PPNA Happenings

Happenings, history and news of the Prospect Park Neighborhood and Ypsilanti

Archive for February, 2008

Blueprint of Downtown — After the Vision

Posted by ppna on February 29, 2008

As I’ve written about before HyettPalma came to town to create a new vision for us and Tuesday night was our chance to speak out. You can find my initial feelings on the downtown plan here. I do want you to keep in mind that $50,000 dollars was spent bringing HyettPalma to town to work out this report. I will admit I’ve been wrong a lot on this blog and I’m hoping they will prove me wrong with that key to the puzzle we’ve been missing. I guess the city and state feel that we are too close to our problems and it takes an outsider to help us solve them (especially an outsider that is only visiting the city for 5 days).

I was very happy to see the turnout at the meeting and the variety of Ypsilantians that came to the session. The meeting was basically composed of the citizens answering the following questions:

  1. If the citizens, the business community and the government were to continue to work together over the next 5 years to make Downtown Ypsilanti the very best it coulb be, what would you like to see result from that effort?
  2. For you to consider those efforts a success what kind of an experience would you be able to have in Downtown five years from now?
  3. What do you like most about Downtown at this time?
  4. What do you like least about Downtown at this time?
  5. What changes or improvements would you like to see made in Downtown over the next five years?
  6. Would there be any changes in the way Downtown looks?
  7. Who would the customer and users of your successful Downtown be in 5 years?
  8. What would you like Downtown’s image to be five years from now?
  9. What would you like to hear out-of-towners saying on the streets of Downtown in 5 years?

People raised their hands and answered these questions. Of course there were the responses you would expect which boiled down to, “I want it to look nice, be busy, be safe, and meet all of my needs.” Most people did agree that they wanted to keep it Ypsilanti which is the most important value but something that can’t be explained to a planner from Virginia. Keeping chain stores out of Downtown and making our downtown unique were among the other top issues.

People also rightly complained about the building owners not maintaining their properties. I understand some can’t afford the upkeep but they should ask the community for help. I know I keep fighting for property owner rights but I think there is a difference between graffiti that an owner wants to be protected and an overall dirty/trashy look. Vacant storefronts can be cleaned and have window displays so they look like something special. This could be accomplished with some Windex, painted drywall, a couple of 2x4s and some of our local artists.

No potential solutions were allowed to be discussed at the meeting. HyettPalma is getting paid to tell us our solutions. The Jury is out on this meeting until March 10th when HyettPalma returns to tell us what they figured out. I will suggest that we have more open meeting of this sort to get the communication going in our city and I think this meeting was a good start. I understand there are a million committees that meet but I think it should be community discussion groups not committees.

Steve Pierce taped the meeting and I suggest you watch it if you can. The date for suggestions or filing your own vision is today since Hyett and Palma are heading back to Virginia to tally up the score and count their cash.


Posted in Kurt's Rants, Ypsilanti General | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ypsilanti’s Biggest Litter Bug

Posted by ppna on February 24, 2008

Trusty Getto pointed out that the Supreme Court has defended the Right of Free Speech over the rights of property owners and he is correct. Case after case has been decided where the right to deliver unsolicited writings (pamphlets, newspapers, etc.) outweigh the minor inconvenience of a property owner to clean up the mess. Even though we have city ordinances against this litter we would never be able to enforce them without a legal challenge that we would lose. Read the Comments section for analysis.

