From the President's Desk

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Winter 2005,
Winter 2005
Original Images:

By Alvin E. Rudisill

The Annual Membership Meeting of the Ypsilanti Historical Society will be held on Sunday, December 4, 2005 at 1:30 pm. We will be voting on new Board of Trustee members who have been identified by our Nominating Committee (Steve Pierce — Chair, Marcia Phillips, and Karen Nickels). The meeting will be short so bring your friends and enjoy refreshments and the Christmas decorations in the Museum.

Thanks to Bill Nickels who is in the process of repairing the front porch on the Museum. Bill is replacing several of the balusters and the entire porch railing has been sanded and repainted. The hedge in front of the porch has been trimmed so our refurbished porch can be seen from the sidewalk and street.

This issue of the Gleanings contains our second article on the history of churches in Ypsilanti. Thanks to David Thayer we have included the history of the First Baptist Church. The Spring 2006 issue of the Gleanings will include an article on the history of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. We would like to include the history of other Ypsilanti churches in the 2006 Summer, Fall and Winter issues of the Gleanings so if you are the historian of your church please contact me about a possible article.

We have two new displays in the Museum. The display on antique mini-lamps is featured in an article in this issue of the Gleanings. Another new display is on military uniforms used in World War II. We appreciate very much all the efforts by Virginia Davis-Brown, Chair of the Museum Advisory Board, and the many volunteers who work with her to develop and set up the Museum displays.

We are trying to cover part of the costs of publishing the Ypsilanti Gleanings with the sale of advertising, sponsorships and business memberships. A new category of support is “sponsor.” Sponsorship of a single issue of the Gleanings is $20.00. Sponsor names are listed on the back page of the Gleanings along with advertisers and YHS business members. If you like the “new look” and would like to support our efforts please consider being a sponsor for a future issue.

We are looking for authors interested in publishing in the Gleanings. We have several topics that need to be researched or we will consider other articles of interest to potential authors. Please contact me if you are interested in publishing in the Gleanings.

Bill and Karen Nickels have again volunteered to host the annual YHS Yard Sale. The event is scheduled for June 3, 2006. Donated items can be dropped off at the Museum. If you need to have items picked up please call me at 734-484-3023.

For Information about upcoming Society events, visit us on-line at:
www.ypsilantihistoricalsociety.org

Report from the Museum Advisory Board

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Fall 2005,
Fall 2005
Original Images:

Author: Virginia Davis-Brown

Now that the leaves are starting to change and even a few are falling, we at the museum are looking forward to the next few months and planning for an exciting fall and winter season.
We hope that you have enjoyed the “Lost Ypsilanti Speaks!” exhibit. Many have told us how much they enjoyed the exhibit as it brings back many memories of the past or they speak of what is there now and really didn't have any idea of the previous business.
September 29 thru October 16 will be our third annual “Quilt Exhibit.” During the last two years we have exhibited over 100 quilts. Some were made in the 1800's and some are the work of people today. If you thought only women made quilts you would be wrong. Last year we had several that were made by a man and they were very unique. If you missed the previous ones why not start thinking about getting together with a friend or two, have lunch somewhere downtown, then come in and see that quilts are works of art and are not just for keeping someone warm. Make an afternoon of it. You are entitled to a day out once in a while.
The “Underground Railroad Exhibit” is still up and will remain for awhile. We also still have the quilt that the children, from the Ann Arbor Child Development Center, made as a class project telling of the flight from slavery.
August 21, 2005, was an exciting day as we gathered to pay homage to a wonderful man who made significant contributions to the YHS Museum and to efforts to keep the history of Ypsilanti alive. One room that Dr. William P. Edmunds was especially fond of was dedicated to his memory. Our Ypsilanti Room will be known as the “Dr. William P. Edmunds Ypsilanti Room.”

We are always in need of volunteers, docents and people who would like to help us keep the museum maintained the way it has been. It takes a lot of tender loving care to see that things are done. If you think you might like to help please give me a call at 484–0080 and we can talk. Remember that, with the holidays coming up, we still have our GIFT SHOP, and we have several interesting books about the city.
Our regular hours are Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Most of our special exhibits also include Fridays. If you need more information please call 482–4990. Why not plan on coming in to see us and say Hi.

