PPNA Happenings

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

Archive for March, 2008

Byron Cutcheon 1836-1908

Posted by ppna on March 31, 2008

Here are a couple of book notes about Byron M. Cutcheon who was one of Ypsilanti’s most distinguished residents. He served 3 terms in Congress and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service in the Civil War. The first is a biography and the 2nd is an interesting retelling of the battle from which he received the Medal of Honor. Byron Cutcheon is buried in Highland Cemetery.

CUTCHEON, Byron M. (1836—1908)

CUTCHEON, Byron M., a Representative from Michigan; born in Pembroke, Merrimack County, N.H., May 11, 1836; attended the common schools and Pembroke Academy; taught school in Pembroke for several years; moved to Ypsilanti, Mich., in 1855; principal of Birmingham Academy, Oakland County, in 1857; attended Ypsilanti Seminary, and was graduated from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1861; professor of ancient languages in the Ypsilanti High School 1861 and 1862; enlisted in the Union Army in 1862 and served in the Twentieth Regiment, Michigan Infantry, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel; commissioned colonel of the Twenty-seventh Regiment, Michigan Infantry November 12, 1864; commanded the Second Brigade, Second Division, Ninth Army Corps, from October 16, 1864, until his resignation on March 6, 1865; was graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1866; was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in Ionia, Mich.; moved to Manistee, Mich., in 1867; member of the board of control of railroads of Michigan 1867-1883; city attorney of Manistee, Mich., 1870-1873; prosecuting attorney of Manistee County, Mich., in 1873 and 1874; regent of Michigan University 1875-1881; postmaster of Manistee, Mich., 1877-1883; elected as a Republican to the Forty-eighth and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1883-March 3, 1891); chairman, Committee on Military Affairs (Fifty-first Congress); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1890 to the Fifty-second Congress; awarded a Medal of Honor by Congress June 29, 1891, “for distinguished gallantry at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, Ky., May 10, 1863”; appointed civilian member of the Board of Ordnance and Fortifications by President Harrison in July 1891 and served until March 25, 1895; editorial writer for the Detroit Daily Tribune and Detroit Journal 1895-1897; resumed the practice of law in Grand Rapids, Mich.; died in Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, Mich., April 12, 1908; interment in Highland Cemetery.

Byron M. Cutcheon

Major 2th Mich infantry

Highest rank attained: Brevet Brig-Gen U.S.V.

Born at Pembroke, N.H. May 11 1836


The Twentieth Michigan Infantry under the command of Lieutenant W.H. Smith formed part of a provisional brigade which included three regiments of Kentucky cavalry and the Thirteenth Indiana Independent Battery, and was commanded by Colonel Richard T. Jacob. The gallant regiment from Michigan, was sent with this provisional brigade south of the Cumberland River, to hold the Confederate general, John Morgan, in check. How this was accomplished Major Byron M. Cutcheon describes as follows:

“After some skirmishing at Monticello, Ky., we had fallen back to the Cumberland River on May 9, 1863, and were waiting for a scouting party to come in, to recross, when Morgan’s advance attacked our outpost at Horse Shoe Bend, that evening. I hastened back to the Bend to take command of the companies stationed there, while Colonel Smith remained behind to hurry up the rest of the regiment. That night the regiment came up, and on the morning of the 10th we were re-enforced by a small body – a squadron I believe – of the Twelfth Kentucky Cavalry, dismounted, and armed with Henry repeating rifles.

‘Before their arrival, Morgan’s men made a dash and succeeded in seizing the ‘Coffey’ house, a large log house on the east side of the road, so called after its owner. We had occupied it as a picket post through the night. The house, outbuildings, and garden were filled with rebel sharpshooters, who, though they harassed us throughout the day, did not attempt to advance.

“About 4 o’clock PM – It was Sunday – Colonel Jacob having been re-enforced by a piece of Captain Sims’ battery, resolved to take the aggressive, and to drive the rebels out of the house and grounds. To me was assigned the command of four companies, A and D, on the left of the road in the field, and C and K, in the road and to the right. At the signal we went forward at our very best pace. I was then just six feet two inches tall, one half of the length in legs, and an expert runner from practice in college. I took a course directly down the road to the south in front of the companies, – one could hardly say ‘line’, for there was no line; it was a ‘go as you please’ foot race – with Captain George C. Barnes, an old fireman from Battle Creek, Mich., a good second, a rod (17ft) behind me. The distance was about 150 yards, and we made it on the jump. There were three steps up to the porch, but I made only one of them. With my sword in my right hand, and a big Colt’s navy revolver in my left, I threw myself against the weather-beaten door. A moment later, Captain Barnes came to my side, and the door yielded.