It’s a nice sunny day here in Ypsilanti and with the sun comes the snow melt and with the snow melt comes the hidden treasures and trash. Of course I’m talking about “The Ypsilanti Community News” thrown on our sidewalks, driveways and lawns week after week. I’m not a fan of having this trash thrown on my lawn or around my neighborhood and I’d like it to stop. The ‘Community News’ is a terrible waste of resources which we as a city are forced to pay for the cleanup either with waste fees if it is thrown in the garbage or recycling fees if its recycled not to mention all of the other environmentally unfriendly issues that arise with production and transport.
I have called the A2 news and asked them not to throw it at my house and it was stopped for awhile but eventually those bags came back. I suppose it’s not such a hardship for me to pick up the ‘Community News’ throw the bag away and put the paper in the recycling bin but it is a hardship for the owners of the many vacant houses in my neighborhood or the neighbors that have to attend to the trash next-door.
Finally, What the A2 News is doing is ILLEGAL in a number of ways, It is Illegal for the A2 news to have it thrown in your yard, It is illegal for the carrier to throw it from a vehicle and finally if you don’t pick it up in a timely manner you are acting illegally. I don’t like situations where another persons actions force you to act or you become a criminal (this is the same as the graffiti code) it doesn’t seem fair especially when it is a commercial enterprise that the city is allowing to act illegally.
Definitions for references below.
Newspaper means any periodical of general circulation published at least quarterly and which contains not more than 85 percent advertising.
*** The Community News packet is not considered a newspaper under the codes of Ypsilanti. The community News packet has well more than the liberal 85 percent advertising.
Litter means all rubbish, refuse, waste material, garbage, offal, paper, glass, cans, bottles, trash, wrecked, scrapped or abandoned vehicles, rags, scrap metal, scrap plumbing parts; broken and/or used indoor appliances, furniture, overstuffed furniture when not fully enclosed in a structure; or parts of any of the foregoing or similar property. Furniture designed and manufactured as outdoor furniture is excluded as “litter” so long as it is in good condition.
*** The community news does fit the code as litter.
Handbill means any printed or written matter, any sample, dodger, circular, leaflet, pamphlet, paper, booklet or other type of written or printed matter, except a newspaper, a utility company notice, a legal notice, a traffic citation or a business card having an area smaller than three square inches.
*** The Community News could also be known as a Handbill
Sec. 42-72. Litter thrown by persons in vehicles.
No person shall throw litter from a vehicle.
(Code 1983, § 9.36)
Cross references: Traffic and vehicles, ch. 102.
***The Community News is definetly paper and in my neighborhood it is thrown from a vehicle making the driver susceptible to a traffic violation.
Sec. 42-74. Maintenance of exterior of premises.
The owner or person in control of any private property shall, at all times, maintain the exterior of the premises free of all litter; provided, however, that this section shall not prohibit the storage of litter in private receptacles for collection, and further shall not prohibit any compost pile provided such compost pile is not larger than reasonably necessary to supply the needs of the property served, and further provided that such compost pile is not of such a nature as to spread or harbor disease, emit unpleasant odors or harmful gas, or attract rodents, vermin or other disease-carrying pests, animals, or insects, provided that the presence of earth worms in a compost pile shall not constitute a nuisance.
(Code 1983, § 9.38)

*** The above code tells property owners that they receive ownership of the litter on their property and that they have to clean up the litter on their property.

Sec. 42-75. Sidewalks and alleys to be kept free of litter.

Persons owning or occupying property within the city shall keep the sidewalks and alleys adjacent to the property free of litter.
(Code 1983, § 9.39)
Sec. 42-76. Distribution of commercial and noncommercial handbills–In public places.

No person shall throw or deposit any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any sidewalk, street or other public place within the city, with the exception of public kiosks or other places designated by the city council by resolution. No person shall hand out or distribute or sell any commercial handbill in any public place; provided, that it shall not be unlawful on any sidewalk, street or other public place within the city for any person to hand out or distribute, without charge to the receiver thereof, any noncommercial handbill to any person willing to accept it.
(Code 1983, § 9.42)
Cross references: Businesses, ch. 22.
Sec. 42-78. Same–Uninhabited or vacant premises.

No person shall throw or deposit any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any private premises which are temporarily or continuously uninhabited or vacant.
(Code 1983, § 9.44)
*** The photo above shows Community News Handbills/Litter in front of a vacant house on the city side of the sidewalk.

Sec. 42-80. Same–In inhabited private premises.

(a) No person shall throw, deposit or distribute any commercial handbill in or upon private premises which are inhabited, except by handing or transmitting any such handbill directly to the owner, occupant or other person then present in or upon such private premises; provided, that in case of inhabited private premises which are not posted, as provided in this division, such person, unless requested by anyone upon such premises not to do so, may place or deposit any such handbill in or upon such inhabited private premises, if such handbill is so placed or deposited as to secure or prevent such handbill is so placed or deposited as to secure or prevent such handbill from being blown or drifted about such premises or sidewalks, streets or other public places and except that mailboxes may not be so used when so prohibited by federal postal law or regulations.
(b) The provisions of this division shall not apply to the distribution of mail by the United States, nor to newspapers (as defined herein); except that newspapers shall be placed on private property in such a manner as to prevent their being carried or deposited by the elements upon any street, sidewalk or other public place or upon private property.
(Code 1983, § 9.46)

*** My guess is the Community News is following the passage that allow newspapers to be placed at private premises. They fail this exception in two ways; the first is the Community News doesn’t meet the requirement of a Newspaper and it is not placed in a manner to prevent it being carried upon the sidewalk (since they throw it to land where it may).

I hope our ordinance enforcement units will fine the A2 news or ask them to stop delivering the Community News. Of course, if you enjoy it you have every right to ask for it to be delivered. Those of us that don’t like receiving the A2 Community news shouldn’t have to ask for it to stop.

Posted in Kurt's Rants | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Kurt’s Week in Review

Posted by ppna on February 24, 2008

I’ve decided to post reviews of the places I go and the things I do so you can determine if perhaps they are places you’d like to visit. I would also think the reviews will be helpful to remind us of things we should try to bring to Ypsilanti because I find myself in the Metro-Detroit area more than I would like.

