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In February of 1824 two men looked around at the clearing in the forest and decided to stake their claim to the hamlet in the woods near a winding river. Since that time Ann Arbor has welcomed people, businesses, and events into its fold. But as time passes, some of that history is forgotten—until now.

In VANISHING ANN ARBOR, authors Patti Smith and Britain Woodman take you on a tour of our city’s past from Bach & Abel’s dry goods store to Aunt Agatha’s bookstore. Learn about the history of public schools in Ann Arbor beginning with the log cabin built at the corner of Main and Ann Streets, through the ward schools, and to Ann Arbor High. Find out how folks passed time in the 1880s, from ice skating to bowling to socials. Trace the history of bookstores from Wahr’s and Sheehan’s to Common Language and the Wooden Spoon. Walk the streets with school principal Mary Clark, found Elisha Rumsey, philanthropist Elizabeth Dean, and publisher Alvin Chase.

That little hamlet near the Huron River still thrives today, welcoming visitors from far and near. Come along to reminisce about the places you remember—Maude’s, Fiegel’s, Drake’s—and learn about the places you don’t.

 

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