Herb Bartlett, early chairman of the Ann Arbor Historical Commission

Submitted by Wystan Stevens

Herb Bartlett was a retired civil engineer who served as president of the historical society and was an early chairman of the Ann Arbor Historical Commission (now the Historic District Commission). The historical society celebrated Herb's 90th birthday at Hathaway's building on Ashley Street, probably around 1980. Dr. C. Howard Ross was in attendance on that day, and we were a bit chagrined to discover that he too had recently turned 90, but didn't get a birthday party. I guess he had neglected to tell anybody.

Herb on two occasions, ten years or so apart, gave presentations to the historical society on the history of the Chicago Road (Michigan Avenue). But he was no good as a speaker; he fumbled and unrolled maps and rolled them up again, and meandered around with his text. But he was a lovable character, and some of us miss him still. His wife was a nice lady, but delicate and quiet. She died a few years before he did.

1922 Detroit newspaper rotogravure portrait and bio of U-M President Marion LeRoy Burton

President Marion LeRoy Burton
(Click on image for larger view.)

President Burton died of complications of angina, on February 18, 1925, several months after he suffered a heart attack in the fall of 1924. He was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery. Burton was a star of the 1924 national Republican Convention, where he nominated President Calvin Coolidge for a full term in his own right. Coolidge, who had succeeded to the presidency on the death of Warren G. Harding, was indeed elected in 1924.

Photo by the Spedding portrait studio of Ann Arbor.
Submitted by Wystan Stevens

Photo by the Spedding portrait studio of Ann Arbor. From an eBay listing.

Submitted by Wystan Stevens

Murad Cigarettes -- tobacco silk, c. 1910; image of University of Michigan rowing crew member

Michigan Rowing

Silks like this one were inserted as souvenir premiums in early cigarette packages. Sometimes the smoker's sweetheart would sew a dozen or more together, to make a decorative cover for a throw pillow.

(The founding date of the U of M, given as 1837 on the seal reproduced here, in 1929 was corrected to 1817, the date of the progenitor institution's founding in the city of Detroit, in Michigan Territory.)

Submitted by Wystan Stevens

Beta Theta Pi fraternity house, University of Michigan, c. 1902

Beta Theta Pi house

(Click on image for larger view.)

Beta Theta Pi house, State Street at Monroe (SW corner).

Submitted by Wystan Stevens

A Journey through Ann Arbor, in 1835

Submitted by Wystan Stevens:

An amazing fact: they check your guns when you arrive in Ann Arbor!

The following report, which I have transcribed in its entirety, is a letter from a traveler in Michigan, first published in 1835 in a tabloid: the New-York Mirror, A Weekly Journal, Devoted to Literature and the Fine Arts. Vol. XIII, No. 4, Saturday, July 25, 1835.

[My copy was purchased on eBay, in September, 2007.]

ORIGINAL LETTERS FROM THE WEST.
MICHIGAN.

IT is a marvelous country, this western world, and it is the only land under the sun that has not been too extravagantly spoken of by travellers. Yes, it keeps pace even with travellers' tales, and that is no small merit.

Mr. Hoffman's delightful volumes, and Washington Irving's "Tour," displayed to us a new world; the former spread before us a land shrouded in the mantle of winter, while the latter portrayed the "sere and yellow leaf" of autumn. But the spring and the summer are the boast of prairie land, and he that fails to see those seasons, loses half the pleasure of a trip to the west.

It was on a clear evening in "the leafy month of June," that I set forth from Detroit, late the outpost of civilization, but now called at the place whence I write, "down east." I had come from Buffalo to that city in company with a crowd of grave personages on a disinterested pilgrimage to Chicago, in search of the Golden Fleece, and was glad to take leave of these modern Jasons, and wish them a safe voyage on this new Argonautick expedition. For my own part, I found the steamboat intolerable, especially as a vehement sea-sickness prevented me from "getting my money's-worth" out of the worthy proprietors. I therefore provided myself with a little French pony, and resolved to set forth across the country in quest of adventures and pleasure. After riding nearly all the ponies in Detroit within an ace of their lives, by way of trying, (to the great perturbation of the several owners,) I finally pitched upon a little fellow that racked and paced and cantered to a charm. Having accoutered myself with a broad-brimmed straw hat, a pair of saddle-bags and a blanket, and slung my double-barrelled fowling-piece athwart my back, my pony soon ambled with me out of the busy town. How gloriously independent does a man feel at such a moment! In what supreme contempt does he hold the artificial life of a city, the cares, the bustle and the money-making of life! No matter who he be -- be he as poor as Job, ay, and as friendless too, his soul soars above the little world, he feels his value as a man, he recognises his personal sovereignty, his self-dependence, his native dignity, and with the poet he can feel that,

"Lord of himself, but not of lands,
He having nothing, yet hath all."

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1854 Bank of Washtenaw Five Dollar Note

1854 Five Dollar Bill
(Click image for larger view.)

Other images of early Washtenaw County bank notes are available here

submitted by Wystan Stevens

Angell Hall, U-M campus, featured in September, 1941, Ford News

Angell Hall
(Click on image for larger view.)

The University of Michigan was featured in the September, 1941, issue of Ford News, a magazine which was sent to dealers and buyers of Ford automobiles. The striking cover photo, in color, shows several U-M scholars on the front steps of Angell Hall, where they appear dwarfed by the massive neoclassical columns.

Submitted by Wystan Stevens

1955 Magazine Advertisement

John-Bean fog truck

Ann Arbor Fire Department's John-Bean fog truck illustrated in 1955 magazine advertisement. Also shown is the ivy-covered dining hall of the University of Michigan Law Quadrangle.

(Click on image for larger view.)

Submitted by Wystan Stevens

Advertisement from Threshermen's Review

Threshermen image

An advertisement from the August, 1912, issue of Threshermen's Review
(Click on image for larger view.)

submitted by Wystan Stevens

Argo Mill a Total Loss

Ann Arbor Milling
image from the Downtown Historical Street Exhibits Program online.

from the Ann Arbor Daily Argus, Tuesday, January 5, 1904

"The Fire Yesterday Could Not be Subdued"

LOSS NEARLY $50,000

Property Insured in Six Companies for $32,000 -- Origin of the Fire a Mystery

The Argo mill, which caught fire at 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon, burned to the ground, causing a loss of nearly $50,000. Insurance to the amount of $32,000 is carried in six milling companies, but this amount includes the grist mill and 9,000-bushel elevator, valued at about $4,500, which were saved.

The fire broke out in the roller room and was discovered by head Miller Sherk and his assistant, H. F. Wolf, who had been in the room only a few moments before, when everything was all right. An alarm was turned in at once, but the flames spread with almost incomprehensible rapidity and by the time the fire department arrived the entire interior of the building was a raging furnace.

It was very evident that the building was doomed and the department devoted their energies to saving the grist mill and elevator and three cars of grain that stood on a siding.

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