1915 Boat Livery on Argo Pond


1915 Boat Livery on Argo Pond

Removed from an old photo album, the card sold for $40 in an eBay auction on July 16, 2008.

The U. of M. Boat House had a name that implied congeniality toward student patronage, but it was a private enterprise. Erected in 1898 (when he was 41) by Paul G. Tessmer, whose big house (now the Elks Pratt Lodge) later loomed above it, the Boat House was located on the North Main Street edge of Argo Pond. A short biographical sketch of Tessmer in Beakes' Past and Present of Washtenaw County, Michigan (1906) discloses that Tessmer had 160 canoes for rent -- all of them built by himself. He had forty rowboats, too.

Later the operation was moved across the pond to the location shown here, where the building was remodeled and enlarged. The 1916 city directory lists William J. Saunders as the proprietor, but I don't know when Saunders took over. It seems likely that Saunders engineered the move. The address was given as Cedar, west of the AARR bridge. Cedar is now known as Longshore Drive.

Saunders continued as owner through the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. The casino inside was famous for its collection of coin-operated orchestrions, melodeons, and other antique mechanical music boxes. Around 1960 (or maybe a year or two earlier) the business became Wirth's Canoe Livery, and Jack Wirth kept the musical collection intact. Once the Ann Arbor News reported Wirth's rescue, from near-drowning, of a youth who had swum too near the dam near the livery, where the boy had been caught by the undertow.

The post card photograph was taken by someone standing on the trestle right-of-way of the Ann Arbor Railroad, from which teenagers sometimes made illegal and unsafe dives. The photographer's signature appears in the lower right-hand corner, but in this reproduction, taken from the eBay listing, it is barely scrutable. The card is numbered "14" in a series -- an incentive for all of us to search diligently for numbers 1 through 13, and perhaps others as well.
The building was acquired in the later 1960s by the Ann Arbor parks department, which replaced it with the utilitarian Argo Park Canoe Livery, a bit upstream from this site. That livery too has since been rebuilt.

Summary: 1915 Boat Livery on Argo Pond

Keywords: Argo pond, livery buildings

Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library



The DKE house at 1912 Geddes Avenue, 1913-1967


The DKE house at 1912 Geddes Avenue, 1913-1967

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.

Summary:

Keywords: buildings, Gerald Ford, fraternity, Delta Kappa Epsilon, DKE, George W. Millen,

Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library



Carrie Nation in Ann Arbor, May 3, 1902


Carrie Nation in Ann Arbor, May 3, 1902

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 he following report appeared in the "Washtenaw Daily Times," May 3, 190rollicking 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).

Summary:

Keywords: Prohibition, University of Michigan,

Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library



Michigan Central Railroad, Detroit, Michigan


Michigan Central Railroad, Detroit, Michigan

From the Burton Historical Collection. Copyright Detroit Public Library

Summary:

Keywords: railroads, transportation, Detroit

Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library



The Indians of Washtenaw County, Michigan Map


The Indians of Washtenaw County, Michigan Map

Indians of Washtenaw County Old Indian Trails designated by dotted lines.

1. Detroit and Chicago trail, also called Sauk Trail.
2. Trail to Monroe, Toledo and Sandusky Bay.
3. St. Joseph trail.
4. Washtenaw trail.
5. Dexter and Grand River trail.
6. Shiawassee trail.
7. North trail to Detroit River.
8. Plymouth trail.
9. Potawatomi trail.
10. Trail down Huron River.

Indian villages designated by triangle, Mounds by dots, Burying grounds by cross inside circle, Salt springs by S, Highways by double lines.

Read the full text of the book ...

Summary: by W. B. Hinsdale

Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library



Former UM President Marion LeRoy Burton


Former UM President Marion LeRoy Burton

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

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

Keywords: University of Michigan, presidents, portraits

Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library



Zion Lutheran Church


Zion Lutheran Church

This view from ninety+ years ago looks west on Washington Street, across Fifth Avenue, and gives us a glimpse of the square Doric columns on a Greek Revival house (visible through trees at far right) which also is depicted on the 1880 birdseye-view map of Ann Arbor. It resembled the Kempf House. It is regrettable that no good photo of that house has survived. It must have been replaced by the Bell Telephone building, which was erected in 1925.

When this photo was taken, Zion Lutheran Church was located on the northeast corner of Washington at Fifth Avenue. For a few years in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the parish hall beside the church served as an annex (one of several) to Ann Arbor's cramped 1907 City Hall. (The Lutherans by then had moved to their present location on West Liberty.) The city abandoned these quarters in 1963, when offices were moved to the new (now Larcom) City Hall. The old church was then demolished, and Huron Valley Bank ("The Apple Bank") rose on this site. (Submitted by Wystan Stevens)

Summary:

Keywords: churches, religion

Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library



George Corselius, Ann Arbor's pioneer librarian


George Corselius, Ann Arbor's pioneer librarian

"GEO. CORSELIUS'
"CIRCULATING LIBRARY.
"This volume may be kept ____ days. ____
cents will be charged for each additional day.
"Soiling, tearing, or breaking books is a spe-
cies of Vandalism entirely without excuse. A
fine of from six to fifty cents will be taxed for
every such outrage committed on this volume."

George Corselius was for a time the editor of the first newspaper in Ann Arbor, "The Western Emigrant," which commenced publication in 1829. (The paper was owned by John Allen and Samuel W. Dexter, the founders, respectively, of Ann Arbor and of Dexter Village.) Corselius also has the distinction of being the first Ann Arborite to leave town for the California Gold Rush in 1849 -- a journey he did not live to complete; he got as far as the Isthmus of Panama where, becoming ill, he turned back; but he died aboard ship, and was buried at sea. "Buried in the Atlantic" is the inscription on his memorial -- a tree-stump cenotaph in Ann Arbor's Forest Hill Cemetery. During the twenty years between those dates, Corselius was, among other things, Ann Arbor's first librarian: lending books, for a fee, from his private stock. This is a specimen of the labels that were pasted inside the front covers of his precious volumes.

Corselius' daughter, Cornelia Corselius, was bookish also. An Ann Arbor school teacher, she wrote a book for children, "Financie and Other Stories." Two of the tales are local, and tell of children trudging the roads to Dixboro and Dexter Village.

(The label above was copied from a poor photo in an old eBay listing; if anyone reading this has a better copy of a Corselius label, please post it and let me know.)

Summary:

Keywords: George Corselius

Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library



Kadette Radio, made in Ann Arbor


Kadette Radio, made in Ann Arbor

Summary:

Keywords:

Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library



Fischer and Finnell Store, 1910 and now, by Kim Scarborough


Fischer and Finnell Store, 1910 and now, by Kim Scarborough

Photo by Kim Scarborough, available at: http://kim.scarborough.chicago.il.us/

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.

Summary: from the "Then and Now" collection, Kim Scarborough http://kim.scarborough.chicago.il.us/

Keywords: Ann Arbor, Packard St., State St., buildings, Campus Corner

Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library



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