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Washtenaw County History from A to Z

Sharon L. Brevoort. Genealogist, Family Historian and a member, of the WCHS and GSWC thought continuing the page "Washtenaw County History from A to Z” would be a fitting tribute to our friend, Jan Tripp. He directed his research skills to genealogy and historical events. For several years he held various board positions at the Washtenaw County Historical Society, Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County. Jan created this page when launching the Society's first web site. We will be adding to this list and invite you to submit any websites that connect our friends and fans of of history. Email your contribution to our alphabet mix of history to

Jan Tripp

Jan Tripp


Ann Arbor Architecture Archive - Historic Buildings Ann Arbor, Michigan by Marjorie Reade and Susan Wineberg, over 199 photos.

Ann Arbor City Council Meeting Minutes - Fully searchable Ann Arbor City Council meeting minutes from 1891-1930.

Ann Arbor Cooks Collection of six historical cookbooks,1899-1986, from the Ann Arbor District Library.

The Ann Arbor Police Department Online History Exhibit - An ongoing collaboration between the Ann Arbor District Library and the Ann Arbor Police Department. Features photos, documents, artifacts, and history of the department.

The Ford Gallery of Ann Arbor Founders - Who are the people who made Ann Arbor the city we all know and love? Here are the stories of businessmen and women, visionaries and artists, educators and entrepreneurs, doctors, ministers, and mayors.

The Making of Ann Arbor - The history and development of the Ann Arbor Community.

African American Living Oral History Program  An oral history project in partnership with the African American Cultural & Historical Museum of Washtenaw County. The interviews serve as a road map illustrating what local African-Americans witnessed, experienced, and contributed to building the community we share today.

PictureAnnArbor - Patron contributed photographs of Ann Arbor to the Ann Arbor District Library web site.

Annarbour - How Ann Arbor was named, from the Pictorial History of Ann Arbor.

Ann Arbor District Library, 1957-2007 - A history in pictures the public library in Ann Arbor beginning in 1866 with the establishment of the Ladies Library Association .

Ann Arbor Historical Signs - A collection of photographs taken by the Ann Arbor Sign Inspector. Mostly taken in the 1970's, the collection gives a rich picture of the businesses and goings-on in Ann Arbor 35 years ago.

Ann Arbor Postcards - Collection of over 260 postcards of Ann Arbor dating from 1890.

Argus Camera - Argus, Inc. popularized the modern 35mm camera in the United States with the introduction of the Model A in 1936.

NEW! Atlas - Combination atlas map of Washtenaw County, Michigan / compiled, drawn and published from personal examinations and surveys by Everts & Stewart.


Barn Driving Tour - Historic Barns Driving Tour of 19th and 20th Century Barns in Washtenaw County.

Bentley Historical Library - Bentley Historical Library was established in 1935 by the University of Michigan Regents to to serve as the official archives of the University and to document the history of the state of Michigan and the activities of its people, organizations and voluntary associations.


Cobblestone Farm - The restored 1844 home of Dr. Benajah Ticknor. Now a city park located on Packard Road.

Consortium - Washtenaw County Historical Consortium. Interactive map of over 30 historical attractions and groups in Washtenaw County.


Decade of Dissent: Student Protests at the University of Michigan in the 1960s - Teach-ins, the draft, war research, ROTC, John Sinclair and more are found in this online exhibit at the Bentley Historical Library.

Detroit Observatory - An 1854 astronomical observatory on the University of Michigan campus with two original operating telescopes.

Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit Program - The Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit Program is a series of permanent sidewalk exhibits at sixteen landmark sites throughout downtown Ann Arbor. Each exhibit has a theme.

Dolph Funeral Home Records -The Dolph Funeral Home operated in Ann Arbor between 1937 and 1952. Their records can be found at the Bentley Historical Library.


NEW!  Early History of Michigan by Stephen D Bingham

History of Eastern Michigan University - Founded in 1849 in Ypsilanti as the Michigan State Normal School.

Eastern Michigan University Archives - Located in the Halle Library, the archives has yearbooks, regents minutes, class schedules, student newspapers, catalogs, and theses and dissertations.

