The Michigan League

Grace Shackman

A living monument to feminism’s first wave

“It is estimated that over 5,000 men pass through the doors of the Union every day. They meet around the cafeteria tables, they read together in the lounging rooms, the Pendleton Library, and swim together in the swimming pool.” In striking contrast, “the girls have a little corner of the upper hall of Barbour Gymnasium partitioned off for the League offices where only a small committee may gather at a time.”

Rights Held By: 
Grace Shackman

Foster's Art House

Grace Shackman and Susan Wineberg

State Street’s hidden “Venetian palace”

"The prettiest building in town” is the way Elizabeth Dusseau remembers Foster’s Art House at 213 and 215 South State. Today the two original buildings are thoroughly obscured by later additions, and few passersby ever notice that lurking behind the slate-roofed first floor are a Prairie-style storefront on the north and an Italianate house on the south.

Rights Held By: 
Grace Shackman and Susan Wineberg

First Congregational Church

Grace Shackman

Many Ann Arborites today consider the First Congregational Church, on the corner of State and William, one of the most beautiful buildings in town. But the 1872 structure was lucky to survive the improving impulse of the early twentieth century. In 1924, a disdainful visitor wrote that it was “as inadequate, shabby, and disreputable as any church I have seen in such a [prominent] location.” Twice the congregation voted to replace it with a bigger, more modern structure, but the first plan was derailed by World War I, the second by the Depression. The delays gave the congregation time to realize what a gem they had. Today, in spite of limited parking and high maintenance costs, the Congregationalists are committed to staying in their historic church.

The church was designed by Gordon Lloyd, “one of the most prominent Gothic church architects of his time,” according to his great-granddaughter, Anne Upton, who lives in Ann Arbor. Other local examples of Lloyd’s work are St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Harris Hall, and the entrance to Forest Hill Cemetery. Around the state, his commissions included the Whitney home in Detroit (now the restaurant of the same name) and churches as far afield as Marquette.

Gothic Revival architecture, with its steep roofs and tall pointed windows, was rarely used for Congregational churches. The denomination traces its origins to the Pilgrims, and its prototypical church in New England was a simple wooden structure with a tall steeple. Lloyd made some concessions to this history in his design. “It’s simpler, more open, not typical Gothic Revival,” says retired assistant minister Dorothy Lenz.

Photograph of 608 East William Street, home of the First Congregational Church

First Congregational Church.

Although many of Ann Arbor’s early settlers came from New England, the Congregational church was not organized until 1847, more than twenty years after the town was founded. Under an agreement called the “plan of union,” the Congregationalists had originally deferred to the Presbyterians in organizing churches west of the Hudson River. But in 1847, forty-eight members left the First Presbyterian Church to start First Congregational. According to the Presbyterians’ history, the group that branched off “preferred the Congregational form of government [each church governs itself], they didn’t care for the recent revival, and they were more ardent in their antislavery feelings” than the Presbyterians’ current minister.

The new group purchased land at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Washington (now Bank of Ann Arbor), meeting at the county courthouse until their church was built. They remained strongly antislavery. In 1861, they hosted controversial abolitionist Wendell Phillips at a time when other churches refused to let him speak for fear that protesters would do physical violence to their buildings.

In 1876 the Congregationalists moved to their current location on William and State. (They sold their original building to Zion Lutheran Church, which itself had recently broken off from Bethlehem Evangelical Church.) At the time, State Street was still a dirt road, and although the university was across the street, the neighborhood was mainly residential. Most parishioners walked to services. Judge Thomas Cooley, a U-M law professor who also served on the state supreme court, lived right down the street on a site where the Michigan Union now stands.

Like Cooley, many of the church members were important in the development of the university or the town; the church’s form of self-government and tolerance of personal beliefs appealed to people who enjoyed dialogue and new ideas. Other prominent members included opera house owner George Hill, physician and hospital owner Reuben Peterson, and U-M presidents James Angell and Marion Burton. Walter S. Perry, the superintendent of Ann Arbor schools, headed the church’s Sunday school program.

This high-powered congregation hired challenging thinkers as ministers. The most famous in this century was Lloyd C. Douglas, minister from 1915 to 1921, who went on to become a nationally famous religious novelist. Many of his books were made into movies, including The Magnificent Obsession, The Green Light, and The Robe.

