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Ypsilanti Historical Society
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In the Archives section of the Ypsilanti Historical Museum we have an interesting collection of old cookbooks. We thought you might be interested in reading some of the recipes and ‘household’ hints contained in these books and magazines. We have tried none of these recipes and our only guarantee is that you will have fun reading them.

Our ‘oldest’ cookbook is:

CHAPEL GUILD “RECIPE BOOK” YPSILANTI, MICHIGAN (St Luke's Episcopal Church), publis hed by Ann Arbor Courier Book and Job Printing House 1883

The ladies, (and a few of their husbands) shared their favorite recipes:


BROILED BEEF-STEAK-Miss Fannie E. Bogardus Take very thick porterhouse steak, and broil over an oil stove, taking care to turn constantly; when done add pepper, salt, and butter, also a little water for gravy; if very thick, broil fifteen minutes.

(Miss Fannie E. Bogardus-(Frances Elizabeth) b. 1/17/1862, d. 1936. Daughter of Francis Pembrook Bogardus. Francis Pembrook Bogardus came to Ypsilanti in 1847 from Carbondale, Pennsylvania. He was an early banker and helped bring ‘The Normal’ to Ypsilanti. City Treasurer 1876–80, Mayor 1871–2, Postmaster 1895–1900.

Fannie married Adam Clinton Elder. He was Director of the St Louis Conservatory of Music and a graduae of the ‘Normal’ Conservatory of Music here in Ypsilanti.


CRACKER PIE-Mrs. Charles King 12 crackers soaked n 2 cups of coffee, 1 cup of chopped raisins, 1 of currants, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup of butter, 1/2 cup of molasses, 1/4 cup of vinegar, 3 apples chopped fine, 1/4 1b. of citron, 1 nutmeg, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and a very little cloves. Add 1 tablespoonful of brandy to each pie.

((Mrs. Charles King-Susanneh, daughter of Bennett Sewell of Ann Arbor. Susanneh b. 1826 London, England, d. 1888 Ypsilanti. Married Charles King in 1850. Charles was also born in London and came with his parents to Ypsilanti in 1837. With his father he established ‘George R. King and Son Grocery Store’. At his fathers' death in 1849 he took his brother Edward into partnership and in 1873 bought out his brothers' interest and took his son Charles E., Jr. in with him).


WHITE FRUIT CAKE-Mrs. C.L. Yost 2 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup sweet milk, 2 1/2 cups flour, whites of 5 eggs, 2 teaspoons baking power, coffee cup raisins, coffee cup currants, coffee cup citron or lemon peel. This recipe without fruit makes a good layer cake.

(Mrs. C.L. Yost-Anna Vreeland of Flat Rock, b. 1843, d. 1913. Married Chester Leslie Yost who came to Ypsilanti from waterloo, New-York. Chester Yost manufacturered harness in-1860 opposite the Follett House on East Cross Street. By 1878 his business was on Congress (Michigan Ave) across from the Hawkins House. He served as Mayor of Ypsilanti from 1884–86. He was one of the most popular horse auctioneers in the mid-west. He also built several of the houses in Ypsilanti).


WORTH REMEMBERING-Mrs. Towner That in making a fruit or berry pie if the sugar is put in before the fruit, very little of the juice will escape.

(Mrs. Towner-Jeannette A. Spencer daughter of Norman Spencer of Connecticut, b. 1832, d. 1920. Married Norman Kellogg Towner in May of 1854. Norman came from Batavia, New York to Ypsilanti in 1860; was City Clerk in 1870 and in 1873 bookkeeper for Camp & Co., who sold agricultural implements. Norman was the son of Ephraim and Anna Kellogg Towner. Anna died in 1816, the year of Norman's birth, and Ephraim's second wife was Mrs. Nancy Spencer, widow of Norman. Jeannett's mother was also her mother-in-law. Norman and Jeannette had five children. Their second son was Tracy Lay Towner (1864–1943), Mayor of Ypsilanti 1910–12. The Towners purchased the house at 303 North Huron in 1851 and the house remained in the possession of the Towner family for one hundred years).

