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MARKER DATABASE
“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 Arborís largest department store. In 1870 it advertised dress goods, household goods, flannels, shawls and cloakings, “selling everything cheap.” By 1900 it had become Main Streetís premier shopping destination, wooing customers with promises of first class service. In the 1920s shoppers could visit Mackís 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 Mackís 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 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

Intersection of Main Street and Liberty image. Click for full size.
By Kevin Vincent, April 15, 2016
2. Intersection of Main Street and Liberty
with a visit to Hangsterferís Hall or Hillís Opera House, or in the twentieth century to the Whitney, Orpheum, and Wuerth movie theaters
 
Erected 2001 by Ann Arbor Historic District Commission.
 
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.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Allen Creek Valley Shapes the Town (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Harris Hall (approx. 0.4 miles away); St. Thomas the Apostle Church (approx. half a mile away); The University of Michigan Men's Glee Club (approx. half a mile away); Rackham School of Graduate Studies (approx. half a mile away); Law Quadrangle (approx. 0.6 miles away); William L. Clements Library (approx. 0.6 miles away); Martha Cook Building (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ann Arbor.
 
Also see . . .  Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit Program website. (Submitted on May 2, 2016, by Kevin Vincent of Arlington, Virginia.)
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 2, 2016, by Kevin Vincent of Arlington, Virginia. This page has been viewed 115 times since then and 24 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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