News from the Fletcher White Archives

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Spring 2006,
Spring 2006
Original Images:

Author: Gerry Pety

What a weird and wonderful winter we have had at the archives. It started very cold and then became almost spring-like in January and February. Seems that everyday was a complete surprise either because of the weather or the people that came from all over the United States to visit. I know that the spring weather will bring even more people from distant places to our doorstep. Now we only have to convince our members who live locally to come and visit. We have even had producers from PBS who are doing documentaries about this Ypsilanti area. They found the archives rich in information and pictures from the past. So break in those expensive sneakers you got from Santa Claus and run on down to the archives! We are open Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and Sundays from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.

To say that we have been busy is an understatement as we have been inundated with graduate students from Professor Ligibel's Historic Preservation Studies program at Eastern Michigan University. It is refreshing to see that they are being taught how to think and deduce the “who,” “what,” “where” and “when” of ownership of some problematic properties within the city of Ypsilanti. This is not always as easy as one might think when studying the histories of some of these parcels of land. The recording of ownership and transfer of properties was not always correctly attended to at the time it actually occurred, and this has required the city to find answers to some issues 50 to 100 years after the situation occurred. This has been a terrific learning experience for these students as they work with primary records, surveys, and directories. Dr. Ligibel's students bring vibrancy to the archives and we welcome them.

TA-DA! Our antique 1890 and 1865 maps are back. Through the generosity of Dorothy and Rodney Hutchinson they are now protected and preserved for generations to come, and they look
Magnificent!
As you may or may not know, they were experiencing some problems that only a professional preservationist could handle. Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Hutchinson for caring so much!

We will probably be selling copies of the 1890 map in a very limited, full sized edition, on special acid free paper to raise funds for other preservation projects involving our Ypsilanti City Directories. The directories are in heavy use every day and we have to come up with a way to be able to use them while protecting them. We will keep the membership advised through the “Gleanings” about the map and preservation projects. If you are interested in purchasing a map or would like to see what this is all about, come and visit the archives. We will be taking orders in March; the cost will be about $50.00. We expect to make no more than 100 copies and we expect an early sellout. Call me at the archives at 482–4990 during regular hours or at home at 572–0437. The maps will probably be available in May and will come in their own protective tubes.