POLISH FOR GLASS, BRASS, ETC.-Mrs. T.W. McLean 1 t1b. Spanish whiting or prepared chalk, 1 1/2 ozs. alcohol, oz. American vermillion, 1/8 oz. acetic acid. Mix the whiting and vermillion well and sprinkle with the acid and alcohol. Rub well Mix with soft water to the consistency of putty, roll into balls or put into boxes to dry.

(Mrs. T.W. McLean-Fannie A. Wife of Thomas W. McLean, Rev., Rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church. ‘Saint Luke's Church Centennial 1838–1938’ booklet says of Rev. McLean: Rev. Thomas W. McLean of Janesville, Wisconsin, was elected Rector and served for three years. During his ministry, the Dr. Wilson memorial window was installed, as well as a reredos and credence table. Changes and improvements were made in the interior of the church. The gallery was removed and the organ placed in its present position. In the October 12, 1938 issue of THE YPSILANTI PRESS on the church centennial, we learn: While Rev. McLean was pastor, 1882–1885, he instituted the custom of naming Sunday School classes instead of numbering them, such as ‘St John Class’ and ‘Bishop Whipple class’. We do not know where the McLeans went after they left Ypsilanti.

SILVER POLISH-Mrs. Frank Bogardus 4 ozs. Paris White, 1 pt. hot water; let it come to a boil. When cooked add 1 oz. ammonia.

(Mrs. Frank Bogardus-Sarah Elizabeth Hall, b. in Massilon, Ohio, d. in Ypsilanti 1906. Married Francis Pembrook Bogardus in 1858. Sarah and Frank had three children, Charles Edgar, Frances Elizabeth, who liked beef steak for break-fast, and George Hall. Sarah's father-in-law, Edgar Bogardus was Mayor of Ypsilanti 1865–6 and her husband was Mayor in 1871–2).

French chalk
Phosphate of lime
Grris root
ized sugar

(Dr. Watling-John Andress, D.D.S. b. 1839 Ypsilanti, d. 1919 Washington, D.C. John Watling's grandfather, also John, a Veterinarian in England won in 1829 5,000 pounds in a lottery, came to America with his winnings, settled on 160 acres near Ypsilanti and sent for his family. His grandson became one of Ypsilanti's leading Dentists. In 1864 John Andress tling married Eunice Robinson Wright and had the house at 121 N. Huron built for them. He was one of many instrumental in starting a Dental School at the University of Michigan. In 1875 when the school started he not only had his practice in Ypsilanti but was on the faculty of the new Dental College. Eunice, his wife, was one of the founders of the Ladies Library Association in 1868 as well as the Ladies' Literary Club in 1873 and was also one of the organizers of the local BAR chapter in 1886. In 1904 John Andress Watling and his family moved to Washington, D.C.). Another one of the books which is fascinating to look through is:

PRACTICAL HOUSEKEEPING-Buckeye Publishing Co., Minneapolis, Minnesota-1886


Although toast is commonly used, few know how to prepare it nicely. Cut slices of a uniform thickness, of half an inch; mover around over a brisk fire, to have all parts toasted alike; keep only so near the coals that the pieces will be heated through when both sides are browned. If the slightest part is blackened or charred, scrape it off, or it will spoil the flavor of the whole. If covered with an earthen bowl, it will keep both warm and moist. A clean towel or napkin will answer if it is to go at once to the table. Stale bread may be used for milk toast; sour bread may beimproved by toasting it through, but sweet, light bread, only a day or less, makes the best toast.


1. Cards on the plates, bearing the names of the Guests, so as to seat them with reference to congeniality, are ‘very’ important.

2. Cut pieces of bread about four inches long, two wide and two thick, and always place a piece beside each place.

3. Finger bowls are to be passed after pastry on plates with doileys between the plates and the bowls. The plates are to be used for fruits and nuts, if there are any. If none are handed, the finger bowl will not be taken from the plate. The finger bowl should be filled about one-third, contain a slice of lemon, and in very warm weather, a bit of ice.