My ending up in metro-Detroit more than Ypsilanti seems to be a two part issue.
1. I haven’t found a great, easy resource of all the events going on in Ypsilanti so I don’t know of ways to spend my time here. If you know of anyone that is keeping a good Ypsilanti Events Blog let me know or if you have an event that I should post let me know.
2. Some of the things to do outside the City of Ypsilanti are fantastic and must bee seen. Perhaps some of these things I go to will be promoted as possible solutions for Downtown at the Tuesday meeting.

This past week was a pretty busy week for me here in the Ypsilanti / Ann Arbor / metroit-metro area.

Wednesday —

A couple of friends and myself attended a Detroit Synergy sponsored  ‘Supper Club Event’ at Enoteca Campo Marzio, 660 Woodward Ave which is a new wine and cheese bar located directly off of Campus Martius in Detroit. I was incredibly impressed with Enoteca. The cheese and wine selection are fabulous and the prices aren’t bad at all, it’s a wine and cheese place for the common man. As long as you don’t go overboard on the wine (~$30 and up a bottle, flights ~$10) you’ll leave full and having spent less than $50.00 for two.

Or course, sticking to our roots, we had to first visit the Greenwich Time Pub which is located one block East of Enoteca. It’s a great Detroit bar which hasn’t been updated since the early 60s. Their trademark is the clocks behind the bar that are set for the times of big cities around the world. Keeping with the style of the bar only one of the 6 clocks works but nobody cares. I have read, not tried yet, that they have one of the best burgers in the city of Detroit. They also have Miller High Life on Draft using the last remaining compressor powered tap in the city. No pesky CO2 tanks for them to deal with. There are two rotating bartenders a lady who’s brother Kurt died tragically at a young age and a young guy Mike. Both bartenders are classic examples of bartenders – trained to talk with the patrons as much as serve them drinks.

Both places were fantastic for completely different reasons. Of course if your down there it’s hard not to stop in Arcade Bar-Bar and Lafayette Coney Island (Don’t bother with American Coney it’s not even close to the same).

Wait — We aren’t done with Wednesday yet, From the wine and Cheese tasting we headed to Berkley and the Berkley Front. DJ Dell Villareal and Asian Elvis (that’s his name – I wouldn’t make this stuff up) were promoting a show featuring Wayne ‘the train’ Hancock. Cover for the show was $10.00 and the PBR’s were $2.00 so it was a lot of value for the buck. The Berkley front is a great Beer Lovers Bar, tons of good and interesting beer on tap and even more interesting combinations (like the OB1 — Combo of Guiness and Oberon) but the room for music is upstairs, small, dark, and very smoky but the show was fantastic. Wayne Hancock played for 3 hours straight, that’s an awful lot of 2-3minute songs.


Thursday was the introduction of Tree Fort Beer at the Corner Brewery. As always beer introductions are a great time and you get to see a lot of the mug-club friends (releases are free for mug-club members $15.00 for others). I didn’t care for the Tree Fort Beer but I think it is a good product. It is a less alcohol beer which is something the Corner has needed since the demise of Helles. Get down there and try it yourself.

Thursday was also ‘Beer With Bloggers’ night at Frenchies. I didn’t make it to the event so I can’t post anything about it.

My competitive urges forced me to ‘Tough Trivia Thursday’s’ at Theos. I know, I keep telling you but this is a great night out Alan Black of WAAM radio created and hosts the trivia night (7-9pm on Thursdays). I think there were 10 teams this past week which makes the night a lot more fun. My team, The Bearded Rainbows, finished in first place once again. This coming Thursday is your last chance to qualify for the Grand-Prize week (should be good prizes) coming up in 2 weeks so get there this next Thursday.

Not much to report for Friday. I did go to the GK (Ghetto Kroger — The one on Michigan Ave. by Value World) to try to pick up produce but everything seemed rotten and was very expensive. GK doesn’t refer to the neighborhood it refers to the store itself. I swear Kroger stocks this store with produce they pull off the shelves at other stores because they can’t sell it to people where there is competition for a grocery. The one saving grace of GK is that printed on the back of your receipt are $8.00 off coupons to Los Amigos Mexican Restaurant at 2851 E. Michigan Ave.


Saturday morning started off with a trip to Detroit’s Eastern Market. I love the Eastern Market in the winter because there are no crowds. There are fewer vendors in the Winter but you can get everything you need anyway. The past few times it’s been Asparagus and Citrus which have been really cheap.

I then stopped at Mike’s Famous Ham — On Michigan ave in Corktown for a Ham Sandwich. There are 4 menu items at Mike’s — Ham and Egg Omelet, Ham and Egg Sandwich, Ham Sandwich or whole ham. I opted for the $6.00 ham sandwich which was at least 2 pounds in weight.

