Early Days in Depot Town Historical

Early Days in Depot Town Historical (HM1XKM)

Location: Ypsilanti, MI 48198 Washtenaw County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 14.764', W 83° 36.595'

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In the 1840s and 1850s, the community that grew up around the depot was known by the old-timers as the "East Side." A rivalry over business development in Ypsilanti between East side and the West side, the dividing line being the Huron River, was destructive to the economic growth of the community. In 1857 the East siders seceded from the village of Ypsilanti.

It was through the efforts of the pioneer businessman Mark Norris, that the Cross Street bridge was finally built linking the two villages in 1859. In that same year, the village charter was signed and Chauncy Joslin was elected Ypsilanti's first mayor. A new City Hall and jail (6 West Cross) were built near the Northwest end of the Cross Street bridge.

The Italianate Commercial style building, formerly the Huron House at (25-27 East Cross) was built by Benjamin Follett, M. Norris, I.G. Corklin & M.L. Shutts in 1859. The west portion (17 & 19 East Cross) was later added and became known as the Follett House. The three story hotel held a ballroom on the third floor, sleeping rooms on the second floor, and retail shops on the street level. It was said to be the grandest on the Michigan Central Railroad Line. It had steamed heat and guests dined on fish caught fresh from the Huron River. Many well known entertainers, including Tom Thumb, Buffalo Bill Cody and
singer Jenny Lind performed in the ballroom. At one time the ballroom was also used by the Ypsilanti High School basketball team for home games.

In Michigan : Thomas Edison, raised in Port Huron, sold newspapers on the Grand Trunk Railway that ran between Detroit, Mt. Clemens and Port Huron in 1959.

American Events: Ratification of the 13th Amendment t the U.S. Constitution, the Emancipation Proclamation, freed slaves in 1865.

Donated by Scott & Freda Klaassen
Year Placed1998
Placed ByDepot Town Association
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 at 1:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17T E 284680 N 4680395
Decimal Degrees42.24606667, -83.60991667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 14.764', W 83° 36.595'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 14' 45.84" N, 83° 36' 35.7" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)734
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 29 E Cross St, Ypsilanti MI 48198, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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