The Ypsilanti Historical Society now offers a range of online resources you can use for research, exploration, or just for fun. On the right side of the YHS home page (ypsilantihistoricalsociety.org) you can see links to three new features. Historical Highlights of Ypsilanti This program is a timeline of salient events in Ypsilanti’s 186-year-old history. A table of contents lists the pages in alphabetical order and allows you to choose the page you’d like to see. Or you can start at the first page, which discusses the Northwest Ordinance, and retrace Ypsilanti’s history by moving through each successive page (look for the “CONTINUE” link at the bottom of each page). Major industries, notable people, and outstanding architecture are all featured. Historical Highlights is a good resource for teachers or anyone looking for a concise summation of major Ypsilanti events. There’s even a racy (by 19th-century standards) photo of the famous Ypsilanti Underwear Lady. Markers and Statues This program is still under development, and when completed, will offer an in-depth look at markers that you may have seen around town but never had time to investigate. Ranging from the Spanish War Memorial to the cannon in Prospect Park, each page offers images and several paragraphs of information. You can learn which rare type of rock forms the Old Chicago Road marker at the intersection of Ballard, Congress, and Michigan Avenue, or see the home of Michigan’s first superintendent of education, John D. Pierce. There’s also a page about the hated Detroit-Saline toll road, which angered local farmers so much they created their own road, bypassing the toll gate - which an irate local resident later smashed with an ax. Dusty Diary This program is an active blog that serializes two Ypsilanti women’s diaries and explores a range of local history topics. It also offers interactive comments where you may leave your own thoughts and information. Featuring many beautiful photos from the Archives, the blog has recently discussed the occupations of black Ypsilantians in the early 20th century, the 25 major industries in 1901 Ypsilanti, and a forgotten city dump from long ago. You can also find profiles of area homes, such as 211 North Huron, complete with a photo tour of the interior. Check it out and add to the ongoing discussion! In the works is a fourth new feature that highlights the many significant and beau- One of the online programs in the planning stages is “Historical Highland Cemetery” which will feature many of the beautiful statues and gravestones in that setting. tiful statues and gravestones in Highland Cemetery. It includes a virtual photo tour and map. You can explore the resting places of some of Ypsilanti’s history-makers and see beautiful examples of the carved stone art adorning many graves. Stay tuned for this new online resource! (Laura Bien is a volunteer in the YHS Archives and writes and manages the “Dusty Diary” blog described above.) Photo 1: One of the sixty-four pages of the online program titled “Historical Highlights of Ypsilanti, Michigan.”
Photo 2: One of the pages being developed for the “Historical Markers and Statues” program that is available online.
Photo 3: The “Dusty Diary” blog allows visitors to comment on stories and become actively involved in the program.
Photo 4: One of the online programs in the planning stages is "Historical Highland Cemetery" which will feature many of the beautiful statues and gravestones in that setting.