After leaving Ann Arbor, Douglas went on to preach in Montreal before his success as a writer allowed him to retire from the pulpit. “He always enjoyed being a celebrity,” says Ray Detter, who wrote his 1975 doctoral dissertation on the minister. Douglas eventually moved to Los Angeles, where he hobnobbed with actors who starred in his films, among them Arthur Treacher.

After his wife died in 1944, Douglas moved to Las Vegas to live with one of his daughters. “He described Las Vegas as a place where ‘the Ten Commandments are viewed as a forthright insult to the freedom of the human spirit--a hell of a place for an elderly prophet to end his days,’ ” Detter recalls. Not long before his death, Douglas wrote to a friend, “The happiest years of my life were spent in the Congregational Church of Ann Arbor.”

Douglas died in 1951 and today is memorialized in a chapel named after him. Before his death, his daughters contributed money to the church to build the chapel, part of an addition organized by Leonard Parr, minister from 1937 to 1957. Parr, a scholarly man who also wrote hymns, appreciated the beauty of the church building and developed plans to adapt it to the needs of the congregation. In 1941 the church underwent a major renovation, including the addition of more stained-glass windows (there were only two originally) and the removal of the side balconies. In 1953 the new wing was added. Designed by U-M architecture professor Ralph Hammett, it includes the Lloyd C. Douglas Chapel, Pilgrim Hall, and Mayflower Lounge, as well as offices and classrooms.

Near the end of Parr’s ministry, the church faced the big question of whether to join the United Church of Christ, a new denomination formed by the merger of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Church. After much discussion, the Ann Arbor congregation voted in 1956 to remain separate. Today they are part of a national association of Congregational churches but remain free to make their own decisions.

In 1965, minister Terry Smith came to Ann Arbor. A former basketball player at Ohio State, he attracted parishioners involved in U-M athletics, including Fritz Seyferth, Gus Stager, Bill Frieder, Newt Loken, Johnny Orr, Bob Ufer, and Lloyd Carr. Smith, who retired last year and still gives the invocation at U-M athletic department events, was the longest-serving minister in the church’s history.

Most of the changes in the church’s more than 150-year history reflect larger changes in town. Few members still live near enough to walk to church, and the congregation has become more diverse in race and ethnicity. Says present minister Bob Livingston, “It’s impressive, coming as I do from Grand Rapids where it is more homogeneous.”

But many things have been constant over the years. An emphasis on good music is one. From 1890 to 1895, the church employed Reuben Kempf, one of the best musicians in town, as choirmaster. Today, Marilyn Mason, world-famous organist, provides music, and Willis Patterson, associate dean of the U-M music school, is choir director.

Probably the most consistent element in the history of the First Congregational Church is its tolerance of a wide variety of views. Longtime church member Louise Allen says, “You can have your own thoughts. Religion isn’t thrust at you.” According to Smith, “It’s a thoughtful congregation. When I was preaching, I knew they were thinking. They were responsive, they’d talk to you afterwards.”

Smith’s description of the congregation parallels comments written by Calvin Olin Davis in his 1947 history: “members were often bluntly outspoken in their judgments and often wearisomely stubborn in their convictions . . . but [they believed] that all men are of equal worth in the sight of God and that each one is entitled to the full and free expression of his thoughts and feelings.”

Rights Held By: 
Grace Shackman

The Allenel Hotel

Grace Shackman

Former president Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty, spent their wedding night at Ann Arbor’s Allenel Hotel in 1948. “I thought I was giving her a great treat,” Ford recalled in a 1975 visit to Ann Arbor. “I paid for that a thousand times.”

Rights Held By: 
Grace Shackman

Bethel AME

Grace Shackman

The congregation of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church celebrated for two days in 1896, after finishing the church at 632 North Fourth Avenue that they had been working on for five years. Built of brick with a stately tower, beautiful stained glass windows, and intricate woodwork, the church was worth the wait.

On Sunday, April 5, 1896, Bethel held three services--morning, afternoon, and evening. Bishop Henry McNeal Turner, who had laid the building’s cornerstone, served as guest preacher. Turner, then residing in Atlanta, Georgia, had been the first black chaplain in the U.S. Army, thanks to an appointment from Abraham Lincoln. Other guest preachers included Rev. Mrs. G. T. Thurman of Jackson; Rev. James Barksdale, pastor of Ypsilanti’s AME congregation; and, representing the white Methodists, Rev. Camden Cobern of Ann Arbor’s First Methodist Church. The celebration continued the next day with a dedicatory concert and recitations by four elocutionists. “Altogether it was an occasion which will long be remembered by the members of the A. M. E. church,” reported the Ann Arbor Argus.

