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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Schools and Churches

 
 
Schools and Churches Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 10, 2021
1. Schools and Churches Marker
Inscription.  
Ann Arbor public school, begun in the 1830s, were inadequately funded and poorly organized. This changed in 1856 when the Union School opened (building on right); it was the grandest building in Ann Arbor. Its assembly room, seating 700, was often used for public events. Classes prepared students to enter the nearby university. Nonresidents, who paid tuition, made up more than half the enrollment.

Religious and private schools also were available. In the nineteenth century most of Ann Arbor's churches were nearby. They established reading rooms, social centers, and lectures to attract university students. The 1882 First Unitarian Church (across State Street to your left) had a social hall and reading room. Directly behind you, the Episcopalians built Harris Hall in 1886 for students to meet "under the refining and elevating influence of the Church's social life." A later pastor said their goal was "to intercept students on their way to Joe's and the Orient," two Main Street saloons famous in Michigan student tradition where "the minds and habits of the young should not be formed." Nearer campus on State Street, the Student Christian
Schools and Churches Marker — top images image. Click for full size.
Photos courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library
2. Schools and Churches Marker — top images
Top image: Ann Arbor High School, ca. 1894
Top left inset: A raging fire on the night of December 31, 1904, destroyed the old high school. Faculty and students carried to safety laboratory equipment and most of the 8,000 library books.
Top right inset: Ann Arbor High School graduating class of 1874 on the front porch of the original building. In 1870 the university finally admitted women, allowing high school girls to continue their education.
Bottom left inset: The new high school was the pride of the community when it opened in 1907 with an attached public library (on far left, facing Huron) donated by Andrew Carnegie. The university purchased it for Latin professor Henry Simmons Frieze, who had been a member of the school board and UM acting president.
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Association built Newberry Hall (later the Kelsey Museum) in 1891 and then Lane Hall in 1915 for student social and religious activities.

Sponsors
Ann Arbor High School
Class of 1955
The last graduating class

 
Erected by Ann Arbor Historical Foundation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionEducation. A significant historical year for this entry is 1856.
 
Location. 42° 16.88′ N, 83° 44.459′ W. Marker is in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in Washtenaw County. Marker is at the intersection of North State Street and East Huron Street, on the left when traveling north on North State Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 617 East Huron 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. Harris Hall (here, next to this marker); FUMC's BSA Troop 4 (within shouting distance of this marker); Carnegie Library (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ann Arbor High School (about 300 feet away); The James Foster House of Art (about 600 feet away); Ideation Building (about 700 feet away); Town and Gown: Entertainment and Changing Culture (about 700 feet away); Rackham School of Graduate Studies (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ann Arbor.
 
Also see . . .  Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit: Site 11. State and Huron.
Schools and Churches Marker — bottom images image. Click for full size.
Photos courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library
3. Schools and Churches Marker — bottom images
Bottom image: Looking south on State Street ca. 1916. The Presbyterian Sackett and McMillan Halls (right foreground, next to the 1867 Methodist Church) provided university students with Bible study, prayer meetings, missionary work, social activities, and residences for fifty years. The new First Methodist Church replaced all three buildings in 1940.
Top left inset: In this 1870 view west on Huron Street, steeples had yet to be added to the First Presbyterian Church at Division Street. In 1936 the church was demolished to make way for the Ann Arbor News building.
Bottom left inset: The 1876 First Congregational Church across from campus at State and William, seen here in 1921, attracted faculty and students.
Web page that includes a clear image of the marker with a plain white background. (Submitted on July 22, 2021, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 
 
Schools and Churches Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 10, 2021
4. Schools and Churches Marker
View of marker looking toward the southeast. The First Unitarian Church mentioned on the marker is on the left.
Schools and Churches Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 10, 2021
5. Schools and Churches Marker
View looking toward the northwest with Harris Hall behind the marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 22, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 22, 2021, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 51 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 22, 2021, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.

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