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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)
 

Allen Creek Valley Shapes the Town

 
 
Allen Creek Valley Shapes the Town Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin Vincent, April 15, 2016
1. Allen Creek Valley Shapes the Town Marker
Looking West on Liberty from Main Street
Inscription. Residents living on the west side in the 1870s drove their buggies or walked across the bridge over Allen Creek, climbing the Liberty Street hill to join the celebration of German American Day. In the distance you can see the rooftops of their homes built after 1845 in what is now the Old West Side. Close by, saw mills, grist mills, tanneries, foundries, and breweries, mainly German-owned, took advantage of the creek as a source of power and water.

From Ann Arbor's founding in 1824 until today, the presence of the waterway has defined the shape of the center of town. The creek provided the site for the city's earliest known bathhouse, an octagonal Victorian structure built over the creek at Liberty and First streets. Early skating parks and swimming areas also were located along the creek. In 1878 the first passengers on James Ashley's new Toledo & Ann Arbor Railroad arrived in town. The railroad followed the valley and spurred increased industrial development along the creek.

By Ann Arbor's centennial in 1924, property owners near the creek, upset by frequent flooding and pollution, demanded that the city put the creek into a storm sewer. Although it was buried in twelve miles of pipe, heavy downpours sometimes exceeded the capacity of the pipe, resulting in flooding along its watershed.
 
Erected

Looking west down the hill to Allen Creek image. Click for full size.
By Kevin Vincent, April 15, 2016
2. Looking west down the hill to Allen Creek
The edge of the marker is in the foreground on the side of the photo
2001 by Ann Arbor Historic District Commission.
 
Location. 42° 16.778′ N, 83° 44.981′ W. Marker is in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in Washtenaw County. Marker is at the intersection of Liberty Street and Ashley Street on Liberty 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. The Main Street Shopping Experience (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Harris Hall (approx. half a mile away); St. Thomas the Apostle Church (approx. half a mile away); The University of Michigan Men's Glee Club (approx. 0.6 miles away); Rackham School of Graduate Studies (approx. 0.6 miles away); Law Quadrangle (approx. 0.6 miles away); Michigan Central Railroad Depot (approx. 0.7 miles away); William L. Clements Library (approx. 0.7 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 July 18, 2016, by Kevin Vincent of Arlington, Virginia.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesRailroads & StreetcarsRoads & Vehicles
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 21, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 2, 2016, by Kevin Vincent of Arlington, Virginia. This page has been viewed 167 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 18, 2016, by Kevin Vincent of Arlington, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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