Saturday Night I met up with the Metro-Detroit Craft Beer Meet-up group at the DragonMead Brewery in Warren (696 and 11mile 20seconds off the highway). DragonMead is a fabulous place. They have probably 50 beers available and a ton of styles.  They have a choose your own sampler with 5 6oz samples for $10.50. It doesn’t have the room or the charm of the Corner Brewery but it can’t be beat when it comes to beer.  I will suggest joining this meet-up because everyone in the group seemed great.

I then went on to the Palace of Auburn hills to see the Blue Man Group.   I didn’t get the show at all.  The cheapest tickets were $50.00 each (Unless you won them at Tough Trivia Thursdays at Theos) and I certainly didn’t get $50.00 worth of a show.   Half of the crowd seemed to enjoy it and the other half seemed to have been dragged in waiting for it to be over with.   I ended up leaving the show early and I don’t recommend the show.

That leaves tonight when I start off another week with a get together at the Corner.


Posted in Kurt's Rants | Leave a Comment »

Graffiti and the City Part 2

Posted by ppna on February 22, 2008

Here is a brief update on the graffiti issue that I had written about previously

This is taken from the City Council Packet 2-19-08 which includes the minutes of the Feb 5th City Council meeting.

Mayor Schreiber read the rules for audience participation.
1. Hedger Breed, 117 Pearl Street, urged City Council to hold back the law to
allow the graffiti on his building to remain. He said he understands there is a
law against graffiti to stop the tagging of criminal gangs, however he is fond of
the graffiti and feels it promotes art in the city. He added that he sought help
from City staff but found them to be arrogant.

Mayor Schreiber addressed Mr. Breed’s concern and stated that graffiti was a
growing problem in the past and City Council took action by creating an ordinance
declaring it a public nuisance. He explained to Mr. Breed that his options are to go
to court or petition the Council for an ordinance change. Regarding Mr. Breed’s
comment that City staff was arrogant, the Mayor apologized and said he hopes that
the staff and Council Members are not trying to be arrogant.

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20/20 Task Force

Posted by ppna on February 22, 2008

The 20/20 Task Force came out with it’s 2nd quarterly report which can be found as part of the City Council Packet found on the City of Ypsilanti website.

I suggest you all read the report its conveniently located at the start of the City Council Packet. The folks on the task force seem to be doing a lot of work and if you see a member of the task force out and about make sure to offer them a big Thank You.

I would offer a summary of the report but the report is itself a summary and a summary of a summary doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Thank You Task Force,


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1865 Newspaper Notes — Ypsilanti Commercial

Posted by ppna on February 20, 2008

Here are my Notes for the Year of 1865 – This time its from the paper ‘The Ypsilanti Commercial”


The dates represent the date of the Newspaper not the date of the event.

Italics are my comments:


Community News

  • Jan 13 The Colored People of Ypsilanti – 2 churches, Methodist and Baptist bought old Presbyterian church for $1200 hope to get help from citizens of city to pay for.  School built by city.
  • Lots of Burglaries of Houses
  • Mad Dogs in the neighborhood of Mr. Gortons five miles south & also in the Tuttle neighborhood.  Speculation gone mad from want of water.  As I said before there are numerous posts of mad dogs and dogs running wild in Ypsilanti’s History.
  • April 10th (from YC April 14th) Celebration of Lee’s Surrender:  loud cheers & noise makers throughout town.  Boys firing canon and canon exploded (nobody killed).   Huge bon-fire at night.  Speeches by S.M. Cutcheon, Hon Chancy Joslin  and others.  Ed. Made at Joslin because he was a democrat against the war.
  • April 15th (from YC April 22nd) News of Lincoln’s death arrived.  Mayor ordered suspension of business & to drape the city in mourning.  Black flags flown at ½ mast, tearful people gathered on corners. City observed the funeral services the same time as the national funeral on Wednesday April 19th 12pm.  Business ceased and services were held at the Presbyterian church and the Union Seminary.  It was a mournful rainy day.
  • June 17: Horse attached to Brewery Wagon of Wise & Campbell ran loose after being startled.  John Campbell run over  Nothing like being run over by a wagon full of beer.
  • July 1:  Fire at Widow Talcott’s corner Ellis & Ballard.
  • July 8:  4th of July ‘dull’ day the denizens at Forest ave got up some fireworks.  Hon S.M. Cutcheon, Rev Mr. Hewitte & Professor Estabrook gave speeches Apparently the 4th of July celebrations in Ypsilanti weren’t anything much (except for the very 1st 4th of July celebration hosted by Woodruff) most people went to Ann Arbor on the 4th of July.   
  • Temperence meeting –  Mr. Hewitt presented the facts 25 Saloons $50,000 sold a year as opposed to $10,000 raised by churches.  I wonder what the 2007 intake of money for booze compared to Churches in Ypsilanti was.  My guess, a lot more than 5 to 1.
  • Sept 25 City gathered $1500  to start building Museum at Normal School
  • Javis wouldn’t sell land to Catholic Church for a cemetery (didn’t want neighbors upset) so they brought in a 3rd party who bought the land then turned it over to the Church.
  • School edifice to be erected on the east side of River nearly opposite Dr. Davis.
  • 5th ward Primary school – river street
  • Mary G. Seaver – residence River St. North of Forest Colored school
  • Aug 19  Gen Grant Train stopped in city at 5pm last Tuesday (15th) Shook hands for 10minutes