“Why we were not both shot down then and there, I have never been able to understand. The rebels certainly missed their opportunity. Instead, we saw the Johnnies going out of the back doors and windows, and making for the woods, while the companies coming up right and left of the house, poured volleys into the retreating foe.

“The charge was a complete success, but Lieutenant William Green and two enlisted me were killed, and quite a number wounded.”*


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Lunch in Ypsilanti #4 — Nathan’s Family Soul Food

Posted by ppna on March 30, 2008

You’d expect in a town like Ypsilanti the Soul-Food would be great and it is.

Nathan’s is located next to Value World at 1396 E. Michigan Ave. at Harris, I believe the site was formerly the $99.00 casket store. Don’t let the appearance fool you although the store looks like it might be abandoned the kitchen produces great food. There are a couple of tables in the front to sit at but they are used more for ToGo order pick-ups. It’s not a place to take a date its a place to take food away from and eat.

Today I bought the Sunday Special — BBQ Ribs, Cornbread Dressing, Greens, Yams and Cornbread for $11.50 — On my first sitting I only finished about 1/3rd of my order. The rib sauce is a bit plain but Nathan’s doesn’t rely on the sauce they take pride in the smoking and a nice consistent smoky flavor is what you get. The Greens, as always, were fantastic and spicy and then there were the Yams. The Yams came in a small portion but they tasted like sweet apple pie filling and were a perfect desert. The Cornbread dressing was the consistency of mashed potatoes and was topped with gravy and very good. The only thing I didn’t like was the cornbread itself it was dry and not very flavorful. I would guess the dry cornbread is due to a lack of business more than a bad recipe. They can’t keep making new cornbread so previous bakings sit a little too long.

Nathans has a complete line-up of Soul Food including Pork-Chop $5.95 , Catfish $5.25, Whitting $4.25, and BBQ $6.25 Sandwiches — If I remember correctly the BBQ sandwich isn’t pulled pork it is actually ribs on a bun which is impossible to eat but very good. They also have complete dinners including Pig Feet and as expected thier wings and wing-dings are said to be fabulous. What I find best of all are their sides. I haven’t had the opportunity to experience them all but if you go you must get a side of Mac & Cheese and Black Eyed Peas.

Nathan’s Hours are

Mon,Tues, Wed Noon -8pm

Thurs, Fri, Sat Noon-9pm

Sunday 1-6pm

Please do me a favor and visit Nathans so they can stay in business and I can continue to enjoy their food. Nathan’s will also cater so think about them for your next big event.

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Lunch in Ypsilanti #3 — Cafe Luwak

Posted by ppna on March 30, 2008

I give Cafe Luwak a 5-Water Tower rating (out of 5).

Located in Depot Town Cafe Luwak is a combination sandwich shop, ice-cream parlor, and coffee shop which means its a great place for anybody and everybody. I visited Saturday afternoon and was happy to see a good variety of people enjoying the relaxed atmosphere. There were several people using their laptops to take advantage of the free wireless signal, there were family playing games, and there were people enjoying the coffee, ice-cream, and/or sandwiches.

The sandwiches are made fresh to order and several of the choices are grilled. I would have liked to see a handful of Better Maid Potato chips with my sandwich along with the pickle spear but I guess you can’t have it all. All of the sandwiches I’ve tried have been very good and the selection is plentiful. They have a soup and sandwich option and given that they make all soups from scratch I’m sure the soups are very good.

The Ice-Cream is provided by Strohs and is better than average. They have all of the toppings to provide a great combination of sundaes and if you like Shakes and Floats they have more than their share of flavors to be added so go and be creative.

I’m not a coffee drinker by they seem to have all of the fancy coffee creations. They also sell coffee by the pound from local roasters and a couple of times a year they bring in Luwak Coffee (poop coffee) for tasting. To me the Luwak coffee tasted like coffee.

My one complaint is that the Connect Four game was broken which made playing a complete game impossible. I’ve brought this to the attention of Forrest and I hope he corrects the problem.

Remember there is FREE DELIVERY TO THE CORNER BREWERY which is quick and easy.

It’s not just me that loves Cafe Luwak —

Voted “Best Sandwich Shop” in Southeast Michigan
in the WDIV’s “4 the Best” Competition!