The Ellis Family Story -  The Move to Michigan -  Wade Ellis was the leader of the move to Michigan. Beginning in 1939, Wade, followed by six of his brothers and sisters, moved to Michigan to attend the University of Michigan. This site is rich in African American and university history.



Forbes, Jortin, House - Located at 211 North Ann Arbor Street in Saline, the 1860 Jortin and Matilda Forbes house is one of the few brick residences in the city and one of the longest surviving homes.

Friend-Hack House - Home to the Milan Historical Society, located at 775 County Street in Milan. The house was originally designed for Olive Friend, an important figure in the short lived Electric Sugar Refining Company. The company, organized to capitalize on Henry Friend's process of refining sugar electrically, collapsed in 1889 after discovering the process was a scam. An fine example of Eastlake/Stick style design. Also known as Hack House.


Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County - The society was founded in 1974 to help members in their genealogy studies, to encourage the preservation and collection of genealogical records, and to promote the to promote the exchange of genealogical information.

German Heritage Tour - A driving tour of 19th and 20th Century Settlement and Farms in Washtenaw County.

Greek Revival Architecture Tour - Driving tour of 19th Century Greek Revival Structures in Washtenaw County.


NEW! A History of the German Settlers in Washetnaw County 1830 to 1930 by Dale R. Herter and Terry Stollsteimer
(Appendix: Names and Origins of Washtenaw German Pioneer Names)

NEW! History of Washtenaw County, Michigan : together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships...and biographies of representative citizens : history of Michigan.

NEW! A third volume devoted to Washtenaw County [Mich.] edited by Byron Alfred Finney.

Historical Markers - Over 58 Washtenaw County historical markers with photos, descriptions, and maps.

Huron River History   Written by the Huron River Watershed Council


Impressions  - Enjoy over 25 years of local history articles from the Washtenaw County Historical Society's newsletter.


Jewish Cemetery - The first Jewish cemetery in Michigan was established in 1848-49 in Ann Arbor across the street from where the Power Center for the Performing Arts is now located.


Kellogg--Warden House - Also known as Museum on Main Street at 500 North Main Street, Ann Arbor. A short history of the house by Susan Wineberg. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994


Kempf House Museum - The 1853 Greek Revival style home is now the home of the Kempf House Museum. Visitors to the Kempf House Museum will delight in seeing how a busy German-American family lived and worked in the 1890s. Trained guides will lead you through restored rooms, including the music studio where the 1877 Steinway Concert grand piano remains as it has for over 100 years. You will also hear about how Ann Arbor has grown into a prosperous city, a cultural center, and the home of the University of Michigan.


Lima Township - Early history of Lima Township by Samuel Clements. Samuel Clements, Sr. came to the Territory of Michigan in 1825. Louis White copied the narrative from a typed copy in the possession of Harvey C. Clements of Ann Arbor.

Lost Street Names of Ann Arbor - "California Avenue," "New Jersey Avenue," and "Territorial Road" were all once streets in Ann Arbor. Learn about these and other streets now lost to time in a 2002 article by Don Callard.


Manchester Historical Society -  Learn about the "Flying Dutchmen," the Michigan Lutheran Seminary, and Cub Koda.

Manchester District Library Local History Room - Visit the Claire Reck Local History Room (by advance appointment) where you will find a material on the history of the Village of Manchester and the surrounding townships of Bridgewater, Freedom, Manchester, and Sharon. The collection includes old issues of the Manchester Enterprise on microfilm, published area histories, old photographs, original typed or handwritten records, and newspaper clippings.

Michigan County Histories and Atlases - The project is comprised of 428 digitized titles published before 1923. The collection offers free keyword searching and page-by-page access to digitized reproductions of Michigan county histories and atlases for historical and genealogical research. Of special interest to Washtenaw researchers are digital versions of Chapman's 1881 History of Washtenaw County, Beakes' 1906 Past and present of Washtenaw County, Michigan, and the 1891 Portrait and biographical album of Washtenaw County, Michigan.


National Register of Historical Places - Washtenaw has over 80 places on the National Register.

Naturalization - Did your ancestor become a U.S. citizen in Washtenaw County? Here is an index to the transcriptions of over 5,000 names of individuals who appear in Washtenaw County Circuit Court naturalization records 1833 to 1920, published in Family History Capers.


