Create your own album and upload photos to pictureAnnArbor

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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.)

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 Lost Street Names of Ann Arbor

Compiled by Don Callard, for "The Lost Street Names of Ann Arbor," July 2, 2002 Ann Arbor Observer.

Current Name (2002) Earlier Name(s)
Allen Drive Arbor Drive
Arbana Drive Urbana Drive
Ashley Street Second Street (East)
Barton Drive Warren Avenue
Barton Shore Drive California Avenue
Beakes Street Pontiac Street
Berkshire Road Valley Street
Butternut Street High Street
Cambridge Road between Forest and Lincoln Israel Avenue
Cambridge Road between Lincoln and Baldwin Hubbard Street
Cambridge Road east of Washtenaw Avenue New Jersey Avenue
Church Street south of Hill Wood Street
Concord Road near Lafayette Huddy Road
Crestland Drive Highland Drive
Daniel Street Grove Street; North First Street
East Davis Street Elm Street; Lincoln Street; Stoll Street
East Hoover Street east of railroad Philip Street
East Hoover Street west of railroad Edwin Street
Eberwhite Boulevard Eber White Boulevard
Eighth Street Vine Street
Fletcher Street Twelfth Street
Forest Avenue south of Hill White Street; White Forest Street
Fuller Road between Detroit and Glen River Street
Geddes Avenue Ypsilanti Road; N. Ypsilanti Road
Geddes west of Observatory Cemetery Street
Glen Avenue Pitcher Street; Thirteenth Street
Glen Leven Road Valley
Golden Avenue East University Avenue south of Packard
Gralake Grace Avenue
Granger Avenue west of Golden North Park Place
Greene Street Arbor Street; Ann Arbor Street; South Fourth Avenue
Highlake Highland Avenue
Hill Street Huron Avenue
Hillcrest Lulu's Court
Jackson Road Territorial Road
Jefferson Court Weinberg Court
Jones Drive Mill Street
Kingsley Street North Street
Kirtland Drive Mt. Vernon
Koch Avenue John K Avenue
Lawrence Street between Division & State Bowery Street
Lincoln Avenue Millen Street
Longshore Drive North Boulevard
Longshore Drive, south leg Cedar Street
Lorraine Place Orchard Street
Main Street north of Depot Plank Road
Main Street south of Madison South Plank Road; Saline Road
Maple Ridge N. Eighth Street
Maple Road Arbor Glen Drive and Outer Drive
Medical Center Drive east of Observatory Glen Boulevard
Miller Avenue Corham Road
Moore Brown Street
Mulholland Avenue Sixth Street north of West Liberty
Newport Road Foster Road
Nichols Drive Glen Boulevard
North University Avenue off Observatory Volland Street
North University Court Ypsilanti Street
Northside Avenue Wagner Avenue
Oakland Avenue north of Hill South Thayer Street
Observatory south of N. University Court Forest Hill Avenue
Packard Street southeast of Division South Ypsilanti Road; Grove Street
Page Avenue Maplewood Place
Parklake Park Avenue
Pauline Boulevard West Street
Seneca Avenue Medallion Street
Seventh Street between Liberty & Huron Jewett Street
Seventh Street north of Huron Mann Street
Sheehan Street South Ingalls Street south of Packard
South University east of campus Orleans Street
Stadium Boulevard Boulevard Drive
Stanley Thompson Avenue
Steere Place Burke Avenue
Sunnywood Sunset Drive
Sunset Road Hiscock's Road; Osborne Road; Chubb Road
Swift Street Mill Street
Sycamore Street Oakwood Place
Tappan Avenue between S. University & Hill Denton Street; South Ingalls
Tremmel Avenue Elmwood Place
Upland Drive Highland Drive
Warner Place Warren Place
Washtenaw Avenue Middle Ypsilanti Road
Washtenaw Court Washtenaw Avenue from South to North University
West Liberty Street South Liberty Street; Eber White Road
West Summit Street High Street
White Street South Thayer Street south of Packard
Woodland Drive Mt. Pleasant Street
Wright Street Washtenaw Street
Zina Pitcher Place Washtenaw Place; Fourteenth Street; North Forest; Grant Street

Carrie Nation in Ann Arbor, May 3, 1902

Carrie Nation

submitted by Wystan Stevens. Click here for a version with mouse-over features highlighting historical details in the photograph; or here, for a much larger view.

Mob cheers for a State Street hatchet job: but hey, who axed that woman to come here, anyway?

Carrie A. Nation (1846-1911), the "Vessel of Wrath," was 56 and at the peak of her fame on May 3, 1902, when, standing on the back of a horse-drawn cab at the corner of State Street and North University Avenue, she engaged in rollicking repartee with a boisterous crowd of Michigan students. Emerging as a Prohibition crusader in Kansas in 1900, Mrs. Nation had obtained quick national renown by vandalizing the stock and furnishings of numerous saloons -- at first hurling rocks, then switching her M.O. to smashing with a hatchet that she carried beneath her waterproof cape. She was arrested again and again, and paid the fines for her "hatchetations" by lecturing and selling souvenir hatchets and photographs. In this area, she spoke in nearby Milan and in Ann Arbor (at the Athens Theater, the former Opera House, at the SW corner of Main and Ann). Although she entered several Ann Arbor saloons to confront their owners or barkeeps, she was on good behavior there, and smashed nothing. Newspaper reports suggest that too-high admission fees kept her Ann Arbor lecture audiences small, and there were few verbal fireworks. In fact, while here she drew her biggest crowd during this free appearance on the edge of the University of Michigan campus.

