Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Power and Transportation
Detroit Edison sold electric home appliances from 1915 to 1983 in its showroom across the street. The earliest Ann Arbor homes were lit by fireplace flames and lard lamps. Oil, along with gas manufactured after 1858 from the burning of coal, lit most homes and streets until the arrival of electricity. Electric power came to Ann Arbor in 1884 when the Ann Arbor Van Depoele Light and Power Co. built a generating plant powered by coal-fired steam on Washington Street just west of the Ann Arbor Railroad. It provided safer, cleaner, and brighter power for 36 stores and residences and added 33 electric streetlights to the town's array of gas lampposts. For the next two decades, some areas continued to be lit by gas and many homes were equipped with both electric and gas lights in a combination fixture.
After 1886 dams along the Huron River generated hydropower. In 1905 the Detroit Edison Company started buying water rights, mills, land, and existing small water power plants along the river in order to establish itself as the major supplier of electricity in Washtenaw County. Later it provided electric power for Ann Arbor's streetcars
Photos courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library
Erected by Ann Arbor Historic District Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars.
Location. 42° 16.685′ N, 83° 44.926′ W. Marker is in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in Washtenaw County. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street and William Street, on the left when traveling north on South Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 350 South Main Street, Ann Arbor MI 48104, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Everyone Loves a Parade (a few steps from this marker); Ann Arbor Streetcars (a few steps from this marker); The Main Street Shopping Experience (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Main Street Shopping Expands (about 500 feet away); Downtown Movie Theaters (about 600 feet away); Changing Retail PatternsBethlehem United Church of Christ (about 600 feet away); Allen Creek Valley Shapes the Town (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ann Arbor.
Also see . . . Site 3. Main and William. Marker on the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit website. (Submitted on August 30, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 31, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 30, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 61 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on August 30, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.