Community Members

  • Feb 10th – Charles Kellogg laid to rest.  I’ve been trying to find a link between the Kellogg and Post families in Ypsilanti and those in Battle Creek but I haven’t as of yet.
  • Feb 24th Charles Worden Died – 40 years old – boot & shoe business, had tin & hardware business
  • Lucy E. Follett died Nov 24th of Typhoid fever at age 18.  Daughter of Mrs. E.N. and Benjamin
  • Mr. J. Forsyth arrested Mr G. Pattice on a charge of violating city ordinance by using profane and insulting language.  Mr. P. Didn’t appreciate being arrested and bid defiance.  Mr. F. then rearrested Mr. P.
  • May 13: A.H. Goodrich & D.L. Quirk are enclosing their residence on Huron with a new fence mainly wood but molded & sanded to imitate cast iron at a cost of $30 a rod.
  • Eli Dickinson “Father Dickinson” born 1793 Phelps county Ontario 16 years ago found as almost hapless cripple – Files saws
  • Benefit concert to get Mr. A. George an artificial arm


Business News

  • Jan 20: Company organized with $100,000 to build a factory.  Owned by I.N. Conklin, D.L. Quirk, C. Cornwell, A. Dow, M.L. Shutts, Elvira Follett. Factory to be built on the Eagle Mill Property just below the upper bridge opposite Plaster Mill, (20 foot fall at that point of river) ½ factory at Eagle Bridge, ½ factory at Phillips Bridge.
  • March 24 Ypsilanti Woolen Company – Ground is broken.  Mr. Robert Hemphill is devoting all his attention to the work of erecting a suitable building, Hail to the first Ypsilanti Factory
  • Host of Follett house makes $36,000 on land speculation in PA (paid $800.00 for land)  I have read that one of Ypsilanti’s problems during the development of Ypsilanti was that so much land and factories were owned by so few people that new investors and entrepreneurs wouldn’t settle in Ypsilanti.  This same problem sent a lot of Ypsilanti investment monies out of the city for speculation in other parts of the country.
  • Oil Company formed with $25,000 by Messrs.  D. Showerman, Philo Ferrier, C. Yost, and C. Stuck for speculation in PA.
  • Dickinson & Lambie dissolved & Dickinson & Shutts formed to continue selling clothes in Jackson.
  • John Lambie takes Shutts place in the lathe and turning factory of Dickinson, Batchelder and Shutts.
  • Dickinson & Lambie are to leave the city 1st of March did well but are moving business to Jackson.
  • Gardner Cross – Giving up hardware business at Depot
  • Alva Worden inventor “horse nets” expects to make 3000
  • Woolen Mill tour  D.L Quirk supervised building.  33’x103’x66’ Mr C. Cornwell director of putting in Machinery Cost $50,000 – All steps of production from Raw Wool – Sort, Card, and Weave will employ around 5
  • March 10th    Paper changes name from True Democrat to Ypsilanti Commercial
  • June 3rd. New Soda Fountain at Smith & Bros
  • Batchelder Bros – Marble works on Washington makers of Tombstones
  • David Edwards & A. Cooper owners of Larzelere block corner of Congress & Washington opposite the Hawkin House have a 1st class Sash & Blind factory
  • Corner of Congress & Adams purchased ample ground for Lumber Yard
  • August 5 Wool trade – ML Shutts bought 50,000lbs,  Ypsilanti Woolen mill Co. 26,000lbs C.Yost 47,000lbs
  • Cornwell & Barnes putting up a brick block to be used as a store house in the rear of Shutts & Ferriers Foundry 100’ x 30’ 3 stories
  • Ypsilanti Woolen Mill overhauled
  • Aug 26th Paper Mill Visit ——– read more in paper If you are interested in the Paper Mill check out the Aug 26th paper there is a very good article on the mill.
  • Cornwell & Barnes about to open a rag warehouse at depot 100’ x 33’ 3 stories 12-13 women will sort rags for the paper mill.  Paper mill built in 1858 ~$40,000  Mr. Mason  
  • Leonard foreman mill employs 35-40ppl





Real estate sold and reported in Ypsilanti in 1865.  If you own one of these houses or live in the area perhaps you can comment on the current state of the house. Or is you can give an address of these buildings please comment and I’ll enter it.



