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

Online collections from the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library

Notre Dame detail
Notre Dame (Cathedral). Portal: “The Last Judgment” in North transept.; 1211-1427. Click image for larger view.

Whether you're looking for a local map from 1923 or the plan for the Piazza Del Campidoglio, searching for detail from a great work of art or architecture, consider browsing AAEL's Lantern Slide Collection, which includes thousands of digital images created from lantern slides showing architecture, cities, and landscapes from the late 19th and 20th centuries.

The AAEL also boasts a growing collection of Artists' Books in the form of art objects or art objects in the form of books. (The books require careful handling, so many are housed in the Special Collections Room and available by appointment.)

Bimbo's on the Hill and other lost Ann Arbor eateries


Bimbos on the Hill

Click image for larger view.

Anyone remember this restaurant? Check out some of the other names listed under Ann Arbor's Lost Eateries, a section of arborwiki dedicated to restaurants and watering holes from Ann Arbor's past. And if that doesn't fully satisfy your hunger for local history, the image above is taken from a collection of historical signs (mainly from the 1970s) we're currently adding to our gallery of local images. It includes other restaurants from the arborwiki list and many old signs and storefronts from area businesses.

Early Detroit Images from DPL's Burton Historical Collection

Michigan Central Railroad

Michigan Central Railroad Station; Bardwell, Jex, 1824-1902,
Early Detroit Images from the Burton Historical Collection.

In 2005, the Detroit Public Library was awarded the Library of Michigan Digitization for Preservation and Access Grant, providing for the creation of a digital database of 19th century and pre-1922 photographs of Detroit. Formats include glass negatives, lanternslides, cased images, albumen prints and stereograph cards from the Detroit Public Library's Burton Historical Collection. These images illustrate the social and cultural history of Detroit and document the many historical events that have occurred in the city.

Finding Your Way Through the Family Tree

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Looking for new ways to research the family tree? "Learning More at the Library of Michigan," a free annual genealogy seminar set for Saturday, March 29, will focus on utilizing online resources for family history research. The workshop runs from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the Michigan Library and Historical Center. Seating is limited, so registration is recommended. Sign up online at www.michigan.gov/familyhistory, by e-mail at librarian@michigan.gov or by phone at (517) 373-1300.

Ann Arbor bids adieu to colorful citizens

from Dale Leslie

Someone much smarter than I observed, "Life is stranger than fiction." That remark was confirmed in the last few days with the passing of businessman Paul Lohr and his son Fred Lohr, coincidentally within hours of each other, and then later Fred Mammel, former City utilities head for at least two decades, and a fellow Kiwanian of Paul's, died at Arbor Hospice. Adding to the irony of these real-life events, all three final observances were held at approximately the same time on Monday, March 10th.

The Lohrs are pure-bred Ann Arborites. Undoubtedly, you know or know of at least one family member. The working Lohr farm was on Lohr Road near the Ann Arbor Airport where Paul caught the bug for flying. Ann Arbor Implement Company- known to many locals as Ann Arbor Imp-ment- saw the same family ownership over three generations, first by Grandpa Ernest Lohr- then son Paul Lohr-and Grandson Fred Lohr. (It was Fred- fighting illness for many years- who passed away after hearing of his dad's death.) Paul Lohr loved to show anyone the former wine cellars, spreading deep under their store at First Street and Liberty.

Create your own album and upload photos to pictureAnnArbor

art fairart fair

Do you have photographs of Ann Arbor you'd like to share? You can now sign up and submit your photos online to pictureAnnArbor. Just log in to your aadl.org account, fill out this form, and an album will be created for you. Upload as many images as you'd like to your pictureAnnArbor gallery. (There's a delay before your uploaded images will show up in your gallery, usually one business day.)

Walking and Talking Ann Arbor History

guideguide

The best walking the town brochure, Guide to Ann Arbor Architecture, by the Huron Valley Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, is now the best walking the town Podcast. Twenty different podcasts on the Law Quad, Nickels Arcade, St. Andrew's Church to name a few, are available for your viewing and listening pleasure. After viewing the videos online, load them on your MP3 Player and start rambling.

City directories available through HeritageQuest

a2 directorya2 directory

Genealogists have long placed old city directories at the top of their wishlist of books to be digitized. And now it's happening! The Google books project already includes a few local directories and the Books section of our Heritage Quest product includes Ann Arbor and Washtenaw county directories from 1886-87, 1888-89, 1909, 1914, 1915, and 1916. For those of you who prefer perusing the original print editions, you'll find them in our Local History room on the second floor of the Downtown library.

Here are the local directories available through Google: Cole & Keating’s Ann Arbor City Directory for the year 1872; Glen V. Mills Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti City Directory 1892; Polk’s Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Washtenaw County Directory, 1916(7)

The Lost Street Names of Ann Arbor

Cedar Bend drive
view from Cedar Bend Drive, ca. 1900-1919, Making of Ann Arbor

Little did I know that each time I trudge up Spring Street to Hunt Park, I pass by Pardon Street (formerly Walnut Street), which now lies buried under the grass and trees of lower Hunt Park. In his July 2002 Ann Arbor Observer article, "The Lost Streets of Ann Arbor," former AADL librarian, Don Callard, takes you on a fascinating historical tour down Ann Arbor's lost streets -- past Lulu's Court, down dangerous Chubb Street, over to Bowery Street and across the river to California Avenue. You'll find this article in our Streets and Roads binder on the second floor of the Downtown branch. Meanwhile, we've posted a handy list of former Ann Arbor street names and their current counterparts under the new Ann Arbor/Washtenaw County - History link from our AADL Select Sites.

The More Things Change ...

johnallenjohnallen

"The question of street repairs and improvements will always be with you and cannot be too thoroughly studied." So said the Mayor of Ann Arbor. No, not Mayor Hieftje in 2008, but Mayor Francis M. Hamilton in 1905. The collection of Council Minutes and Proceedings of the City of Ann Arbor in the Local History Room at the Downtown Branch of the Ann Arbor District Library provides ample proof that elected officials may come and go (and come again) but the issues, concerns and downright quirkiness of Tree Town remain constant.

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