Report from the Fletcher White Archives
By Gerry Pety, Director
We have been busy in the Archives sorting and filing the materials given to us is summer by the Eastern Michigan Archives. Al Rudisill and company have been sorting, classifying and adding to our data base which is on our website. So if you would like to know what we have just view it at www.ypsilantihistoricalsociety.org! Marcia McCrary, our Thursday host, and my assistant Deirdre Fortino, have spent a lot of time keeping the database up to date. We now know what we have in the Archives and where it is, which is a real accomplishment!
Diving into history: Every now and then we have a visitor in the Archives who provides us with new information. Recently an individual visited who is scuba diving in Ford Lake where the old settlement of Woodruff’s Grove was thought to be. The area was flooded in the 1930s to provide an artificial lake for power generation and flood control of the Huron River. Under 30 feet of water the old village sits, or what is left of it. We now know that the village sits some distance from a deserted road entering the lake near the northern point where the Huron River enters. The diver says he will continue to dive in the hopes of finding more and better artifacts - maybe even some treasure. He will report back if he finds anything of interest.
Tiny towns researched: For the last year we have been collecting ‘place names’ of settlements that have largely disappeared not only from the landscape but our memory as well. Sometimes these little places were just names to the locals so as to make it easy to find, but many times they were also economic units where business and services were found. One that has been recently recognized as a defunct settlement or place name is Sobers Corners, back when there was a TB sanatorium at the intersection of Ridge and Geddes roads. I doubt it was just the hospital but we just don’t know. The other place name was at the junction of Lowell and Jarvis streets known as Norton’s Corners. Mr. Norton, founder of Norton’s Flowers, had several greenhouses near the Michigan State Normal College campus (now EMU) back in the 1920s to the 1940s. But that is all we know about these place names. In both cases we have no pictures, references, maps, layouts, history - almost nothing.
We are also looking for more information about Frains Lake, Urania and Carpenter’s Corners. If you have any additional information about these places or Willis, Stony Creek, Paint Creek, Cherry Hill or Superior please pass it on to us here in the Archives. The information on a lot of these places is out there, I just know it, but we need your help to find it!