4. It is well to have a dish, at one side, independent of any that may be on the table, with grapes cut into small bunches, and orange and large fruits halved. If fruit decorating the table is to be used, let it be removed and prepared before it is passed.

5. Avoid cane seats in a dining-room. When fine fabrics and laces are kept on them so long a time continously (longer than anywhere else) they play havoc.

6. It saves the waiter's time to start with at least two forks and two knives by each plate. It is not bad to have three. One knife should be of silver, for the fish. Silver knives are essential for fruit.

7. Napkins are never supposed to appear a second time without washing. Hence napkin rings are domestic secrets, and not for company.

8. Everybody is always out of bread, prevent it if you can.

9. Two hours is long enough to serve any dinner that anyone ought to eat, three hours and a half is too long.

10. The host goes in first with the lady whom he seats at his right. The hostess goes in last with the gentleman whom she places at her right.

11. The worse torture that survives the inquisition is a ‘bad’ formal dinner. A worse torture than any known to the inquisition is ‘any’ formal dinner (the better the dinner, the worse the torture) inefficiently served!

Here is a recipe you might try —from-

THE HOUSEHOLD COOK BOOK by Miss E. Neil “Tried and Found Good”-published by Donohue, Henneberry & Co, 407-425 Dearborn Street, Chicago 1891


From winter cream, or from the milk of one cow-Take milk fresh from the cow, strain it into clean pans, set it over a gentle fire until it is scalding hot; do not let it boil; then set it aside; when it is cold skim off the cream, the milk will still be fit for any ordinary use; when you have enough cream, put it into a clean earthen basin; beat it with a wooden spoon until the butter is made, which will not be long; then take it from the milk and work with a little cold water, until it is free from milk, then drain off the water, put a small tablespoonful of fine salt to each pound of butter, and work it in. A small teaspoonful of fine white sugar, worked in with the salt, will be found an improvement-sugar is a great preservative. Make the butter in a roll; cover with a bit of muslin, and keep it in a cool place.

Another book we are fortunate enough to have among our archives is:

MEMORIAL EDITION-DR CHASE'S THIRD AND LAST AND COMPLETE RECEIPT BOOK-or Practical knowledge for the People-published by F. B. Dickerson Co., Detroit, Michigan 1910

Dr. Alvin Wood Chase was born in Cayuga County, New York in 1817 and died in Ann Arbor in the late 1800s. He settled in Ann Arbor in 1856 and attended lectures in the Medical Department of the State University in 1857–58, and graduated from the Eclectic Institute of Cincinnati, Ohio. He wrote several books full of medical advice and healthful recipes. In 1868 his medical building at the corner of Main and Miller in Ann Arbor was completed and there the interested went in great swarms to be taught his theories on the proper care of the human body.

Some topics covered in this “Memorial Edition” are:

Symptoms of Diseases, Food for the Sick, Household Memoranda, Nursing and Midwifery, Dairy Department, Domestic Animals, Bee-keeping—

We like the following:


If you fine buckwheat cakes would make One quart of buckwheat flour take; Four table-spoonsful then of yeast Of salt one tea-spoonful at least

One handful Indian meal and two Good table-spoonful of real New Orleans molasses, then enough Warm water to make of the stuff A batter than. Beat very well; Set it to rise where warmth do dwell. If in the morning, it should be The least bit sour, stir in free A very little soda that Is first dissolved in water hot, Mix in an earthen crock, and leave Each morn a cupful in to give A sponge for the next night, so you Need not get fresh yeast to renew.

In weather cold this plan may be Pursued ten days successfully, Providing you add every night Flour, salt, molasses, meal in right Proportions, beating as before, And setting it to rise once more. When baking make of generous size Your cakes; and if they'd take the prize They must be light and nicely browned, Then by your husband you'll be crowned Queen of the kitchen; but you'll bake And he will, man-like, “take the cake”.