Building the substantial church was a stretch for a congregation that numbered about forty at the time of the dedication. Bethel AME was an offshoot of Ann Arbor’s first black church, the “Union Church,” founded in 1855. Members built a small Greek Revival place of worship at what is now 504 High Street (with a porch added, it is today a very small private residence), but just two years later, some split off to form Bethel AME. The other Union Church members went on to organize another historic black church, Second Baptist.

Photograph of 632 North Fourth Street, former home of Bethel AME Church

Bethel AME Church was located in this building at 632 North Fourth Avenue from 1895 to 1971.

The AME Church, the first independent black church in the United States, was founded in 1816 by Richard Allen. Born a slave, Allen saved his earnings to buy his freedom. He became an ordained minister and was hired by a Methodist church in Philadelphia to preach the early morning and early evening services. But when his preaching began attracting blacks to the congregation, some of the white members were displeased. Their objections led Allen and his black congregants to leave and found a church of their own.

The church they left was called “Methodist” for its form of worship and “Episcopal” because it was organized under bishops. Allen carried both terms over at his new congregation, and added “African” after the heritage of its founders.

Ann Arbor’s AME congregation was founded by John Wesley Brooks, who was, like Allen, a former slave. Born in Maryland in 1798, Brooks was sold to a New York resident when he was still a child. Slaves in New York at the time were supposed to be freed when they reached age twenty-eight, but Brooks’s owner ignored the rule. When Brooks was thirty, a lawyer named John Spencer successfully argued Brooks’s case and won his freedom.

Brooks stayed in New York another year as Spencer’s employee and moved to Ann Arbor in 1829, just five years after the town was founded. He paid $100 for eighty acres in Pittsfield Township, where he farmed for twenty-five years. He moved back into town, to a house on North Main, at about the same time the Union Church was being organized.

Bearing the same names as John Wesley, the eighteenth-century founder of Methodism, Brooks must have been born into a Methodist family. The biographical sketch of him in the 1881 Charles C. Chapman county history says, “Mr. Brooks experienced religion at the age of thirteen, and has been a member of the M.E. [Methodist Episcopal] church for 70 years. He was ordained to preach by Rev. Swift, and for five years after his arrival in Michigan was engaged in the missionary work.” Just when Brooks joined the AME Church is not known, but since he was eighteen and living in the East when Allen founded his church, it is likely that Brooks was involved in it before coming to Michigan.

Bethel AME’s church history says that for some time before 1865, the congregation shared worship space with the Quakers at State and Lawrence. It was a natural pairing, because local Quakers had helped escaped slaves on their way to Canada during the days of the Underground Railroad. In its early years, Bethel also worshipped in a small cottage that Brooks owned on the west side of Fourth Avenue.

In 1869 Bethel moved to its first permanent home, buying a lot across the street from Brooks’s cottage and building a wood-frame church. The post–Civil War building boom was providing new job opportunities, and Ann Arbor’s black population had grown to 230. Members of the church held such jobs as laborers (John Britton, Martin and Robert Carson, Stephen Adams), carpenter (Henry Williams), plow setter (John Brown), barber (Lucian Brown), porter (George Brown), and drayman (Henry Smith).

In 1890 Rev. Abraham Cottman, the minister at the time, suggested that the members build a bigger church. The next year they moved the frame building to the back of the lot and laid the cornerstone for the new building. A group of young people formed the Furnishing Club; as soon as the basement was done, they fitted it out for services, and the congregation moved in.

The parishioners, many of whom were skilled craftsmen, continued to work on the sanctuary. Members contributed money for windows, pews, and other furnishings. Two of the stained glass windows are named in memory of early church members John Brown and B. Fassett. Fassett’s husband, a minister, had led Bethel in 1865, and the Fassetts’ daughter, Mrs. John Freeman, paid for the window. According to one local history, O. W. Stephenson’s Ann Arbor: The First Hundred Years, some of the money also came from white businessmen in town (one stained glass window has “Eberbach Hardware” on it).

Bethel nearly lost its hard-won church only a few years after moving in. In the economic depression that followed the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in 1898, church members were thrown out of work, the congregation fell behind on its payments, and the mortgage was about to be foreclosed. On the day the foreclosure sale was scheduled, church members sat in court silently praying for a reprieve. Just as the gavel was about to go down, trustee Stephen Adams came running in.