News from the Fletcher-White Archives

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Fall 2005,
Fall 2005
Original Images:

Author: Gerry Pety

What a wonderful summer here in Ypsilanti and in the archives as well! The weather has been great even if it has been humid. The archives, as you may know, are air conditioned and heated for your comfort. Sometimes even during the appropriate times of the year! Ha Ha!

We have received from Mr. Atwood (Woody) McAndrew a tremendous amount of items from his family, a rather distinguished Ypsilanti namesake. In addition to hundreds of old news items, books and photos, there were items from Mack and Mack, a well-known local furniture purveyor. Furniture stores in the latter part of the 1800's were an outgrowth from local cabinet making operations. They in turn they would evolve into casket markers and then finally turn into funeral directors in some instances. Mack and Mack followed this tradition during its history in Ypsilanti. In a sense, they served the public from cradle to casket! Many thanks for all the wonderful items Mr. McAndrew, they will enhance our understanding of local business in Ypsilanti!

All of my volunteers have gone for the spring and summer. If you like history come on over and volunteer for a couple of hours each month. We really need people to help keep us organized. If you are interested in spending some volunteer time in the archives call me at home at 572–0437 or at the archives at 482–4990.

That pretty much wraps it up, we lack only your company to make this place complete.

Wander Washtenaw

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Fall 2005,
Fall 2005
Original Images:

The Ypsilanti Historical Museum is back on the Wander Washtenaw Tour scheduled for Saturday, September 24.

The Washtenaw County Museum Consortium invites those interested in history to Wander Washtenaw. Most of the sites will be open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm that day. Look for maps and address lists at your favorite local museum. This event is free with donations encouraged at sites to recover expenses. Historical Museums on the tour include:

Ann Arbor:

• Kempf House
• Cobblestone Farm
• Detroit Observatory
• Museum on Main Street
• Parker Mill

Dexter:

• Dexter Area Museum
• Webster Church Fall Festival

Manchester:

• Schneider Blacksmith Shop

Milan:

• Hack House

Saline:

• Rentschler Farm
• Railroad Depot

Ypsilanti:

• Michigan Fire Museum
• Ypsilanti Historical Museum

Antique Roadshow Visits Our Historical Museum

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Fall 2005,
Fall 2005
Original Images:

Author: John Pappas

The Ypsilanti Historical Museum will hold its own Antique Road Show and Auction on Sunday, September 18, 2005, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Local auctioneer Steve Gross will provide our featured program for the opening Fall quarterly meeting.

Bring your favorite antique and get an appraisal and information about your valued treasure. Also, see and learn what other interesting pieces are brought to the show by other members and guests. There is no charge, but donations will be appreciated. Please do not bring artwork, currency or jewelry.

Also there will be a brief live auction to set the stage for this fun-filled event. Auctioneer Steve will entertain us with some old fashioned bidding of a few select items. Included are a ride on the famous B-17 Bomber at the Yankee Air Museum; a historic map of Ypsilanti, circa 1890; four VIP tickets for lunch and a guided tour of the Camille Claudel and Rodin, “Faithful Encounter” exhibit at the DIA; and a framed watercolor print by American artist, Emil Weddige.

A short meeting will precede the program to update everyone on upcoming activities and events of the museum. Refreshments will be served. Mark this date on your calendar, September 18, 2005, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. See you there!

From the President's Desk

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Fall 2005,
Fall 2005
Original Images:

By Alvin E. Rudisill

This is the third issue of the Ypsilanti Gleanings in our new format. We hope you will support our advertisers who make this new format possible. Visit the back page of the Gleanings to view a list of advertisers in this issue.

We were very proud and pleased to honor Dr. William P. Edmunds who provided decades of leadership to the Ypsilanti Historical Society and to the City of Ypsilanti. He was a mentor to many of us and his significant contributions to the preservation of Ypsilanti historical artifacts will benefit future generations. We hope everyone will visit the Dr. William P. Edmunds Ypsilanti Room and see the picture and plaque placed there in his honor.