Our sandwiches were voted #1 by EMU
in the Eastern Echo’s “Best Of” publication!

Posted in dining/store reviews | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

PPNA General Meeting April 2nd

Posted by ppna on March 30, 2008

The Spring Meeting for the PPNA will take place at 6:30pm on April 2nd at the Corner Brewery.

Guest Speakers will be Brian Robb and Steve Pierce who will talk about the Wireless Ypsilanti initiative.

The meeting will also discuss the future of the PPNA and elect a new coordinator/president, block captains and volunteers.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Yard Waste Pick Up to Begin March 31st

Posted by ppna on March 30, 2008

 Before you put it out remember you can Compost,

The city of Ypsilanti
will begin yard waste pick up on your regular trash day starting March 31st.  There will be no loose leaf pick-up until the fall so those of you that missed last falls pick up will have to bag those piles left by the curb.  Yard waste consists of grass clippings, leaves, garden material and bundled or contained branches that are two (2) inches or smaller in diameter and cut in four (4) foot lengths or smaller.

Yard waste should be free of rubbish, dirt, sod and recyclables

Branches two (2) inches in diameter or smaller and under 4ft in length will be picked up if contained  or bundled with twine and placed next to yard waste containers.  You should pick up a yard waste sticker for your trash container from the recycle center, city hall or from the DPW yard

A friendly reminder – For the sake of your back and the back of our employees please follow OSHA’S guidelines and keep the bags 50 pounds or under. Back injuries are not only a pain they also cost $$$.

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A Nice Post

Posted by ppna on March 28, 2008

If you don’t know Eric and Karen Maurer you should know who they are. The Maurers are two of Ypsilanti’s highest volume landlords they own 70 buildings which include over 100 rental properties through their company Maurer Management and Properties. Don’t worry these aren’t the landlords your parents used to have when they went to EMU. The Maurers are the new breed of landlords that care about their properties and have helped changed Victorian era slum rentals into homes the tenants and the city can once again be proud to claim. The Maurers are also investing in Michigan Ave where they own several building including the recent purchase of the Old Mack and Mack building.

Concentrate Media presented a very nice article on the Maurers which you might be interested in. The article promotes Ypsilanti pretty well and makes a good case for investing in the city.

If you are looking for an apartment I would suggest checking out the Maurer Properties there are some nice, new lofts going pretty cheap downtown.

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Name that Price

Posted by ppna on March 27, 2008

For the next 12 weeks at Aubrees the folks from WAAM radio will be hosting ‘Name That Price’ on Monday’s starting at 7pm.  This is a bar game ripoff of The Price Is Right.   I attended last Monday and I thought it went pretty well.  They plan on tweaking the game as they go so it should catch on and become a fun time for all.  Since this is a duel promotion between WAAM radio and Aubrees the prizes are pretty good.

FYI:  Theos has discontinued Tough Trivia Thursdays but there is talk of bringing that trivia format back to another bar.   I will say that Alan Black created a great format for live trivia and substantially increased the 7-9pm business at Theos.  If you have an idea for Alan let me know and I’ll pass it along.

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Tree Fort Beer Intro by Chris

Posted by ppna on March 25, 2008

My friend Chris B. wrote this review of the Tree Fort Release party at the Corner Brewery and he gave me permission to post it so here it is.

Chris B.

In an interesting partnership between beer and biking, Ypsilanti’s Corner Brewery hosted a joint release party on Feb. 21 for their new brew, Tree Fort Beer, and a fundraiser for the Michigan Mountain Biking Association, a 3,000-plus-member group that maintains over 1,000 miles of trail throughout Michigan.

            The collaboration links the Corner Brewery with Tree Fort Bikes through sponsorship of the bike shop’s race team and with the shop’s name gracing the label of the Corner Brewery’s newest beer. Matt Greff, head brewer and co-owner of the Corner Brewery, said the idea originated upon his first meeting with the bike store owners, after he took his mountain bike to the Whittaker Road shop for maintenance.

            “They asked if we’d be interested in sponsoring their team,” said Renee Greff, the Corner’s operational manager, co-owner and Matt’s wife. “We started talking with them about what kinds of beers work well after races. They wanted something that was light, but had enough flavor. So this is the recipe that we came up with together as the perfect beer to drink after a race, or, really, after any physical activity.”