"I have been to all the principal universities of the United States. At Cambridge, where Harvard is situated, there are no saloons allowed, but in Ann Arbor the places are thick where manhood is drugged and destroyed." --Carrie Nation, in her memoirs (1905).

Washtenaw County, Michigan Heritage Driving Tours

The weather may be more suitable for sleighing than driving, but if you're up for a trip into Tree Town's past during the holiday, try one of The Washtenaw County Historic District Commission's four driving tours. Each of these themed tours--the Esek Pray Trail tour; the Greek Revival Architecture tour; the Historic Barns tour; and the German Heritage tour--comes with a detailed, color brochure you can download to accompany you on your drive. The tours are offered as part of The Washtenaw County Heritage Tourism Map Project to guide visitors and locals through the County’s cities, villages, and rural areas and to celebrate the region’s rich heritage.

Life of Nathaniel Stacy, first Universalist pastor in Ann Arbor

submitted by Wystan Stevens

The St. Andrew's history committee should check out this book, which I discovered during a Google Books search. Nathaniel Stacy published his memoirs in 1850, and this rare volume is now in the Universalist collection at Harvard University -- and fully readable online. Stacy was invited in 1835 to pastor the Ann Arbor Universalist congregation, and he came and stayed here about five years. He discusses the establishment of the Universalist church in Michigan, his acquaintance with Mssrs. Kellogg and Fuller, businessmen of Lower Town Ann Arbor who were members of his congregation, and his conversion to Universalism of John Williams, an ex-Calvinist (Presbyterian) farmer of Webster Township. The Ann Arbor material in Stacy's book begins on page 383.

Stacy's account has several pages on his own financial troubles, and he relates them in strong terms to the immoral craze of speculation that afflicted Michigan in the 1830s -- the era of Wildcat Banks and worthless paper money. The St. Andrew's history committee should relish the account of his doctrinal dispute with the pastors of the mainline protestant churches of Ann Arbor, which resulted in a public challenge to debate each of them -- either in his pulpit or in their own.

The debate challenge was flung boldly, via a letter printed in the Ann Arbor Argus and the Ann Arbor Journal, and it was ignored by all of the pastors except, finally, Mr. Marks, the Episcopal minister, who published his retort to Stacy (a lengthy letter) in the same newspapers. After that, Marks avoided Stacy on the street. Then he left town . . . .

Portrait of Rev. Nathaniel Stacy, in the fronticepiece of his memoirs:

Around page 450, Stacy writes briefly of his return visit to Ann Arbor years later, by train.

The DKE house at 1912 Geddes Avenue, 1913-1967

DKE fraternity
(Click for larger view.)
Submitted by Wystan Stevens

I looked up the City Directory information on the house at 1912 Geddes (across from the entrance to the Arboretum), which is pictured here on a lovely handcolored Albertype postcard view, from c. 1930, that was published by Ann Arbor book merchant George Wahr. The photo shows the house after it had become home to the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) Fraternity, which was Gerald Ford's fraternity while he was a student at Michigan in the 1930s.

This house was built as a private residence for George W. Millen, and is first listed in the 1913 directory. Millen was a vice president of Ann Arbor's Farmers and Mechanics Bank.

The Dekes moved here when their former home on State Street was demolished for construction of the U-M Law Quadrangle. They had occupied that house for about 35 years. The DKE Shant, their ceremonial meeting place on East William, never was a residence.

When Millen left 1912 Geddes, he moved to 816 East University Avenue. The Dekes were here until 1967, when the house burned down. Another building now occupies the site, but the lot was empty for quite a few years after the old one burned.

Fischer and Finnell Building: 1910 and Now

Fischer and Finnell Store, 1910
(Click for larger view.)
Photo montage by Kim Scarborough. Comments, below, by Wystan Stevens.

An interesting partnership -- Fischer was the son of German immigrants, and James Finnell was Irish, from a Northfield Township family. Although most of Ann Arbor's German settlers were Protestants, Fischer was a parishioner of St. Thomas Catholic Church. He and Finnell probably had gone to the parish school together. Finnell later became a traveling auctioneer, in the style of Braun and Helmer of these latter days.

The horse-drawn delivery van was one of a fleet of dozens operated by the Merchants' Delivery Company. A housewife could shop downtown on foot, or by way of the trolley, and not have to lug her packages home --the Merchants' Delivery took care of that chore.

The donkey was a photographer's prop. He would lead the docile animal through the neighborhoods, getting parents to pose their children with it. He probably charged a fee up front, then delivered the prints in person or by mail. As a child in the '30s, my brother posed in a cowboy outfit on the saddle of a pony led around in just this way. (My parents lived on Marshall Court, just a few blocks from this intersection.)

In the 1920s, this building was called "The Delta" because of its shape, but I don't know if that was the original name.

Join us for the premiere of Ann Arbor Cooks!

Join us Downtown at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 25, for the premiere of Ann Arbor Cooks, our new online database of local historical cookbooks and heirloom recipes. On hand to introduce this new service will be the nationally-known (and always enjoyable!) heirloom cooking experts from New England, Marilynn and Sheila Brass, authors of Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters. This delightful evening includes a demonstration of Ann Arbor Cooks, a discussion of heirloom baking by the Brass sisters, and refreshments made by the Washtenaw County Historical Society from heirloom recipes. The Brass sisters will also sign their book, for sale at the event courtesy of Nicola's Books.

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