Other Genealogical Collections - A list of area repositories that contain genealogical materials related to Washtenaw County.


Penny Postcards from Washtenaw County - Joy Fisher's penny post card collection.

Esek Pray Trail - Driving Tour of 19th and 20th Century Settlements and Farms in Washtenaw County.

Preservation -  Local organizations

Ann Arbor Historic District Commission

Saline Historic District Commission

Ypsilanti Historic District Commission

Pittsfield Township Historic District Commission

Ann Arbor Modern


Quirk - A biography of Daniel Quirk, Ypsilanti businessman, from Chapman's 1881 History of Washtenaw County.


Risdon - A short history written in 1883 by Bessie Carven Collins on Orange Risdon, early Michigan survey and founder of the city of Saline, Michigan in 1824.


NEW!  Salem Township History and Cemeteries

Saline Historical Photos - Over 700 photographs of Saline, Michigan. This collection covers a time span of more than 100 years, from the 1860s to the late 1900s, and includes images of historic homes, buildings, people, and other subjects.

Saline Valley Farms - Saline Valley Farms was an economic experiment in cooperative living and farming developed by Harold Gray in 1932. Detailed in the 150 photographs, the farm was a thriving cooperative that lasted until 1953.


NEW!  The Red Book of Michigan: A Civil, Military and Biographical History by Charles Lanman


Timeline of Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County Area History including its many Tragedies, Crises, Disasters, and Shocking News:


David V. Tinder, Directory of Early Michigan Photographers. This reference work contains biographical information about virtually every known commercial and significant amateur photographer in the state of Michigan from the first known appearances in the 1840s into the early twentieth century. Edited by Clayton Lewis: William L. Clements Library,

Tour of Ann Arbor's History - This web site features a 3-D city map and a story map significant events in the city's history.


University of Michigan Facts and Histories - Everything you ever wanted to know about UM history. This website serves as a doorway to historical resources across the University that showcase 200 years of transformation.

“The History of University of Michigan, 1817-2017,” by Anne Duderstadt.

University of Michigan Campus - A virtual historical tour of the UM campus with 1860, 1907 and 1940 maps.

USS Washtenaw - The USS Washtenaw (LST-1166) was a tank landing ship that saw duty in during the Vietnam War and was the only Navy ship to bear the name of our county.


Villages, Towns, Cities, and Hamlets - Spike and Urania are just two of the many extinct villages in Washtenaw County you will find on this page.


An historical account of Washtenaw Co., MI written before 1889, by Jehiel Hull Baker Submitted by Daniel Fay


Washtenaw County History - Past and present of Washtenaw County, Michigan,
by Samuel W. Beakes, together with biographical sketches of many of its prominent and leading citizens and illustrious dead - all 832 pages.

Washtenaw County Historical Society - Home on the Internet of the oldest historical society in Washtenaw County, founded in 1857.

West Liberty Heights - A history of the West Liberty Heights neighborhood by Judith Marks.

Wystan - A collection of over 9,500 historic photographs, postcards, and commentary by local historian, Wystan Stevens. The collection is now curated by the Ann Arbor District Library.


Xylophone - No, the Allmendinger Organ Company didn't make xylophones but click here for a 1907 photograph of the Ann Arbor Organ Company at the corner of Washington and Ashley.


Ypsilanti Black History - In the year 1900, Ypsilanti, Michigan’s South Adams Street was a place where the generations that knew of slavery and the struggle for freedom, of Canadian exile and of the Civil War, of the promise of Reconstruction, its defeat and the resulting birth of Jim Crow, were still alive.

Ypsilanti Historical Society. Preserving Ypsilanti's History

NEW! Chronological history of Ypsilanti, MI

Ypsilanti Gleanings - The official publication of the YHS.


Zachmann - Gustave Zachmann was an early 20th century Ann Arbor monument maker and the son of a German immigrant.

Zwerdling - Osias Zwerdling was merchant and member of Ann Arbor's Jewish community. Photo and commentary of the restored Zwerdling Fur Shop sign in downtown Ann Arbor.

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