  • John McCarty sells house and lot on oak to J.W. VanCleve $1,000
  • Redman Smith house & lot on Oak to C.L. Yost $1200
  • Mrs. Madison cook house and lot on Huron to J.S. Jenness $2700
  • J.S. Jenness house and lot on Huron to Mrs. Sarah Gay $3250
  • L.D. Norris, his former residence, house and 4 lots on River $3000
  • J.R. Campbell house & lot on River $2500
  • Wm. M. Roberts boarding house in Brick Block corner of Huron & River ? to Mr. Leech of A2 $4000
  • J. Vancleve house & lot on River to J.N. Scott.
  • Mrs M Drake to John S. McDowell river st $1800
  • Thomas Philips to Mr. Bigler Corner of River & Oak $1200
  • T. Ellis lot on Washinton to N. Phillips $700
  • A.S. Welch House & 14 Acres of Land on Forest to S. Post $9550
  • Follett house sold for $10,000 to Mr. Wm. Antisdel of Detroit (cheap price)
  • Newell block for sale. March 17th
  • Asa Dow sold house on Huron to A.H. Goodrich for $14,000 including furniture (avg houses sold for around $4000)
  • Hawkins House sold to John Beetle. 
  • Bush & Horner purchase Dickinson Property directly south of their mammoth Agricultural and Grocery.  Removed 1st house & refitted the Dorr house, a former nuisance and then moved it to Ninde to use it for a store house.



Posted in Ypsilanti History | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Roots Music Project on WEMU

Posted by ppna on February 19, 2008

I often refer to the ‘Roots Music Project’ on WEMU Saturday’s from noon until 2pm so I thought I’d give you more of an idea of what they play.   Jeremy Baldwin sent this summary to me.

Since Willy Wilson will be filling in for the next 2 weeks and I will miss
my 100th show, I thought it was a good time to recount stats on The Roots
Music Project...

Through 99 shows (Not including guest hosts)

720 Different Artists

Most played:
Bob Dylan 45
Johnny Cash 42
Willie Nelson 30
Dave Alvin 23
John Prine 23
Emmylou Harris 21
Old Crow Medicine Show 21
The Sadies 21
Steve Earle 20
Merle Haggard 19
Alison Krauss 19
Jim Lauderdale 19
Los Straitjackets 19
Lucinda Williams 19
The Holmes Brothers 18
Guy Clark 16
Alvin Youngblood Hart 16
Eilen Jewell 16
Red Stick Ramblers 16
Blanche 15
Horse Cave Trio 15
Bruce Springsteen 15

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Downtown Vision Session

Posted by ppna on February 19, 2008

I received this in the email today and thought it would be something everyone would like to attend. I went to the parks planning session and thought that was a very worthwhile thing to do.

Please comment on how you would answer the questions in the invite. I’ve previously written on this subject so check that out if you haven’t already.


The Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority (YDDA) and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), in consultation with downtown revitalization consultants HyettPalma, are hosting the event. Come out, speak up and share your vision of the future of Downtown with us and help us answer the following questions:

· If the citizens, the business community, and the government were to continue to work together over the next 5 years to make Downtown Ypsilanti the very best it could be, what would you like to see result from that effort?

· For you to consider those efforts a success, what kind of an experience would you be able to have in Downtown five years from now?

· What do you like most about Downtown at this time?

· What do you like least about Downtown at this time?

· What changes or improvements would you like to see made in Downtown over the next five years?

· Would there be any changes in the way Downtown looks?

· Who would the customers and users of your successful Downtown be in 5 years?

· What would you like Downtown’s image to be five years from now?

Please pass this email and poster on to your neighbors, classmates, fellow business owners, and anyone else you know who is interest in seeing Downtown Ypsilanti succeed.

We look forward to seeing you next Tuesday evening at 7pm at First United Methodist Church!

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Ypsilanti Recycling Guidelines

Posted by ppna on February 17, 2008

I just thought I’d put the guidelines out there for those that don’t know the rules of Ypsilanti Recycling. We really do have a good program here in Ypsilanti and I suggest you recycle as much as you can. If you have more trash bags than recycle containers you could be doing a lot more.

The guidelines are on the city website under Public Works and as always I suggest you go to the primary source when I copy something because it might change there but it won’t here.

If you want more information visit the Washtenaw County Recycle site. The County accepts those hazardous things you just can’t figure out how to get rid of responsibly and has tips on a lot of other things too.

Recycling Guidelines


Plastic Bottles with a 1(PET) or 2 (HDPE) on the Bottom

* No tubs, trays, lids or bags
* No motor oil or antifreeze bottles even with a 1 or 2
* Rinse, discard caps and flatten

Clear, Green, & Brown Glass Food & Beverage Containers

* Only bottles & jars, no window glass, no ceramics, no dishes, no drinking glasses, and no light bulbs
* Rinse & remove caps & recycle in bin

Tin & Aluminum

* Rinse, remove ends and flatten
* Includes non deposit cans, foil and
* disposable baking trays ONLY.