We found these two magazines from the early 1900s most interesting.

TABLE TALK-AMERICAN AUTHORITY UPON CULINARY AND HOUSEHOLD TOPICS, published monthly-Table Talk Publishing Company Philadelphia $1. per year, 10 per copy JUNE 1903


A good perfume for closets and drawers, and one that will help keep the moths away, is made of one ounce of cedar, rhubarb and cloves, pulverized together. Put the powder between cotton and tie in a bag.

In putting away loose parasols, place a roll of tissue paper between each fold to prevent the silk from cutting.

Never scub linoleum. Clean it by rubbing on a mixture of olive oil and vinegar in equal parts.

To clean a clock lay in the bottom a rag saturated with kerosene. The fumes will loosen the dirt and it will drop out. In a few days, remove and place another saturated rag in the closet, the fumes of which will lubricate works.

(Note: None of these suggestions have been tried by anyone at the Ypsilanti Historical Museum).

THE BOSTON COOKING SCHOOL MAGAZINE OF CULINARY SCIENCE AND DOMESTIC ECONOMICS, published by the Boston Cooking School Magazine Co., 372 Boylston Street, Boston, Mass., $1. per year, 10 per copy MAY 1908

THE RIPE SIDE OF AN ORANGE. There is a ripe side of the orange as well as the peach. The stem half of the orange is usually not so sweet and juicy as the other half-not because it receives less sunshine, but because the juice gravitates to the lower half as the orange hangs below the stem.

THE BOSTON COOKING-SCHOOL COOK BOOK by Fannie Merritt Farmer (Revised Edition) copyright 1918. The “Boston Cooking Cook Book” was first published in 1896-by Little Brown and Co.



1 cup scalded milk 1 yeast cake dissolved in

1 tlb. corn syrup 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water

2 tlb. shortening 3 cups wheat flour

3/4 tlb. salt 1 cup barley flour

1 cup rolled oats 1 cup corn flour

To scalded milk add corn syrup, shortening, salt, & rolled oats. When lukewarm add yeast cake dissolved in lukewarm water & wheat flour. Beat thoroughly, cover, and let rise until light. Add barley flour, and corn flour, knead, and let rise until double in bulk. Shape in two small loaves, put in greased pan, and let rise again and bake.


2 cups yellow corn meal 2 cups milk 2 tlb. baking powder 1 tlb. melted shortening or cooking oil

1 tsp. corn syrup

Mix and sift corn meal, baking powder, and salt; then add milk slowly, shortening, and corn syrup. Bake in a greased shallow pan, split, toast, and spread with butter.



1 cup chopped suet 2 tsp baking powder 1 cup scraped raw carrot 1 tsp. soda 1 cup peeled raw potato 1/4 tsp. cinnamon 1 cup molasses 1/2 tsp. each clove, mace & 3 tlbs. boiled cider allspice 1 cup barley flour 1 cup raisins, seed & cut 2/3 cup rye flour 1/2 cup copped nut meats 1/4 cup citron

Put suet, scraped raw carrot, and peeled raw potato through the food chopper; there should be one cup of each. Mix & put through the food chopper again; then add molasses & boiled cider or melted jelly. Reserve one third cup flour, mix and sift remaining dry ingredients & add to first mixture; then add raisins, nut meats & citron with reserved flour. Put in baking-powder boxes & steam four hours. Serve with fruit sauce.

FRIGIDAIRE RECIPES-Prepared especially for Frigidaire Automatic Refrigerators equipped with the Frigidaire Cold Control-published by Frigidaire Corporation, Dayton, Ohio U.S.A.-copyright 1928.

’Frigidaire’; refrigerators were first manufactured by the Guardian refrigeration Company in 1916. In 1918 the patent was sold to the William Durant Company and sold again to General Motors in 1919.

There is an apocryphal story that when William Durant was demonstrating his product he flung open the door of the refrigerator and said, “Feel the ‘frigid air’.

