“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Washtenaw County Michigan Historical Markers

Looking west down the hill to Allen Creek image, Click for more information
By Kevin Vincent, April 15, 2016
Looking west down the hill to Allen Creek
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ann Arbor — Allen Creek Valley Shapes the Town
Residents living on the west side in the 1870s drove their buggies or walked across the bridge over Allen Creek, climbing the Liberty Street hill to join the celebration of German American Day. In the distance you can see the rooftops of their homes . . . — Map (db m94376) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ann Arbor — Engineering at Michigan — 1854-2004
The first public university in America to award degrees in engineering, the University of Michigan was among the earliest institutions of higher education to offer programs in aeronautical engineering, chemical engineering, computer engineering, . . . — Map (db m100411) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ann Arbor — Four World Records — Jesse Owens
Four World Records Established on Ferry Field at the Big Ten track meet Ann Arbor May 25, 1935 Broad Jump 26 ft. 8-1/4 inches. 220 yds low hurdles 22.6 seconds. 220 yd sprint 20.3 seconds. 100 yd dash 9/4 seconds. Jesse Owens 1913 . . . — Map (db m63269) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ann Arbor — Harris Hall
Harris Hall was built in 1886 as a student center to "establish Christian teaching in the midst of a great secular university." Funds were raised from all over the country by Michigan Episcopal Bishop Samuel Harris. As a parish house for St. . . . — Map (db m101026) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ann Arbor — In memory of all Veterans
In memory of all veterans who served our country in time of war — Map (db m35499) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ann Arbor — 17 — Law Quadrangle — 1924-1933
University of Michigan alumnus William W. Cook (1880, 1882law) believed that the character of the legal profession depended on the character of Law Schools, and that the character of the Law Schools forecasted the future of America. In support of . . . — Map (db m100342) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ann Arbor — S601 — Martha Cook Building
Side 1 The Martha Cook Building first housed women students of the University of Michigan in 1915. New York lawyer William W. Cook, a Michigan alumnus, donated the building. The Collegiate Gothic residence was named for Cook's mother, . . . — Map (db m93666) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ann Arbor — L339 — Michigan Central Railroad Depot
Built in 1886, and conceived by Frederick Spier, the design of this granite block building was influenced by the Romanesque style of the great American architect Henry Hobson Richardson. The massive arch and two-foot thick walls are balanced by . . . — Map (db m51751) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ann Arbor — Michigan Summer Symposium in Theoretical Physics
This plaque honors the Michigan Summer Symposium in Theoretical Physics, 1928-1941, under the leadership of Harrison Randall. During this period virtually every world-renowned physicist lectured at the symposium, which played a critical role in . . . — Map (db m100470) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ann Arbor — 14 — Rackham School of Graduate Studies — 1938
Horace H. and Mary A. Rackham, generous donors to the University of Michigan, established the Rackham Fund in 1933 “for the benefit of humanity.” Feeling that the graduate school offered possibilities of the most far-reaching benefits, . . . — Map (db m65357) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ann Arbor — L1181 — St. Thomas the Apostle Church
In 1831 Father Patrick O'Kelly came from Detroit to minister to the Irish Catholics in the Washtenaw area. He offered his first mass in Ann Arbor on July 12, 1835, in a home located on land bounded by Detroit, Kingsley and Fifth Streets. St. Thomas . . . — Map (db m51695) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ann Arbor — The Denison Archway
So named in honor of him who suggested the idea of constructing it Professor Charles Simeon Denison, for forty-two years teacher of stereotomy, mechanism, and drawing in the University of Michigan. This tablet is placed here by his . . . — Map (db m100445) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ann Arbor — The Main Street Shopping Experience
Founded in 1860, Mack & Company grew to be Ann Arbor’s largest department store. In 1870 it advertised dress goods, household goods, flannels, shawls and cloakings, “selling everything cheap.” By 1900 it had become Main Street’s premier . . . — Map (db m94375) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ann Arbor — The University of Michigan Men's Glee Club — "In Tradition, Camaraderie, and Musical Excellence" — 1859 - 150th Anniversary - 2009
In the 19th century, at universities throughout the United States, students came together in celebration of their love of song to form glee clubs. Leading the trend was the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club, founded in 1859. Through the years, . . . — Map (db m100603) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ann Arbor — L237 — Ticknor-Campbell House
Side 1 In 1844 Benjamin Ticknor, a U.S. naval surgeon from Connecticut, built this Classic Revival house on his 183-acre farm in Pittsfield Township. He used cobblestone construction, which originated in upstate New York. The rear wing . . . — Map (db m101798) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ann Arbor — Washtenaw County War Memorial