Milk Cartons & Juice Boxes

* Rinse and Flatten
* No Plastic Caps
* No frozen juice concentrate tubs

Do not place the above in bags please!


* Bundle each category separately with string or place in paper bags or cardboard boxes.
* Place next to bin, but don’t block the view of bin.

Corrugated Cardboard

* Bundle in 3 foot by 4 foot bundles
* If too large to bundle, take to any drop-off center.
* No pizza boxes
* Place next to or on top of bin


* cereal boxes, egg cartons and similar type material
* flatten and remove inner bags or packaging
* milk cartons and juice boxes must be recycled with containers
* no boxboard that touched food

Newspaper, Magazines & Junk Mail

* Newspapers include glossy inserts
* Magazines and paperback books including phone books
* Mixed paper, glossy coated OK
* No plastic or metal tabs, binders, transparencies, carbon paper, sticky notes or tissue paper.

White Ledger (high grade)

* No colored paper (may be recycled with above), notebook paper or envelopes.
* Pin feed computer OK
* No thermal fax paper


* AA, AAA, C, D, 9 & 6 Volt type
* Car batteries
* Place in sealed clear baggie next to the bin
* Place car batteries in separate clear plastic bag, tightly tied.

Styrofoam (only accepted at drop-off center)

* Remove food Particles
* Stack in clear plastic bags, tightly tied or bundle with string.

Motor Oil/Transmission Fluid

* Do not mix fluids, must be in separate containers
* Place at the curb in sturdy containers such as clean empty plastic detergent or milk jugs, clearly marked OIL.
* No glass containers, No antifreeze
* No containers over 1 gallon


City Drop-Off Center
Township Drop-Off Centers

For many City residents, some of the extra services and locations available in the Township may be of interest.

Place the bin at the curb 6 feet from your rubbish by 6:30 a.m. on your regular collection day

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Ypsilanti 1864, True Democrat Notes

Posted by ppna on February 16, 2008

Below you will find notes I took from ‘The True Democrat’ Ypsilanti’s weekly newspaper in 1864. They are just things I thought you might be interested in Reading.

Italics are my own comments. Dates are the date of the newspaper where article is found not date of event.


The True Democrat “free to do right – to do wrong Never”

Published weekly C.R. Pattison editor & proprietor


Friday March 11 :Article about Ypsilanti Young Men’s Society formed. A society for “moral & intellectual improvements of it’s members by means of lecture and debate and for the establishment of a reading room & library.

New Furniture store in Norris Block (furniture caneing and repairs) – A. Brooks Smith & Bro. “Dr. Soan’s Sure Cure”

March 9th : Christopher Howard notice wife left without just cause won’t pay her debts incurred after this date.

Attorneys :

  • Norris & Ninde
  • W.S. Atwoop – Norris Block
  • Edwin F. Uhl (fire insurance agent) office over Mart Crane’s Bookstore on Cross
  • S.M. Cutheon (law insurance agent) office in Hewitt Block


  • Dr S.A. Gerry Surgeon Dentist office north side Congress over National Bank
  • Dr S.W. Pattison – Surgeon & Homeopathic Physician office at residence Cross st. few rods East of Depot
  • C.E. Howland – Eclectic Physician – Newell Block on Cross st.

Other Businesses

  • David Coon – Cabinet & Chair Maker and Undertaker – Congress Across from Hawkin House
  • Dickinson & Lambie leased former Follett, Yost & Co. at the Depot. “Fancy Dress & business coating.” French, English and American clothes & Cassimere garments made to order and ready made clothes.
  • Shutts, Dickinson and Alexander leased for 5 years the 2 stores in the Norris Block for Agricultural & Mechanical Store. Machinery to be introduced into 2nd and 3rd stores.
  • Friday April 1 :Mills & Howland purchased Bumpus Tannery above the upper bridge $1000.00 plan to over hall the building and make it a market for pelts, hides, etc. This is the site of the Farm Bureau building on Forest.
  • Stowell Dimick – Dry Business
  • Mr. H. Bradley – Grocer new to city
  • Dr. A. Henry – City Grocery midway between 2 business points, had trouble with burglars
  • Smith & Bro.- ‘pharmacy’ sold elixirs
  • Mr. C. Worden & Bro. – boots and shoes built block with name
  • J.O. Cross – grew up Ypsi, father one of the first settlers, Large stock of goods, corner of Congress & Huron in Worden Block
  • Paper Mill – excellent product owned by Messrs. Cornwall, VanCleve & Barns
  • A.J Clark – owned Sunbeam Gallery once post office
  • R. Lambie – Store owner
  • Showerman Brothers – Dry Goods

Deaths ending in 1863

township 12, Ward 1(11), Ward 2(11), Ward 3(11), Ward4(8), Ward5(28)

