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

Seeding the Cloud

Have you ever been to the Bentley to research local history? It is quiet as a tomb and you have to wear these white cotton gloves if you want to handle the old photos. It can be intimidating but it's also pretty cool. The whole environment is so reverential that the experience can be nearly spiritual. I highly recommend checking it out.

If you don't want to make the trip and just want to sit around in your jammies checking out old photos of Ann Arbor, you can look at some of the Bentley collection online. The material is cataloged according to professional standards and the information is very useful. Which is great, unless you like to browse sites with a little more personality.

Michigan Turns 172!

Michigan is turning 172! On January 26 1837 Michigan entered the Union becoming the 26th state. Michigan has many beautiful natural attractions such as: The Great Lakes, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Mackinac Island and Tahquamenon Falls. Michigan was originally home to Native American tribes before the French settlers came. Michigan's largest city is Detroit aka the Motor City, Motown, Hockeytown or The D. Detroit is home of Defending Stanley Cup Champions the Detroit Red Wings, Tigers, 1228887 Pistons and Lions. Our Capital is Lansing and this is the only state that is made up of two peninsulas. Michigan has also produced a number of renowned people such as Henry Ford, Gerald R Ford (raised in Michigan) Michael Moore (Bowling for Columbine), Sam Raimi (producer), Thomas Edison and Stevie Wonder to name a few. For a more complete list click here.
Michigan is also home of Meijer, Better Made Potato Chips, Faygo and Kellogg Cereal. To learn more about the history of our state check out the local history room at the Downtown library. Happy Birthday Michigan!

News from the Ypsilanti Historical Society

Helen McAndrewHelen McAndrew

Join us at the Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd, Ypsilanti, MI) on Saturday, January 10, at 11:00 a.m. for the unveiling of an online archive of the Ypsilanti Historical Society's newsletter, Ypsilanti Gleanings. This event will include a demonstration of the site and a presentation on Ypsilanti history by Al Rudisill, President of the Ypsilanti Historical Society.

Lookback Time: The Detroit Observatory

observatoryobservatory

In Seeing In The Dark, author Timothy Ferris writes, "Peering far into space means looking deep into time gone by. This phenomenon, known as 'lookback time,' makes historians of stargazers." Historians and stargazers alike can enjoy a look back in time to 1854 by visiting the Detroit Observatory at 1398 E. Ann St. In its day, the Observatory housed the first large telescope constructed in the United States, for years the third largest refractor in the world. It was the training ground for many 19th century astronomers, saw the discovery of 21 asteroids and 2 comets, and remains the most important physical legacy of the University's early scientific preeminence. "I cannot speak of the Observatory without emotion," said former UM president Henry Tappan. "No one will deny that it was a creation of my own." (Historic Buildings, Ann Arbor, MI)

Although the dome is currently not operational, rendering the telescope unusable, the Observatory was fully restored in 1998 and the astronomical instruments remain intact and operational. Read more about the Observatory's legacy and watch for upcoming open houses in conjunction with UM's winter theme semester.

New online collection profiles the founders of Ann Arbor

Henry FriezeHenry Frieze

AADL is pleased to present a new collection, The Ford Gallery of Ann Arbor Founders, based on the permanent exhibit located in the Michigan Theater. You can browse the exhibit panels, which include such topics as early settlers, women who made a mark on the community, and the people who made the parks. Click on any image for a larger view or "read this panel" for a text-only version. You can also browse all the founders by name and search the collection by keyword. The permanent exhibit was funded by the Ford Motor Company Fund, with the cooperation of the Michigan Theater and the Bentley Historical Library.

A History of U of M's Medical School

Dr. CowieDr. Cowie

Join us Sunday, November 16, from 2-4 p.m. in the Downtown Library's Multi-Purpose Room for a talk by Dr. David Bloom on the history of the University of Michigan Medical School. In preparation, consider taking a look at some of our online collections, including this panel about the history of medicine in Ann Arbor from our new online collection of Ann Arbor Founders, or search for the term 'medical school' in The Making of the University of Michigan, 1817-1992.

Ann Arbor, circa 1968

bike loversbike lovers

On Thursday, UM will celebrate its heyday as a center of social activism in the late 1960s with a panel discussion on the social protests of 1968, beginning at 4:00 p.m., and a performance by Country Joe at 8:00 p.m.

These events accompany an exhibit from UM's Labadie collection titled "The Whole World Was Watching: Protest and Revolution in 1968," currently on view in the Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery. Other photographs of Ann Arbor during this period, such as this one can be found at site 15 of the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit program.

The history of South University

mademoisellemademoiselle

This week the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit will dedicate four new wall displays that tell the story of South University from the late 19th century through today. The displays cover area businesses and images include a wonderful 1898 panorama of the area, Miller's Ice Cream, C-Ted's Standard gas station, Tice's Men's Shop and a glimpse of the home where philosopher and educator John Dewey lived. The dedication will take place Thursday, November 6, at 5:00 p.m. on the corner of South and East University.

New Additions to Ann Arbor Historical Signs Collection

Standard Oil, 1973Standard Oil, 1973

The Ann Arbor Historical Signs Collection in pictureAnnArbor just got bigger. We've recently added over 100 new photos, bringing our portrait of 1970's Ann Arbor up to 570 images. These new additions include many businesses from Main, Maple, and East Liberty. We've also reorganized the collection to help you browse through all of the photos more easily. If you happen to want to look at a specific street or find a specific business, just enter those words into our Image Gallery Search at the bottom of any image gallery page and see what pops up.

Ann Arbor Historical Signs is a collection of photographs taken by the Ann Arbor Sign Inspector. Mostly taken in the 1970's, the collection gives a rich picture of the businesses and goings-on in Ann Arbor 35 years ago.

Catalogue of the Ann Arbor High School, 1904-05

a2 high school library

The full view (text and images) of hundreds of books on Ann Arbor history are now available through Google books, including Catalogue of the Ann Arbor High School, 1904-1905. The above photo, of the interior of the Ann Arbor Public Library, first appeared in the Ann Arbor High School catalogue of 1909-1910. Google also delivers a History of Michigan published in 1841, A History of St. Andrew's Church published in 1906, and The City of Ann Arbor, by the Ann Arbor Business Men's Association, published in 1887.

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