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News from the Archives (Spring 2012)

News from the Archives (Spring 2012) image
Author
Gerry Pety
Rights Held By
Ypsilanti Historical Society
OCR Text

A lot of people believe an archive is some dark, damp collection of old, moldy papers thrown into some nondescript closet––a closet made popular by a radio personality named Fibber McGee who had his own ‘archive’ in a hall closet of his home. It was a popular gag line during his 25 years on radio with his wife, Molly, regularly nagging him to clean and organize that closet. He never quite got around to cleaning the darn thing out and every week we would hear a cacophony of sounds as his ‘personal archive’ came tumbling out of the closet. And what a sound it was, too! All winter we have been cleaning out our own closet to make it as accurate and accessible to you as in humanly possible.

To access our ‘new closet’, we have a way for you to search out what we have by way of your computer. Just go to the YHS website www.ypsilantihistorical society.com and look for the Archive Database. Just enter the database. This will give you a linear look into what we have here by just scrolling down the menu. To do a specific search, do a ‘control f’ and a search bar will appear either to the upper right or lower left of your browser. Type into the search bar as short a term as possible of what you are looking for. It will take you right to what you are searching for. These directions are also.

Have any problems? Just call the museum and speak with Dee or Lauren and they will help you. Once you find that we do have your old uncle Ozzie’s picture playing his Flugelhorn or his left-handed Sewer Flute, I know you will be down here lickety-split! If you are into a little of this type of nostalgia, I have written a small article in this issue of the GLEANINGS about the old YHS Archive that we habituated for five years while we were in physical ‘exile’ from the YHS Museum. This July 26th we have been in our new––and much improved––digs for five years. Where has the time gone? Many people still speak about the old archive when it was in the carriage house out back. This look back to the behind-the-scenes recollection will be a real eye-opener. We are luckier than you think that we still have your uncle’s picture.

Lastly, please, if you have any pictures or histories regarding the ‘lost settlements’ that were everywhere not that long ago around Ypsilanti, the proverbial ‘ends in the road’, little economic units such as Cherry Hill, Oceania, Urania, Geddesburg, etc. we would love to make copies of what you have for the Archives. These tidbits of history seem to be evaporating as very little of the essences of these small settlements are still left. In fact, with the advent of modern GPS units and modern maps that don’t even mention them, they are truly the ‘ghost towns’ of this area.