“They were in trouble. They were behind in their mortgage,” says Judy Overstreet, Adams’s great-granddaughter, relaying the story as her grandmother told it to her. “He [Adams] came tearing in with the money. He had put another mortgage on his house [to cover the church’s debt].”

Just half a block away from Bethel, on the corner of Beakes and Fifth Avenue, Second Baptist built its first church. Longtime Bethel member Rosemarion Blake recalls that on summer Sundays when both congregations had their windows open, they could hear each other singing. Blake remembers some funny coincidences--like the time one congregation sang “Will there be any stars in my crown?” and the other, singing a different hymn, responded, “No, not one.”

In Ann Arbor’s early days, blacks lived spread around town, but by the end of the nineteenth century most were concentrated around the two black churches and across the Huron River in Lower Town. The Bethel history explains that the church stood “in one of the few neighborhoods in Ann Arbor where blacks were permitted to purchase property. Consequently, Bethel was ideally situated to provide its congregation and the larger community with services that went beyond being a primary place of worship. Anyone who walked or drove past Bethel--at practically any time of the day or evening--saw a brightly lit church inviting them to come in and participate in whatever activities were taking place.”

“There were always so many activities,” remembers Irma Wright, who grew up in the church in the 1940s. She sang in the junior choir, worked on Christmas pageants with the other kids, and enjoyed the big outdoor dinners in the back in the summer. The basement was used for Sunday school and for meetings and clubs. During the week the church was open for Bible study.

Blondeen Munson has wonderful memories of the ACE youth group (short for “Allen Christian Endeavor,” after the denomination’s founder) that met at the church in the 1950s under the leadership of Harry Mial and Shirley Baker. “It was a really, really important place to be,” Munson recalls. “It attracted not just the Bethel teenagers but kids from Second Baptist and a few black Catholics in the neighborhood. It was really rap sessions. There was lots of talking about life, school. We’d get help with homework, went on hayrides, had parties.”

Mial, who at the same time was running the youth canteen at Willow Run, often organized joint activities to lessen the rivalries between the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti communities, such as taking both groups roller-skating at a rink in Inkster. When he discovered that these weekly excursions were keeping the segregated rink in business, he used the leverage to persuade the owner to integrate it.

In the 1960s Mial was also a leader of the Ann Arbor Fair Housing Association. The desegregation group held many of its meetings at Bethel. “We’d have weekly, biweekly, triweekly meetings there, and no one ever objected,” he recalls. “We were welcome because they supported what we were doing.”

After a year of picketing Pittsfield Village because it wouldn’t rent to blacks, the group convinced the Ann Arbor City Council to pass a resolution banning discrimination in housing and employment. “It was the reference from then on, the enabler,” says Mial.

Bethel’s minister at the time was Rev. Lyman Parks, who himself was very involved in community affairs and was often asked to serve on city boards and commissions. When Parks was later transferred to Grand Rapids, he became even more involved in politics, ending up as mayor of the city. “Ann Arbor whetted his appetite,” says Mial.

Parks’s successor was John A. Woods. “Parks was more aggressive about getting on committees,” Mial says, comparing the two. “Woods was more a seer, a wise man. He would listen and counsel.” Woods’s son, John A. Woods Jr., agrees, calling his father “rabbinical, meaning teacher.” Although different from Parks in style, the elder Woods was equally involved in the community. His son remembers him as “accessible. He lived on West Summit, in the heart of the community. He was seen sitting on the front porch. People knew their pastor was there.

“There was no such a thing as making an appointment. People just showed up. I remember late-night counseling sessions, people distraught because their son or daughter was arrested. He’d do what he could to ameliorate the situation.”

Woods extended his concerns to the larger black community. “Although he had no mantle other than local pastor, he was one of the de facto leaders of the community,” his son says. His wife, Juanita Woods, was a teacher, and he became concerned over tracking in the public schools. The police would call him in to help defuse explosive situations. He also served the community by making Bethel Church available for funerals. “Some churches only bury you if you’re a member,” John A. Woods Jr. explains, “sometimes only if you’re a member in good standing. But his only requirement to be buried at Bethel was that you had to be dead.”

Woods’s biggest legacy may have been his work in shepherding the new church on Plum Street (now John A. Woods Drive) to completion. The church had owned the land across the river near Northside School since 1953 but didn’t decide to build on it until after Woods came and the congregation became too numerous to stay on Fourth Avenue.

