Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Centers for Communications on Courthouse Square
Ann Arbor's early centers for communications, including newspaper, postal, and telegraph offices, were all located in buildings facing Courthouse Square. The telegraph line between Detroit and Ann Arbor was opened on Christmas Day in 1847. The first telephone switchboard was placed in a building not far from the Square on South Main in 1881. There were twenty-five telephone subscribers at that time.
From 1882 to 1909 Ann Arbor's sixth Post Office, at the corner of Ann and Main, was housed in what was the showiest building in town — the Beal Block, an ornate brick edifice lavished with decorative stonework and iron filigree. Before home delivery began in 1886, every household in Ann Arbor picked up its mail here. In 1909 the Post Office was moved to the new classic Beaux Arts building still standing just to the north on the corner of Main and Catherine.
A few years later, in 1916, the Daily Times News building was erected just east of the Beal Block on Ann Street. It was the first structure in Ann Arbor built solely to house a newspaper. The Ann Arbor Daily News moved to a new building at Huron and Division in
Top image caption:
U.S. Post Office/Beal Block, c. 1887
Top image top left inset caption:
Postal Telegraph Cable Co. operators in the Cornwell (Hamilton) Building at East Huron and North Fourth, mid-1890s. This was one of many telegraph offices that once faced Courthouse Square.
Top image bottom left inset caption:
The Ann Arbor Daily News (formerly The Daily Times News) building, ca. 1936.
Bottom image caption:
Ann Arbor postmen pose in front of the Post Office, ca. 1900.
Photos courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library and The Ann Arbor News
Sponsor: The Ann Arbor News
Erected by Ann Arbor Historical Foundation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Communications. A significant historical year for this entry is 1847.
Location. 42° 16.932′ N, 83° 44.915′ W. Marker is in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in Washtenaw County. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street and West Ann Street, on the right when traveling south on South Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 151 West Ann St, Ann Arbor MI 48104, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within Main Street in the 1890s (within shouting distance of this marker); Shopping on East Huron Street (within shouting distance of this marker); The Streets Around Courthouse Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Commerce on the "Ann Street Block" (within shouting distance of this marker); A Former Bank and Estate on Ann Street (within shouting distance of this marker); A Meeting Place for Ann Arbor's Black Community (within shouting distance of this marker); The Changing Face of North Fourth Avenue (within shouting distance of this marker); A Corner Landmark on Huron and North Fourth (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ann Arbor.
Also see . . . Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit for marker. Site 7d. Main and Ann: Southwest Corner (Submitted on September 24, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 22, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 88 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 22, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of the "classic Beaux Arts building still standing just to the north on the corner of Main and Catherine." • Can you help?