Research, etc. (You can also see a refined list by clicking on the blog’s categories.) Did you know there is a Local History blog and a Developer’s blog? Have a peek! Here is a quick list of the blogs, with a quick link so you can easily RSS them and stay on top of AADL and community happenings.

Sidney Fine, who taught history at UM for 53 years, has died

Sidney FineSidney Fine

Beloved historian Sidney Fine, who taught at the University of Michigan for 53 years, died Tuesday at the age of 88. Professor Fine is thought to have held the longest active teaching career in UM history, teaching over 26,000 over the course of his career before he retired in 2001. Read more about Mr. Fine on wikipedia and his obituary in the Detroit Free Press.

The first piano in Ann Arbor

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(Submitted by Wystan Stevens)

This is the house where little Lucy Ann Clark (later Mrs. Judge James Kingsley) played the piano that made the Potawatomi Indians dance. (Her instrument was the first piano in Ann Arbor, and the first west of Detroit in Michigan Territory.) The site of this house is now the outdoor area of the Downtown Home and Garden store, on Ashley at Liberty. In the left background of the photo is a building on First Street with a lot of lettering on its walls. Can anyone make out what the lettering says. (Click on the photo for a larger view.)

"Sometimes when Miss Clark played, the Indians would lurk around the door and windows and some would dance on the strip of bare floor at the edge of the room that the carpet was not wide enough to cover." (From the Cornelia Corselius papers).

Corea/McLaughlin/Ann Arbor: Then and Now

Corea-McLaughlinCorea-McLaughlin

The University Musical Society and AADL invite you to participate in Then and Now: Community and Cultural Change from the Fusion Era to Today, an online exhibit in celebration of Ann Arbor’s community heritage from 1968-1975 and the return of Chick Corea and John McLaughlin to UMS on April 4. Both of these musicians have continually reinvented themselves over the years while maintaining an exceptional level of artistry and commitment to their music.

Help us to show Ann Arbor's parallel evolution in its cultural, musical, and community landscape. Do you have a photograph from that era or the present day that you’d like to share? We’d love to include it on our site. Go to pictureAnnArbor to find out how to submit your photographs online, or email AADL Productions at productions@aadl.org to arrange a time to submit your photographs in person.

City Council Minutes 1891-1930 Online

Ann Arbor City Council MinutesAnn Arbor City Council Minutes

Ever wonder how much things in Ann Arbor have changed in the last century? Find out what life was like through the eyes of the body that's overseen it all, the Ann Arbor City Council, with the new Ann Arbor City Council Meeting Minutes archive. This collection features searchable and browsable sets of council minutes from 1891-1930, letting you see 40 years of local issues and legislation. And for all you genealogists, council minutes also contain a wealth of information about the individual citizens of Ann Arbor, whether they were making a request, receiving a citation, or working for the city. Take a look and find out that Ann Arbor hasn't changed that much: we've got speed limits (7 mph in 1902), public transportation fare disputes, and pigs still aren't allowed to run through the streets.

What's next for the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit Project?

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Listen in as local historians Ray Detter, Louisa Pieper and Grace Shackman talk about the origins, challenges and rewards of putting together the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibits Program. You'll hear about what's coming up (hint: books and corsets) and how our schools are planning to work the exhibit into the AAPS curriculum.

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