Ypsilanti in Washtenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Michigan Central Railroad Gardens
8 Oak Street
The triangular plot of land along River Street was originally called "Cass Plat" in honor of Governor Lewis Cass. It later became a children's playground.
The Ypsilanti Depot Gardens were the pride of the Central Railroad Line. Mr. John Laidlaw, a Scottish gardener, built huge floral displays depicting the battleship "Maine" and the "Niagara Falls." Mr. Laidlaw kept his greenhouses full of tropical plants and flowers. The exotic shrubs and trees helped to distract rail passengers from the view of the stockyards which were just north of the Depot. The gardens were primarily used to supply the dining cars with fresh flowers each day.
Oral history has it that young girls like Jessie Swaine and Florence Babbitt picked the flowers and delivered them to railroad passengers. One bouquet from the gardens was presented to a relative of Ypsilanti's namesake, Demetrius Ypsilanti who was enroute from Chicago to Detroit.
In Michigan: In 1848, legislators met in the new capitol building in Lansing for the first time.
American Events The Transcontinental Railroad linked the East
Donated by Carolyn and Gary McKeever - 1998
Erected 1998 by Depot Town Association.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars.
Location. 42° 14.768′ N, 83° 36.595′ W. Marker is in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in Washtenaw County. Marker is on East Cross Street, on the right when traveling west. Marker is along the sidewalk between 29 and 33 East Cross Street, about 350 feet west of North River Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 29 East Cross Street, Ypsilanti MI 48198, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Michigan Central Railroad Depot (here, next to this marker); The Real McCoy (here, next to this marker); The Thompson Building (here, next to this marker); The Oliver House (here, next to this marker); Ypsilanti Woolen Mill Company (here, next to this marker); The Last Hudson Dealership Early Days in Depot Town (a few steps from this marker); Michigan Central Freighthouse (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ypsilanti.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 4, 2017. It was originally submitted on May 11, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 138 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 11, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.