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

Video of Grace Shackman discussing her book 'Ann Arbor Observed' now available

One of the newest additions to our ever-growing collection of AADL Videos on Demand is an event from December 2006 featuring Grace Shackman discussing her book Ann Arbor Observed. This event, from our Sunday Edition Author Series, features Shackman discussing the process of becoming a writer for the Observer, reading excerpts from her book, and answering questions. Over twenty-five years, Shackman's articles on all aspects of Ann Arbor and its history became a highly popular feature of the Observer. Download a high-quality version of the video or an audio version you can put on your iPod or mp3 player from our AADL Videos on Demand collection.

Music in Ypsi

This summer's Ypsilanti Crossroads Music Festival will be kicking off again on June 6th! Be sure to check out the event and appreciate our neighboring city. It will take place at the intersection of Washington and Pearl Streets every Friday night this summer from 7-10 pm. In the meantime, check out our collection on Ypsilanti history, including Ypsilanti in the 20th Century, Ypsilanti: A History in Pictures, and Our Heritage: Down by the Depot in Ypsilanti.

Map of Washtenaw County Indian trails

Indians map
Click image for larger view. A key to trails and historical markers appears below the map image.

We recently spruced up the Making of Ann Arbor site with a new design and some additional content, including a map of Indian trails in Washtenaw County taken from the 1927 book The Indians of Washtenaw County, Michigan by W. B. Hinsdale. This map and others are available on the Making of Ann Arbor maps page. Additional maps and atlases of Washtenaw county are available through the Michigan County Histories and Atlases digitization project.

Col. John L. Burleigh was not "apocryphal."

submitted by Wystan Stevens

While I was doing a Google search on John L. Burleigh, I noticed an item about him in the online pages of Stanley Wertheim's A Stephen Crane Encyclopedia (1997), where he is referenced (p. 43) as being "probably an apocryphal character invented by Elbert Hubbard." Nay, it is not so.

Col. John L. Burleigh got his law degree, and his start in politics, in my home town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Early histories of this area contain references to his activities, especially as the founder in 1878 of a weekly newspaper, the Ann Arbor Democrat. Two years later, it was noted that Burleigh had sold out his interest in that publication to a business partner and left to seek opportunities in Chicago. From Chicago he evidently migrated to New York. The New York Times on January 9, 1895, posted a reference to him as an attorney practicing in NYC:

A Washtenaw County (Michigan) history notes that Burleigh had been an alderman in Brooklyn. Burleigh's death notice (no obit, alas) appeared in the NYT on May 10, 1909, a day after his demise. His death notice in the New York Tribune (again, no obit) stated that the funeral would be held on May 11 at the Church of the Redeemer, in Brooklyn.

In 1877, Burleigh participated in ceremonies at the laying of the cornerstone of the Washtenaw County Courthouse in Ann Arbor (1881 History of Washtenaw County, p. 346).

Stunning, sharp view of Lower Town

lower town
Click image for larger view.

Stunning, sharp view of Lower Town from across the river shows flooding in slaughterhouse area. Date unknown. From the Burton Historical collection.

Submitted by Wystan Stevens

New old photo of Winchell octagon turns up.

Octagan house
Click image for larger view.

University of Michigan Professor Alexander Winchell's octagon house in Ann Arbor, 1904-06, built on the site where Hill Auditorium was later erected. From Early Detroit Images from the Burton Historical Collection.

The best-ever image of the lost landmark.

Submitted by Wystan Stevens

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

familytreefamilytree

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.

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