In memory of the soldiers and sailors of Washtenaw County who served in the Civil War, 1861-1865, also those who served in the war with Spain, 1898. Erected A. D. 1914. — Map (db m26659) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ann Arbor — 16 — William L. Clements Library — 1923
William L. Clements (1882, LLD 1934hon) was a regent of the University of Michigan (1910-1933) whose life-long avocation was the collection of books, maps and related materials on American History from 1492 to 1800. In 1922, he donated to the . . . — Map (db m93665) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Chelsea — L1356 — Chelsea / Chelsea Depot
(side 1) Chelsea In the 1830s the Congdon brothers, Elisha and James, settled the land where Chelsea is located. In 1848 they offered the Michigan Central Railroad a free site on which to build a station. The first and succeeding . . . — Map (db m54136) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Chelsea — L1956 — First Congregational Church
Vermont Congregationalists organized a church in Sylvan Township in 1849. In 1852 the built the first church in the village, here on land donated by Chelsea founder Elisha Congdon. When that building burned in 1894, John Foster of Chelsea built the . . . — Map (db m54156) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Chelsea — L0193 — North Lake Methodist Church
The Reverend Charles Glenn organized the first Methodist class here in 1836, and for the next ten years the group met in the home of his brother, John. In 1846 the brothers presented the congregation with a building which served as both church and . . . — Map (db m55416) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Chelsea — Oak Grove Cemetery Civil War Memorial
(North Face): Erected under the auspices of Woman's Relief Corps No. 210, assisted by R.P. Carpenter Post No. 41, and Patriotic Citizens 1861 to 1865 (West Face):R.P. Carpenter Post No 41 To the memory of our noble dead who freely . . . — Map (db m26732) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Chelsea — S0524 — The Welfare Building
The Welfare Building was constructed in 1906 as a recreation facility for the workers of the Glazier Stove Company. It featured a swimming pool, a billiard hall, a basketball court, a theatre and a reading room. Chelsea native Frank P. Glazier, who . . . — Map (db m54138) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Dexter — L2227 — Delhi Bridge
(side 1) The Delhi Bridge was one of many Pratt through truss iron bridges built to order by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio, between 1876 and 1899 to span the Huron River. It was listed in the National Register of Historic . . . — Map (db m60228) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Dexter — Dexter Area Civil War Memorial
Erected by the citizens of Dexter and vicinity, in memory of the heroes who fought and the martyrs who died that the republic might live. Dedicated May 30, 1898 1861-1865 — Map (db m53429) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Dexter — L1303 — Dexter Depot / Track Pans
Dexter Depot The Michigan Central Railroad reached Dexter from Detroit on July 4, 1841, just after Dexter's first depot was completed. Frederick H. Spier of Detroit designed the present depot, which was completed in record time. Work began on . . . — Map (db m54861) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Dexter — L0626 — St. Joseph Catholic Church
The Catholic church in this village dates back to 1840 with Fathers Cullen, Hennesy and Pulsers serving the predominantly Irish parishioners for nearly thirty years. The present brick edifice, completed in 1874, is an example of simple Gothic style. . . . — Map (db m54893) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Dexter — L0855 — Webster United Church of Christ
In 1834 construction began on Webster Church, the oldest church building in continuous use in Washtenaw County. Built on land donated by Hannah Williams Kingsley, it was completed in 1835 after Moses Kingsley secured donations from Daniel Webster . . . — Map (db m60515) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Manchester — L1666 — Bethel Church
(side 1) In 1840 the Reverend Frederich Schmid of Ann Arbor organized the Evangelical German Bethel Congregation in Freedom Township. Schmid, a missionary pastor originally from Basil, Switzerland, frequently traveled to the township and . . . — Map (db m55387) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Manchester — Manchester War Memorial
In memory of our soldiers dead 1861 - 1865 1898 - 1899 WW I               WW II 1917 - 1918      1941 - 1946 Korean              Vietnam 1950 - 1955       1961 - 1975 — Map (db m26797) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Manchester — L0799 — Salem Church
The Reverend Edward Weiss, a Washtenaw County circuit rider, organized an Evangelical class of fifteen members in 1874. They met in a school located two miles east of here. Two years later, trustees Herman Gieske, Lambert Gieske and Bernhardt Kuhl, . . . — Map (db m60220) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Pittsfield Charter Township — Ice House
[lat N42 11.957 lon W083 44.436] While this was used as the ice house for many years, this structure may have been one of the first buildings built on the farm. At one time it had a lean-to addition attached to the west side. According to . . . — Map (db m103038) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Pittsfield Charter Township — Lower Level of the Barn
[lat N42 11.929 lon W083 44.436] Here cattle would have been gathered for shelter from the severe winter cold. Later, when the farm established a small dairy enterprise, Jersey cows would have been brought here from the pasture to await their . . . — Map (db m103040) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Pittsfield Charter Township — Pump House