“It was a great thing to have the church there. Lots of members lived in the neighborhood. We were sorry [to move], but we had to go on,” says longtime member Pauline Dennard. The building was too small for all the congregation’s religious and outreach activities, and parking was inadequate.

When Munson was growing up, as she remembers, “we didn’t have a large parking lot. We didn’t need it--everyone walked.” But as desegregation opened up new neighborhoods to black residents and people moved farther away, more began driving to church. Some suggested that they stay on Fourth Avenue, tear down the old church, and rebuild, but parking would still have been a problem.

The congregation moved to the new church in 1971, using the education wing for services until the sanctuary was completed in 1974. “It was remarkable,” says Irma Wright, remembering the first time she saw the new building. “There was so much parking. The church looked so big.” Second Baptist also left the old neighborhood in the 1970s, moving to a big new church on Red Oak off Miller.

In August 1989, after a successful fund-raising campaign led by Rosemarion and Richard Blake, Bethel AME burned the mortgage on its new church. John A. Woods Sr. died four months later. “He hung on to see the fruition of his dreams,” says his son.

The three ministers who followed Woods--Clifford Gordon, Archie Criglar, and current pastor Alfred Johnson--have all been active in the community. According to Mial, “Each pastor had to come and get active because it’s an active church. They inherited what their predecessors had done.”

They definitely need the parking space: today members live all around town, and most drive to church. Dennard, whose husband served on city council in the 1950s, running on a platform of fair housing, recalls that back then, housing for blacks “was limited to where you lived in that time. Now, lots of people are living all over Ann Arbor. It’s beautiful.” A scan of the church directory shows members living in every zip code in Ann Arbor, plus a handful from surrounding communities.

New Grace Apostolic Church bought Bethel’s Fourth Avenue building in 1971 and remained there until last September. “They had choir practice in the evening,” recalls Heather Phillips, who lived nearby. “Their music filled the neighborhood. It was great.”

But history has repeated itself: New Grace, too, has outgrown the Fourth Avenue church. Member Bobbie Baugh says the congregation has tripled in size since buying the building and is now close to 100 members.

“We moved because the building was functionally obsolete,” says Baugh. “It was inadequate for our needs. We want to serve the community, reach out to youth, offer weekend activities to people outside the church.” While awaiting completion of its new church on Packard across from Buhr Park, New Grace is renting space for weekday programs at First Church of the Nazarene and holds Sunday services at the Red Cross.

Mike Bielby, himself a neighborhood resident who appreciated the old church’s charm, bought the building and is turning it into four apartments (see Inside Ann Arbor, January). “I’ll have it match the earliest appearance as close as possible,” he promises. Bielby plans to create two handicapped-accessible apartments on the lower floor, where community activities were held; a luxurious three-bedroom apartment in what was the sanctuary; and a fourth apartment in a newly created third floor in the upper area of the sanctuary. He’s already restored the stained glass windows and has pledged to fix up the tower.

As Bielby starts working on the building, he is amazed at what good shape it is in after more than 100 years of use. “The craftsmanship was excellent,” he says.

Rights Held By: 
Grace Shackman

109 East Madison

Grace Shackman

A former factory in floodway limbo

The fate of the former furniture factory at 109 East Madison, a key building in the debate over the use of local floodways, has been delayed. The present owner, the University of Michigan, tried to sell it but took it off the market after failing to receive any offers that were close to its appraised value.

Rights Held By: 
Grace Shackman

Trinity Lutheran, 1893-1993

Grace Shackman

Its founding signaled Ann Arbor's growing diversity

Rights Held By: 
Grace Shackman

The Short Life of the Royal Cafe

Grace Shackman

Guy Bissell and the early years of Ann Arbor's restaurant trade

Between 1905 and 1909, the number of restaurants in Ann Arbor doubled--all the way from eight to seventeen. One of the newcomers was the Royal Cafe, opened in 1909 by Guy Bissell at 316 South Main.

Restaurants weren't a big deal early in the century. "People didn't go to restaurants like they do now," recalls Elsa Goetz Ordway, whose family owned the Goetz Meat Market on Liberty. "As a child I can't remember ever going to a restaurant." Bertha Welker, who was a teenager growing up on Sixth Street when the Royal Cafe opened, never went to a restaurant as a young woman, either. Frieda Heusel Saxon, whose family owned the City Bakery on Huron, remembers that they might run out for a quick bite at lunch, but they didn't eat in restaurants for enjoyment.