The “Lost Ypsilanti Speaks!” exhibit was a great success. We plan to feature one location that was included in the exhibit in each future issue of the Gleanings. This issue features One South Huron Street where our City Hall is located. It is interesting and enlightening to read about the history of various sites in our city and the original City Hall building was certainly a magnificent structure.

This issue also features the first in a series of articles on churches in Ypsilanti. The “One Hundred Eighty One Years of Methodism in Ypsilanti” article was assembled from a series of historical articles from the First United Methodist Church. We hope those of you who are serving as historians for other churches in Ypsilanti will assist us in gathering materials and writing articles.

Please make sure you mark your calendars for the September 18th quarterly membership meeting and program. The antique roadshow and auction should be a lot of fun. Not only will you be able to have your own favorite antique evaluated but you will be able to listen in on the evaluations of antiques brought in by others. Again, mark your calendars now for September 18, 2005 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

Also coming up is our third annual “Quilt Show” from September 29 through October 16. Please read the ad for the quilt show and the comments about the quilt show in the Museum Advisory Board Report in this issue of the Gleanings.

I want to again remind all our members that the back page of the Gleanings includes a membership application. We hope each of you will share your issue of the Gleanings with friends and encourage them to join our Society. Most of our operating budget for the year comes from membership income and every dollar collected allows us to provide better service to the greater Ypsilanti area.

We have posted an additional 170 photographs from our photo archives collections on the Internet. You can access the site by going to the YHS site at “ypsilantihistoricalsociety.org” and then going to the archives section of the site. The site is searchable by keywords.

If you would like to get more involved in Society programs and activities please give me a call at 734–484–3023. We are always looking for volunteers to serve as docents in the Museum or to serve on one of the committees. Activities range from typing in information on a computer to helping with facility maintenance.

For Information about upcoming Society events, visit us on-line at:

www.ypsilantihistoricalsociety.org

Report from the Museum Advisory Board

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Summer 2005,
Summer 2005
Original Images:

Author: Virginia Davis-Brown

Have you been to the museum lately? If you haven't you are missing a wonderful exhibit. The Underground Railroad exhibit will be up until after the Heritage Festival. We are privileged to have, this year, a remarkable quilt made by the first and second grade students from The Ann Arbor Child Development Center in Ann Arbor. It shows the trials and problems that the slaves encountered on their trip to freedom. It is an amazing piece of art.

Our Annual Docent Luncheon will be June 15 at 12:30 P.M. This is our way of thanking the Docents and Volunteers for all the hours that they donate to guide the visitors and to keep the museum in the condition that you are accustomed to seeing it.

I can't believe that The Heritage Festival will be here so soon on August 19, 20 and 21. Every year we enjoy having visitors from all parts of the country visit us. We will need extra docents at that time. If you could volunteer a couple hours during this time it would be greatly appreciated. It is not hard as we have information in each room for you to refer to. Our hours during the Heritage Festival will be Friday-2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Saturday-11:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Sunday-12:00 noon to 4:00 pm. Please call Joan Carpenter at 971–0536 if you are able to help.

A new exhibit, “‘The Lost Ypsilanti” will start on July 21 and run through Labor Day. The Lost Ypsilanti is an exhibit that will show the history of many businesses and buildings in the City of Ypsilanti, that are no longer there, and what has happened to them. This will bring back a lot of memories of what Ypsilanti used to be. There will also be some products that were made in the earlier days of the city. We also have a display of souvenir Ypsilanti spoons that Ernie Griffin has loaned us.

Plans are under way for our annual Quilt Show. We are in need of quilts to make it a success. Would you be willing to lend one or two of your contemporary or new quilts to be shown from September 29 to October 16th? If you like would to show your quilt please call me at 484–0080 and I will send you the information.

Thank you again for all your support.

