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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)
 

The Main Street Shopping Experience

 
 
The Main Street Shopping Experience Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin Vincent, April 15, 2016
1. The Main Street Shopping Experience Marker
Inscription.  Founded in 1860, Mack & Company grew to be Ann Arbor’s largest department store. In 1870 it advertised dress goods, household goods, flannels, shawls and cloakings, “selling everything cheap.” By 1900 it had become Main Street’s premier shopping destination, wooing customers with promises of first class service. In the 1920s shoppers could visit Mack’s post office, bank, beauty shop, and pharmacy, enjoy an occasional fashion show or sing along while a pianist played sheet music for sale.Christmas at Mack’s meant elaborate store window displays, a huge decorated tree on a revolving musical stand and the largest toy selection in town. Overwhelmed by the 1930s Depression, Mack closed with its final sale in 1939.

Main Street was the shopping center for the town and surrounding countryside. Businesses were locally owned, sometimes by families who lived above the shop. In early years goods were often custom made on the premises.An 1870s shopper could buy "live geese feathers," fresh oysters, smoked haddock, coal, traveling trunks, caskets, and even a “wooden, cogwheel clothes wringer." Upstairs you might have your straw hat

Intersection of Main Street and Liberty image. Click for full size.
By Kevin Vincent, April 15, 2016
2. Intersection of Main Street and Liberty
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bleached, artificial teeth set,or a new gown made “after the most approved Paris fashion.”

In the nineteenth century farm families and townsfolk might combine shopping on Main Street with a visit to Hangsterfer’s Hall or Hill’s Opera House, or in the twentieth century to the Whitney, Orpheum, and Wuerth movie theaters
 
Erected 2001 by Ann Arbor Historic District Commission.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1906.
 
Location. 42° 16.769′ N, 83° 44.912′ W. Marker is in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in Washtenaw County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and Liberty Street on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: 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. Main Street Shopping Expands (here, next to this marker); Downtown Movie Theaters (within shouting distance of this marker); Changing Retail Patterns (within shouting distance of this marker); Allen Creek Valley Shapes the Town (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Ann Arbor Railroad (about 300 feet away); Industry and Recreation on Allen Creek (about 300 feet away); Germans on Ashley Street (about 500 feet away); The Staeblers and the Germania/American Hotel (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ann Arbor.
 
Also see . . .

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 Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit Program website. (Submitted on May 2, 2016, by Kevin Vincent of Arlington, Virginia.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on May 2, 2016, by Kevin Vincent of Arlington, Virginia. This page has been viewed 208 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 2, 2016, by Kevin Vincent of Arlington, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 24, 2021