[lat N42 11.965 lon W083 44.435] The Pump House is the small, square, one-story structure. The two-story garage and apartment was attached to the Pump House when the garage and apartment were constructed in the 1950s. The well under the Pump . . . — Map (db m103037) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Pittsfield Charter Township — L2261 — Sutherland - Wilson Farm
Side 1 In the 1850s, Langford (1802-1865) and Lydia (1806-1892) Sutherland replaced their small log cabin with this Greek Revival house. Farm buildings from that era were built from locally harvested hand-hewn timber and hand-cut stones . . . — Map (db m103026) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Salem Township — L1700 — John Wesley Conant House
John W. and Alice Conant of New York purchased land near Denton in 1833, and built this house soon after. During World War II, when the original site was condemned to make way for the Willow Run Bomber Plant, the family moved the house to its . . . — Map (db m101825) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Saline — L210 — Davenport House
This handsome two-and-a-half story residence, constructed in 1875, was the home of William H. Davenport (1826-1909), prominent Saline citizen. In 1851, Davenport entered into a partnership with H.J. Miller in a general store. He bought out Miller's . . . — Map (db m101647) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Saline — L1940 — Saline Presbyterian Church
Side 1 In 1831, Presbyterian families from Newark, New York, traveled by boat through the Erie Canal to Detroit. Settling in the Saline area, they held their first religious service on July 18, 1831. Thereafter, services were held in . . . — Map (db m101650) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — 220 N. Huron — A Home Becomes a Museum
This lovely building has been many homes. It was built in the Italianate style in 1860, as our nation's Civil War approached, for the family of bank president Asa Dow. It continued as a home for families until 1922. As apartments, it . . . — Map (db m96994) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — Early Days in Depot Town
In the 1840s and 1850s, the community that grew up around the depot was known by the old-timers as the "East Side." A rivalry over business development in Ypsilanti between East side and the West side, the dividing line being the Huron River, was . . . — Map (db m102374) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — 94 — Eastern Michigan College
Founded by legislative action in 1849 as the Michigan State Normal School, it was the first state teacher education school west of Albany. Its aim was to provide instruction "in the art of teaching and in all the various branches that pertain to a . . . — Map (db m91656) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — Facing the Fire — at the Michigan Firehouse Museum
Something had to be done. Constructed in 1898 and in service for over 75 years, this firehouse combined two separate volunteer fire companies into one centalized fire station. A paid department and a dedicated building represented a major . . . — Map (db m98474) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — L1961 — First Methodist Episcopal Church
When the First Methodist Episcopal Church opened in June 1892, the Ypsilantian called it "an ornament to the city." The church typifies Akron Plan churches, popular among late nineteenth century Protestants. The Akron architectural firm of . . . — Map (db m90905) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — L1615 — First Presbyterian Church
Originally built in 1857 with a single, central spire, the First Presbyterian Church was greatly enlarged and rededicated in 1899. Detroit architect Julius Hess redesigned the church, using the original sanctuary walls, and added a columned entrance . . . — Map (db m90667) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — Food and Drink — Haab's Carries on the Tradition
Along the road, a welcoming tradition. The road was once called the Sauk Trail, the Military Chicago Road, Congress Road, and, eventually, Michigan Avenue. For travel by foot, horse, stagecoach, truck, or automobile, it has endured as a . . . — Map (db m98488) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — Hudsons & Friends — at the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum
The building has stories to tell It can tell about first being built as an electric plant before being converted to manufacturing in 1905. There are memories of 1916 when it became the first Dodge dealership outside Detroit, later becoming a . . . — Map (db m94320) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — B47 — Ladies' Literary Club House
This house, built prior to 1842 by Arden Ballard, has been recognized by the Historic American Building Survey as a model of Greek Revival architecture. The house was purchased by the Ladies' Literary Club in 1913. — Map (db m90645) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — Manufacturing History — at the Corner of Norris & Forest
Manufacturing here spanned most of the 20th Century, reflecting the changing economy in Ypsilanti and in America. In 1907 the Ypsilanti Hay Press Company first built a factory here by the Huron River and the railroad tracks to make . . . — Map (db m98955) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — Michigan Avenue Industry — Ypsilanti's Automotive Manufacturing
The early automotive industry came to Ypsilanti just after World War I. In 1919, Apex Motor Corporation built a small factory on River Street just south of Michigan Avenue to manufacture various "Ace" vehicles. But by 1925 three . . . — Map (db m98724) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — L2029 — Michigan Central Freighthouse
