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

Dry Goods

 
 
Dry Goods Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, September 3, 2021
1. Dry Goods Marker
Inscription.  Dry goods were sold on this corner for over 120 years. In 1867 Philip Bach moved his store to this new business block selling fabric, cloaks, blankets, linens, and notions. Ann Arbor once supported as many as fifteen stores selling dry goods. Before these shops began to carry ready-made items, most clothing, bed sheets, and household linens where made at home. Dressmakers, milliners, and tailors provided custom clothing. When Bruno St. James purchased the store in 1895, he employed Bach’s young bookkeeper, Bertha Muehlig. Loved by her customers and employees, she owned and ran the business from 1911 until her death in 1955. Muehlig’s specialized in old-fashioned, hard-to-find items like “Tillie Open Bottom” (women’s long underwear). William Goodyear, St. James former partner, ran another dry goods business nearby. By the 1950s, Goodyear’s had expanded next to Muehlig’s to become downtown’s largest department store.
 
Erected by Ann Arbor Historical Foundation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1867.
 
Location.
Dry Goods Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, September 3, 2021
2. Dry Goods Marker
It is the marker in the middle
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42° 16.835′ N, 83° 44.926′ W. Marker is in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in Washtenaw County. Marker is at the intersection of West Washington Street and South Main Street, on the right when traveling west on West Washington Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 126 S Main St, 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. Eating and Drinking in Ann Arbor (here, next to this marker); Hardware (here, next to this marker); First National Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Business and Banking (within shouting distance of this marker); The Staeblers and the Germania/American Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); Germans on Ashley Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Three Generations of Metzgers on Washington Street (within shouting distance of this marker); From Horses to Cars: Early Autos, Service and Parts (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ann Arbor.
 
Dry Goods Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, September 3, 2021
3. Dry Goods Marker
Inset photo (top) Bach & Abel, Northwest Corner, Main And Washington, 1886
Left photo caption: Bruno St. James's staff ready to serve customers, CA. 1900.
Right photo caption: Bertha Muehlig's employees posed her in front of a chenille bedspread for a birthday portrait.
Dry Goods Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, September 3, 2021
4. Dry Goods Marker
Inset photo (lower left) caption: Before commercial laundries began to advertise in the 1870s, laundry was done at home. By 1888 Ann Arbor Steam Laundry was the first to use coal-fired power. In 1905 Varsity Laundry owners H.B. Tenny and Fred Lantz posed in their doorway at 215-217 South Fourth Avenue with the women who did ironing, mending, and hand touch-up work. The coal man wears a long black coat.
Dry Goods Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, September 3, 2021
5. Dry Goods Marker
Inset photo (lower right) caption: In an era when every woman wore a hat, milliners were essential.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 14, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. This page has been viewed 45 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 14, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Oct. 16, 2021