The cookbook states: “Frigidaire plays a definite role in the daily routine and management of the modern home. It is an integral part of the equipment that lightens household care and contributes to the health, happiness and convenience of every member of the family”.

The receipe we want to share from this book is, of course, for-ICE CREAM


1 cup sweet milk 2 tlb. carmel syrup 1 tlb. tapioca 1 egg 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1/2 tsp vanilla 3 tlb. cocoa 1 cup XX cream (heavy)

Pinch of salt

Cook tapioca and milk in a double boiler ten minutes. Add sugar and cocoa which has been mixed well. Cook five minutes. Use carmel syrup made by carmelizing 3 tlb. granulated sugar in a heavy aluminum pan until it becomes a light golden brown. Add 1/2 cup milk and cook until all is dissolved. Add the carmel syrup and beaten egg yolk to the above tapioca and milk mixture, and stir well. Remove from the fire, run through a sieve. When partly cooled, add stiffly beaten egg white to which salt has been added, then add vanilla. Whip cream and carefully fold into mixture. Pour into freezing tray agitate once during the freezing process.

The cocoa portion should be judged according to its strength. This is an important item-combining cocoa with the carmel flavor.

(Note: This sounds delicious and would have been tested by Museum personnel-except for the fact that we are all on diets!).

Perhaps there are many of our Society members who own cook-books older than ours from 1883. We would love to see those books-and copy old receipes from them. Copies of the oldest receipes could be printed in THE GLEANINGS for all of us to enjoy for the quaint instructions-and perhaps even try making them for ourselves.

Illustrations and advertisements from the Archives cook-books

From “Table Talk” 1903

From “Table Talk” 1903

From: “Dr Chase's Third Last & Complete Receipt Book” 1910

1928 Frigidaire-from “Frigidaire Recipes”

These three are from-“Boston Cooking-School Magazine” 1908

A photostat of this interesting old article was left in the Archives of the Museum. We want to thank this person. Please step forward and be recognized!

From: MICHIGAN ARGUS (Ann Arbor) February 3 1860-

FIRE AT YPSILANTI-Loss $11,000 Insurance $2,225 About 11 o'clock, A.M. on Monday last, a fire broke out in the Daguerrian Gallery of A.J. Clark on the s/s of E. Cross Street, which resulted in the destruction of six wooden buildings.

The building in which the fire originated was owned by B. Follett; loss $2,500-no insurance.

This building was occupied below by C.L. Yost, Harness Shop, who saved most of his goods-loss $100; and by J.M.Crane, Drug and Variety Store, who lost everything-$800-and no insurance.

Above it was occupied by the Herald Printing Office. One small press and a part of the material saved-loss $800, insured $625. The Herald office was owned by B.Follett, and the paper was published by S.B. McCracken.

Adjoining this building was the store of A.G. Moulton. Loss of Mr. M. on bldg. was $1000; on goods $20-Insured $100.

A.H. Smith ownes half of the next bldg. and had no insurance. Loss on building $500, goods $100. The other half of the building owned by A. Kilpatrick, loss $600-no insurance.

Next bldg. owned by J.W. Babbitt, and occupied by him as a Billiard Saloon. No insurance. Loss on bldg. $1,200 and on contents $300.

J.Wolvin owned next bldg. and occupied it as a dwelling and refreshment saloon. Insurance $1,200 on bldg. and furniture which will cover loss.

The Dickinson House on River Street, adjoining the one above, was singed a little, and was only saved by the superhuman exertion of firemen.

The barn of Mr. Peck, about a half mile distant was fired by falling cinders, and was entirely consumed. Three horses were rescued.

The old National Hotel building, now occupied by the Normal School, the dwelling of B. Follett, and other buildings in the vicinity were in great danger, and were at times on fire.

We visited Ypsilanti Tuesday morning, and are indebted to B. Follett, Esq., for the above facts and figures.


Ypsilanti Gleanings