The Michigan Central Railroad (MCRR) came to Ypsilanti in 1838, transforming the farming community into a transportation center. This Italianate structure, built in 1878, increased the freight-handling capacity of the MCRR's Ypsilanti complex. Goods . . . — Map (db m98954) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — 128 — Michigan's Interurbans
Michigan's first interurban, the Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, began operating in 1890. Pulled by a steam engine, the cars went west on Packard Road to the Ann Arbor city limits. Because of the low fares (10 cents one way) and frequent service (cars . . . — Map (db m90632) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — Power on the River — Ford's Ypsilanti Village Industry
Henry Ford wasn't the first to harness the flowing Huron River. In the 1880s, dams built along the river through Ypsilanti provided waterpower to mills processing paper, wool, lumber, and grain. In 1931, Ford bought property along the river . . . — Map (db m98723) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — L1137 — Prospect Park
In 1842 this site became Ypsilanti's second cemetery, and at one time approximately 250 people were buried here. However, when Highland Cemetery opened in 1864, the use of this site began to decline. Inspired by a nationwide parks movement, in 1891 . . . — Map (db m101206) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — Reverend John D. Pierce
This boulder marks the site of the house where Reverend John D. Pierce, founder of the public school system in Michigan, lived from 1867 to 1880. — Map (db m96266) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — The Amazing Quarter Mile — Auto Dealers in Ypsilanti
It's hard to count all the brands of automobiles that were sold on the south side of Michigan Avenue. Right here, between the Huron River Bridge and Park Street, 17 auto dealers sold 31 different brands of cars and trucks during the 1900s. . . . — Map (db m98722) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — S724 — The Barracks / Ypsilanti in the Civil War
The Barracks When the Civil War began in 1861, this corner site housed a commercial building called the Norris Block. Its location across the street from the railroad station made it an ideal place for short-term lodging for enlistees . . . — Map (db m101216) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — The Bomber Restaurant — Food, Fun, and Military History
You can get hungry building B-24 bombers. The Bomber Restaurant was first given its name in 1942 by Florence Bladwin [sic] Averill. The massive Ford B-24 bomber plant had just opened at nearby Willow Run Airport to supply aircraft . . . — Map (db m98698) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — The Last Hudson Dealership — 100 East Cross Street

The building, originally occupied by the Ypsilanti Electric Company in 1896, became a Dodge automobile dealership in 1917. Joseph H. Thompson was one of the first Dodge dealers in Michigan. In 1933 Hudson Sales and Services opened its doors, . . . — Map (db m94400) HM

Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — The Thompson Building — 400 - 412 North River Street
This building's history is one of the most fascinating in Depot Town. It was built with bricks brought from Mark Norris' Western Hotel which was previously destroyed by fire. The Thompson Building opened in 1861 just as the first shots of the Civil . . . — Map (db m102411) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — YC-48 — Town Hall School
The Town Hall School built on the Geddes farm, carries with it a rich family and educational tradition. The first Geddes came to this area in 1824 and the family possesses the 1827 deed to the farm signed by President John Quincy Adams. In 1852, . . . — Map (db m95367) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — S0509 — Willow Run
[Marker Front]: Willow Run (1941-1953) After entering World War II in 1941, America desperately needed military equipment and supplies. The Ford Motor Company had begun building this factory in April 1941. Outstanding industrial . . . — Map (db m14296) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — 237 — Ypsilanti
Side 1 Located at the juncture of old Indian trails and the Huron River, this area was the camping and burying ground for several Indian tribes. In 1809 Gabriel Godfroy established an Indian trading post on the west bank of the Huron . . . — Map (db m90681) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — Ypsilanti — and the Tucker Phenomenon
It was America's "first completely new car in fifty years" and the vision in 1945 of Preston Tucker, who lived at 110 North Park Street in Ypsilanti. He was the general manager of his family's Ypsilanti Machine & Tool Company at 103 North . . . — Map (db m98420) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — Ypsilanti Civil War Memorial
This Statue was presented by Mary-Ann Starkweather 1861-1865 Erected by the Women's Relief Corps of Ypsilanti in memory of the men who in the War of the Great Rebellion fought to uphold their country's flag . . . — Map (db m14142) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — L1591 — Ypsilanti Water Tower
Side 1 The Ypsilanti Water Tower was designed by William R. Coats and constructed as part of an elaborate city waterworks project that began in 1889. Located on the highest point in Ypsilanti, the tower was completed in 1890. It is 147 . . . — Map (db m95370) HM
Michigan (Washtenaw County), Ypsilanti — Ypsilanti Woolen Mill Company — 522 North Huron
In 1827, a sawmill was built on the Huron River just south of Forest Avenue. Later a grist mill was built on the site and finally in 1839, the Eagle Flouring Mill was constructed there. It burned in 1856. In the early 1860s, the Ypsilanti . . . — Map (db m102392) HM

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