            According to Marnie Tencate, executive director of the MMBA, it’s not uncommon for breweries to sponsor bike teams. She named off a half dozen Michigan breweries, including Bell’s, Dark Horse and Founders, which likewise sponsor bike teams.

            “You’d be hard pressed to find a brewery that wasn’t connected to a bike team,” Tencate said.

            Matt Greff described the beer as a hybrid between a German pilsner and English pale ale with wheat and victory malt added, which gives the beer a biscuit-like taste.

            “With this style of beer, you have the option of using an English hops or a German noble hops,” he said. “We decided to go the German noble hops route because I think it’s more quenching. The hops really stays in your mouth after the last swallow and that’s what we were going for.”

            Reaction to Tree Fort Beer from Corner Brewery regulars seemed positive.

            “I like it,” Archie Crawford, an Ypsilanti Township resident, said. “It reminds me very much of Bootleggers (a popular, but discontinued Corner Brewery beer), in particular because the finish reminds me of Cheerios.”

            Mug Club member Jeremy Baldwin agreed.

            “It’s lighter than the beer I usually drink,” he said. “I think it’ll be a good summer beer. I didn’t really realize that beer was such a biking fuel.”

            The MMBA sold special Tree Fort Beer pint glasses, which came with the first pint free and “happy hour” prices the rest of the evening, for $9 apiece as part of their fundraising. They also showed video from a 24-hour mountain bike relay that they organized.

            Matt Greff said he plans for Tree Fort Beer to be a year-round beer and six-packs will soon be available at local stores.

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A Perfect Opportunity to sell Ypsilanti

Posted by ppna on March 25, 2008

On May 14th and 15th the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium will be in our own backyard at the Marriot. The MGCS is an event where emerging businesses meet with potential financiers to start or expand their businesses. I hope our city officials have something planned to cater to these folks in order to showcase our city as a potential place where these new businesses could develop.

A couple ideas I have are:
Perhaps a representative from the city of Ypsilanti could sit in the lobby with information on why Ypsilanti is where these businesses should choose to grow.

Perhaps we should set up a shuttle service to bring these folks into Depot Town or Down Town. My guess is that they will be more inclined to visit State Street’s Chain restaurants for food and entertainment then to travel into Ypsilanti or they will just go to Aubrees and BW3s which are right across the street.

Maybe we could get places like the Frenchies, the Corner, EMU and others to set up entertainment that might appeal to these folks (I don’t know the demographic but I’m sure the organizers might help).

We need to be clean and ready for these folks. This is an opportunity we shouldn’t squander. Hopefully Downtown and Depot Town will have their outdoor tables set up and people should be encouraged to visit downtown that night.

Below are the details of the Symposium

The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS) is the premier event where financiers meet the ‘Best of the Midwest’ in new businesses and emerging technologies. As one of the longest running programs of its kind, this year’s symposium is expected to bring together 450 attendees including investors from across the country, executives of early stage and emerging growth companies, and related stakeholders. MGCS 2008 will be held May 14&15 at the Marriott Resort in Ypsilanti.

MGCS 2008 will feature:

* 2 Keynote Luminaries
* 65+ Investment Firms Represented
* 30 Top Midwestern Companies Seeking Funding
* 35 Premier Panelists
* 7 World Class Panel Discussions
* 2 Days of High Level Networking

A carefully screened group of 30 companies, representing industries ranging from information technology, life sciences, and alternative energy, will present for an audience of venture capitalists, angel investors and institutional investors. These companies represent high potential deals in the Midwest and are seeking their initial investment, a first institutional investment or expansion financing. This is a tremendous opportunity for startups to meet, network and showcase their innovative investment opportunities to a leading group of investors. Year after year, this is the conference where deals get done!

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Parish House Inn recognized as a great place to stay.

Posted by ppna on March 25, 2008

TransworldNews.Com has an article titled “Candlelight & Whirlpools Offered by Best Budget-Friendly Bed & Breakfasts in Michigan” I’m happy to report that our own Parish House Inn made the list of seven. The excerpt below is the type of press we need here in Ypsilanti.

Best of Breakfast Cookbook Chef Found in Ypsilanti
Next door to Ann Arbor’s University of Michigan is the charming community of Ypsilanti where your wallet and your appetite will both be satisfied at the Parish House Inn. All 8 rooms, each with a private bathroom, are decorated with period antiques as well as comfortable beds with handmade quilts. And you will be treated to a bountiful breakfast prepared by Owner/Innkeeper/Chef Chris, who has published the “Best of Breakfast Cookbook”.

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