In 1909, saloons still far outnumbered restaurants in the city. (There were thirty-seven in 1909.) But they were mainly men's hangouts. Families who wanted to socialize around eating entertained at home or, as a special treat, went out to an ice cream parlor. Ordway remembers that the favorite spots for Sunday afternoon ice cream treats were Trubey's and Preketes's, both on South Main.

The Royal Cafe wasn't intended for the sweet tooth or the drinking crowds. Despite its fancy name, it was what Guy Bissell's daughter, Eleanor Gardner, describes as a "casual restaurant," with a quick-service counter, a few wooden tables, and a simple menu. The bill of fare offered nothing stronger than coffee (five cents), and the only sweet item was griddle cakes (ten cents).

Bissell ran the restaurant himself, doing the cooking with the help of his father, Ira, whenever he was in town. (He divided his time among his three children.) Bissell's wife, Marie, stayed at home with their small children, Eleanor and Clarence, and also cared for her mother, Frederica Bernhardt.

Bissell was just twenty-six when he opened the Royal Cafe. He was born in Ludington, Michigan, the son of an English father and a German mother, and raised in Ypsilanti. He left school after the eighth grade and moved to Ann Arbor when he was eighteen. He worked as a bellboy at the American Hotel (now the Earle Building) where he also slept, and held short-term jobs, including positions as a laboratory technician and a clerk at Overbeck's Book Store. He and Marie Bernhardt were married in 1904.

Bissell's only professional cooking experience before opening his own restaurant was a short stint as a baker for Bigalke and Reule, grocers and bakers, at 215 E. Washington. Gardner says her father learned cooking from his mother, who taught him German specialties.

When the Royal Cafe opened, most of the city's restaurants were on campus or clustered around the courthouse. For a time, it was the only eating place on Main Street other than the tearoom at Mack and Company, Ann Arbor's big department store, at the corner of Main and Liberty. Workers at nearby businesses were probably the nucleus of its customers. The biggest business in the vicinity was the Crescent Works Corset Manufacturers (where Kline's department store is now); others on the block included meat and grocery stores, dry goods and millinery shops, a plumber, a hardware store, an ice company, and an undertaker.

One year after the Royal Cafe opened, five more restaurants were listed in the city directory. The cycle of growth continued, and by 1911 there were twenty-five. That year, the Royal Cafe moved across the street to 331. A year later, Bissell moved it across town to 609 Church Street to serve the college crowd.

The frequent moves were typical of the period. Restaurants had a fast turnover rate and rarely lasted long enough to pass down to the next generation. (The longest-lasting of the 1909 restaurants was Preketes's, later named the Sugar Bowl.) After two years on Church Street, Bissell was bought out by the university. He never again ran a restaurant.

By then the city had twenty-seven restaurants. Eleanor Gardner says her father quit because "the restaurant business got too big for him." It's hard to imagine what he would think of the city today, when the Observer City Guide lists more than 200 restaurants, half a dozen of them in the 300 block of South Main. The original Royal Cafe is not one of them; it's now part of Fiegel's Men's and Boys' Wear.

[Photo caption from original print edition]: Gardner was born the year the Royal Cafe opened, and has no firsthand memory of it. But this old interior photo reveals that the menu was heavy on protein: steak, bacon, pork chops, salmon, and sardines. It offered no fruit and only one vegetable: baked beans. Prices ranged from five cents for drinks, to five and ten cents for sandwiches, to fifteen to forty cents for dinners, which included coffee, potatoes, and bread and butter.

Rights Held By: 
Grace Shackman

Eighty-nine Years at the Corner of Main and Stadium

Grace Shackman

Schneiders' corner has been a fruit farm, a gas station, and a haven for hungry police officers

In 1903, blacksmith John Schneider sold his shop on Washington Street near Ashley and bought a fruit farm and a farmhouse on South Main Street. The family remained in business on the corner continuously until last summer.

Rights Held By: 
Grace Shackman

The First National Building

Grace Shackman

It recalls the ebullient optimism of the 1920's

On February 21, 1929, the First National Building, the tallest and most lavish office building yet built in Ann Arbor, was opened amid great fanfare. More than 5,000 people attended the grand opening of the ten-story building at Main and Washington.

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Grace Shackman
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