46 Over 20 years old 35 Under 20years old

Est. Pop 6000 1 dead to 75 (normal ratio 1 per 33)

March 25 Businessmen at Depot :

  • Dickenson & Lambie – tailor Clothier MR D. Enviensi – Cutter (tailor)
  • Mart Crane – Gift Book & Variety Store – “Mart is a little Man”
  • Mr. A. Brooks – Furniture store
  • Mr. Coates – Meat Market East side River St – Norris Block
  • Norris & Ninde (Ninde Judge of probate for county) – Lawyers office North end Norris Block.
  • Mr. Uhl – (grew up in Ypsilanti) Attorney office above Mart Crane bookstore
  • Mr. Atwood – (stranger in town) – Attorney office above Norris & Ninde
  • S.W. Pattison M.D. – (20 year resident) office on Cross a few rods East of Depot
  • C.E. Howland M.D. (new to city) office on Cross opposite depot

Monday March 21st – Gen Burnside passed through. Train stopped for a few minutes and a few people shook his hand.

Friday April 15 :Overview of Ypsilanti

  • pop 6000
  • Proud of Union School & Normal School
  • A lack of shade trees & shrubbery in town. The Horticultural Association is working on the problem.
  • Appearance – Among the wealthier classes a love of ornamental trees & plants, buildings seem in good repair
  • Business- On any day hundreds of farmers teams would visit the depot
  • 3 banks, 10 dry goods stores, 11 groceries, 7 hotels, 4 hardware stores, 6 drug stores, 8 shoe & Boot stores, 4 cabinet ware rooms, 2 bakeries, 2 tanneries, 2 flour mills, 1 paper mill, 1 brewery, 1 plaster mill, 1 planing mill sash & blind factory, 1 barrell factory, 2 foundries, 1 machine shop, 3 carriage factories.
  • 9 lawyers 10 physicians
  • ”City of Churches” Ypsilanti far from a city of debauchery had 8 churches
  • 6 professors at Normal School 400-500 students
  • Union School – Corner of Cross & North built on site of former school building that burned. Cost $4000 1300 pupils run by Prof Estabrook. 3 male and 11 female teachers. The chapel / Hall held 1000 people.
  • 1863 Union School Numbers 1454 signed up average attendance 935 : 875 students between ages of 5 & 20, 220 Foreign students : 17 Teachers, Note the numbers of this report and the one directly above it are a little different.

Horticultural Report on Trees

  • March 25 : Meeting Ypsilanti Floral and Horticultural Association March 16th 1864 – President Chester Yost reports on groups from committee. (J.C. Holmes, John Gilbert, C.W. Hall)
  • Committee form the how-to of planting trees, types to use, distance. They recommend a fence on streets to be lined with trees because of all the cattle that are promenaded through town daily. Remember the Depot wasn’t just for dropping off passengers. Farmers used it daily to transport livestock and that livestock was driven through the streets of the city from farms to the depot.

Report on the 14th infantry.

Major Fitzgibbons & Other officers arrived to bring back the flag to the ladies that gave it to them 2 years earlier. The flag was war-worn. Out of 1000 soldiers that left Ypsilanti only 482 remained. Action had been in Northern Georgia

Highland Cemetery

  • The Cemetery – “Not a town in the West of 6000 inhabitants that has so disgraceful a habitation for the dead.” Land has been purchased for a new cemetery.
  • Businessmen “Ypsilanti Highland Cemetery Association” bought 40 acres (west part of “Hibbard Farm”. Land was plotted by Col. Jas. L. Glen of Niles. The Association had $7000 of which $3500 was spent on land and set-up
  • June 3 1864 : Highland Cemetery stocks sold at $50.00 board of directors, B. Follett, D. Showerman, F.K. Rexfore, H. Batchelder, E. Bogardus, A.S. Weld, M.L. Shutts, D.L. Quirk, J.L. Rappege, 5 miles of carriage roads, 1500 lots. Plots ready July 10th. Dedication Thursday July 14th 1864 2:30pm (Article on Dedication in TD July 22nd 1864)

July 8th – Mad dogs run with impunity though our streets. Historically it seems Ypsilanti has always had a problem with dogs running loose. One of the very first ordinances of the city outlawed loose dogs.

Sept 2 – Mr. S. Simpson has refitted the railroad house at the depot now the Huron House

Sept 15th – War Rally 3000 attend

Colored Schoolhouse was erected at a cost of $700.00

Dec 30th : Death of Benjamin Follett – 45 Years old born Batavia, NY came Ypsi 1838 left shortly after to return to NY. Married Alvira Norris (daughter of Mark Norris) and came back to Ypsi in 1843 – Was first Mayor Benjamin Follett and Mark Norris are buried near each other on a ridge in Highland Cemetery, a cemetery they helped create. They were two of the most influential people in the history of Ypsilanti.




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