Thursday, October 16, 2014

1853 map of Ann Arbor from MoAA (also: lost street names)

I stumbled this morning across this amazing 1853 map of Ann Arbor. You can zoom in and browse it in high resolution, but here are some highlights:

The predecessor to the Diag is labeled “Michigan State University;” State Street was called University Avenue.

Beakes St. was previously called Pontiac, and it's apparent that the roads north of the river have changed a bit.

We had a “Bowery Street,” now Lawrence.

This map was made two years after Ann Arbor was chartered as a city.

This was the first time I'd heard of the Making of Ann Arbor project, which sounds awesome:
The Making of Ann Arbor is a public website on the history and development of the Ann Arbor Community, created in collaboration with the Ann Arbor District Library, the Bentley Historical Library, and the University of Michigan's Digital Library Production Services.
This map is part of their collection of 19th- and early 20th-century photos and maps of the city. I'll be digging into their site much more in the coming weeks.

Oh, and while researching this I found AADL’s list of lost Ann Arbor street names, which is derived from this 2002 Ann Arbor Observer piece. Very cool! It doesn’t appear to be comprehensive, though; in particular I don't see State St. (on this map, University Ave.) on that list.


  1. On the historic aerial map of Ann Arbor, there is a Chub St... I think.

    1. "Beginning in the 1820s, Harvey Chubb traveled from his farm into town along the ridge of Buttercup Hill. His route soon began to be called Chubb Road (and, briefly, Hiscock's Road and Osborne Road). Later Chubb was inspired to seek office, becoming Ann Arbor Township supervisor in 1831 and then a representative in the 1846 and 1847 state legislatures. You'd think his public service would have kept the name going, but in 1927 it was changed to Sunset Road. (At least it's on the sunset side of town, which is more than you can say for Sunrise Court; located off Miller on the northwest side, it was called Dawn on the 1931 Sanborn fire insurance map.) Chubb Road descended treacherously to Main, but that section was discontinued when the Toledo and Ann Arbor Railroad was built along the escarpment."


    2. Harvey Chubb was a very early settler of Ann Arbor in the Michigan territory and served in local and in the new state government. He and his family subsequently moved to Niles, Michigan and later to Corning, Iowa. Harvey was the first mayor of Corning, Iowa.

  2. Allow me a shameless plug, please--my book History of Downtown Ann Arbor will be coming out next month and talks about cool things like this! I used the Making of Ann Arbor project a lot in my research--it was a huge help!