Broadway looking east, 1886


Broadway looking east, 1886

Trains brought coal for the gas works, shown on the left across Depot Street, as well as lumber for Selleck Wood's business (later Casey's Tavern), and supplies for other industries. The freight cars are parked next to Depot Street on "eam tracks" where a farmer or merchant could unload goods directly onto a wagon pulled by a team of horses. A large crane next to the tracks unloaded heavy cargo. A restaurant and saloon across from the station provided refreshment for travelers. The round tower supplied water for coal-fired steam locomotives. The curved tracks (far right) crossed the river to serve Sinclair's flour mill and the Agricultural Works. The tall portion of this old depot was later moved to Beakes and Fifth and made into a house. The first bridge over the railroad had been built by the time the new passenger depot, behind where you are standing, opened in 1887. As seen in the photo above, traffic heading east on Depot Street had to cross Broadway and descend Carey Street to reach the depot. The large building (far right above) was a hotel and saloon.

Frame location: on Broadway Bridge

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Looking up Broadway about 1920


Looking up Broadway about 1920

Looking up Broadway about 1920, the former Washtenaw house hotel is at the left and the Huron Block is at Right

Frame location: East side at north end of bridge

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William R. Thomson's Washtenaw House Hotel, 1832


William R. Thomson's Washtenaw House Hotel, 1832

William R. Thomson's Washtenaw house hotel open in 1832. With a ballroom and bar, it attracted distinguished guests from all over the state, including Stevens T. Mason, Michigan's first governor. A rooming house by 1878, it was torn down in 1927.

Frame location: East side at north end of bridge

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Van's Marine Band and Boy Scouts of America Parade on Fourth between Ann St. and East Huron St., ca 1916


Van's Marine Band and Boy Scouts of America Parade on Fourth between Ann St. and East Huron St., ca 1916

When A. V. Robison & Son's Livery and Hack Stable advertised "Best Carriages in the City for Funerals" in 1872, the building that had housed the Goodrich House Hotel still stood just down the street. The YMCA was built on the hotel site in 1904. The hack stable—by then operating as an auto garage—is visible behind Van's Marine Band and the Boy Scouts parade banner in the 1916 photograph above.

Women workers watched through windows from the Washtenaw Abstract office on the right -- a building that still stands today with the addition of a 1927 Art Deco façade. Ann Arbor's Farmers' Market had its origin in 1919 when ten farmers began selling produce directly from wagons and trucks on the Main St. side of the Courthouse. As the number of farmers increased, this "curb market" was moved to North Fourth Ave.

Frame location: On North wall of Courthouse

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Kayser Block, 1899


Kayser Block, 1899

Built in 1899, the Kayser Block was used as a hotel through World War I, often with black management. Used by the Colored Welfare League, it was the first home for the Dunbar Center (1923-26), which later evolved into the Ann Arbor Community Center on Main St. John Ragland, a 1938 UM law grad active in the NAACP, was a lawyer for the Colored Welfare League. He had his office on the second floor. For a time he was the only African American attorney in town. Washtenaw County's first black attorney was UM grad John Fox, who began practicing in Ypsilanti in 1878--the year the new Courthouse opened.

Frame location: On North wall of Courthouse

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Joe Parker's Saloon, 1913


Joe Parker's Saloon, 1913

Joe Parker's Saloon (shown in drawing with the bald Parker tending bar) was located in the Catalpa hotel from 1913 to 1920. It was one of the Courthouse Square saloons earlier immortalized in the college song, "I want to go back to Michigan" ("back to Joe's and the orient, back to some of the money I spent"). The song was written a few years earlier, when the Orient Saloon was on North Main St. opposite the Courthouse and Joe's was a block South. A tile mosaic with the name "Joe" in script can still be seen on the floor inside the former corner entrance to the saloon at Ann St. and Fourth Ave.

Frame location: On North wall of Courthouse

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Gregory Block, ca. 1868


Gregory Block, ca. 1868

By the late 1870s, Ann Arbor was a thriving and prosperous business center. The streets facing Courthouse Square contained some of the town's grandest commercial buildings. Originally, the northwest corner of Main and Huron was the site of a small, two-story, log block house built by town founder John Allen in 1824. Later expanded and painted bright red, Allen's former home was called "Bloody Corners." It housed a tavern, inn, and store before being replaced by Ann Arbor's first large hotel, the "Franklin House." The imposing Gregory Block was built on this site in 1862. For over a century it provided space for a wide variety of establishments, including a hotel, banks, bars, bookstores, a post office, and Municipal Court offices. It became known as the Masonic Block when Masonic lodges occupied the second and third floors from 1885 to 1926. By the time of its destruction in a 1971 fire, the Gregory Block's rich architectural details had been hidden under a façade of blue and white metal panels. The present building was constructed in 1986.

Frame location: On Main and NE Corner of Huron

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Franklin House Hotel, ca. 1856


Franklin House Hotel, ca. 1856

Franklin House Hotel, ca. 1856

Frame location: On Main and NE Corner of Huron

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Cook House menu


Cook House menu

Frame location: On Main and NE Corner of Huron

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Merchants Credit Association banquet, 1913


Merchants Credit Association banquet, 1913

Merchants Credit Association banquet in the dining room of the Allenel Hotel, 1913.

Frame location: On Main and NE Corner of Huron

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