Visit the Automotive Museum

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Summer 2005,
Summer 2005
Original Images:

Ypsilanti's Automotive Heritage Museum and Miller Motors Hudson is open seven day a week. Museum hours are as follows:

Monday-Friday:

1:30–5:30 pm

Saturday:

9:30 am to 5:00 pm

Sunday:

noon to 5:00 pm
Learn about the unusual role Ypsilanti and its pioneers played in the history of the American automobile.

• See over thirty vehicles of a bygone era which are connected to Ypsilanti's history.
• Study first hand the signs and records of early area auto dealers.
• Solve the mystery of the world's most notorious highway map.
• Gain a new perspective on the matchless significance the evolution and development of the automobile has had on our society in the past 100 years.

The museum is located in historic Depot Town at 100 East Cross Street.

Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Summer 2005,
Summer 2005
Original Images:

Author: Marcia McCrary, President GSWC

Have you ever wondered where your great grandparents lived and what they did? Genealogists seek to answer those questions and many more. One of the fun parts of this hobby is discovering ten more questions when you find the answer to one. The members of the Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County range from brand new searchers to those who have been working at it for 10, 20 or 30 years or more. The Society holds meetings throughout the school year to help with this process. Usually a meeting consists of a speech, followed by an “After Class” which is often a little more informal and covering a smaller scope than the main speech.

The group meets generally on the 4th Sunday of the Month, September thru May, at the Education Center Auditorium, St. Joseph Hospital, starting at 1:30. Some of the upcoming meetings will cover: September 25, 2005-Dr. James Freed will speak on the use of DNA in genealogy; October 23, 2005-Amy Crow Johnson will discuss “Between the County and Federal Levels: Using State Government Records” and “Butcher, Baker…Using Occupational Records”; on December 4, 2005 Karen Krugman will talk about “Dying to Get in There — Cemetery Records and Why You Need Them.” Additional topics to be covered in 2006: Jan. 22 — “Introduction to Scottish Genealogy” with Bob Ferrett; Feb. 26 — Black History in Essex County, Ontario (and ties to Ypsilanti) by Bryan and Shannon Prince, March 26 — “Internet Strategies” with Sharon Brevoort, and April 23 — a joint meeting with the Washtenaw County Historical Society on the history of the two groups. The May 21 program is yet to be determined.

The Society also maintains a joint library with the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (LDS). This research spot used to be in Ann Arbor, and is still called the “Ann Arbor Stake,” but it is now located at 525 Woodland Drive, in Saline (between Maple and Ann Arbor-Saline Road). It is open Monday, Thursday, Saturday 10–2, Tuesday and Wednesday 6–9. The phone number is 734–944–4789. In the library are found old Washtenaw County vital records such as birth, marriage and death, plus cemetery readings and reference books. Other areas covered include other counties in Michigan, Michigan's surrounding states plus New England, as well as much more. Some records are available on CD-ROMs, and internet access is also provided. A microfilm-lending program allows the library to order microfilms for you for a modest fee from Salt Lake City which must be used in the library (actually ALL the materials must be used in-house, it is not a lending library). Some of the Canadian films and others which are frequently consulted have been placed on indefinite loan. Volunteers are ready to get you started and answer questions.

There are, of course, other places to go for genealogical answers: the Ypsilanti Historical Society Archives is an excellent source for local information; the Bentley Library on the University of Michigan Campus; the State Library of Michigan in Lansing and the Burton Historical Collection at the Detroit Public Library, to mention only a few.

Michigan Firehouse Museum Events

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Summer 2005,
Summer 2005
Original Images:

August 16 and 17
Junior Fire Marshal Camp for 4–6 year olds, one session at Perry School, next day split between the Ypsilanti Fire Department and the Museum, covering Fire Safety and Fun with fire trucks.

August 20
Ice Cream Social at Ypsilanti Heritage Festival.

August 27
Muster in Riverside Park-see fire trucks at work, learn about fire fighting, and visit Dexter's Smoke House to learn about fire safety.

Contact Information:

Michigan Firehouse Museum
110 W. Cross St, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Phone: 734–547–0663
Email: firemuseum2@msn.com

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