Monday, January 15, 2007

Chimney causes fire in Fletcher building today

This story was published by theDaily Ypsilanti Press of Saturday, January 15, 1927.

Fire discovered in the Fletcher and Fietcher building (130 West Michigan) by Morris Mallion and George Sanders, two members of the city fire department off duty today, caused small damage to the floor between the second and third stories, but practically no damage to stock.

Smoke issuing through an upper window attracted the attention of the firemen who turned in the alarm at 9 o’clock.

A defective chimney is considered responsible. A spark ignited the floor and flames were burning there way through to the third floor when the fire was discovered, damage was confined to the one section of the floor, just over the office maintained by the firm in the center of the building.

Damage from smoke is negligible, as the third floor, where most of the smoke poured to, is not used. Some water leaked to the first floor, but canvassed were secured and spread over stock as soon as the fire was discovered. But very little water ran through to the first floor.

The fire department worked about an hour and a half before being certain every spark had been extinguished, and danger on fire breaking out again was eliminated.

Insurance is carried on the building, which is owned by Fietcher and Fletcher. The store was open for business at 1 o’clock this afternoon.

(Fletcher and Fietcher were a clothing and Men’s furnishing store.)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Dropped dead while hitching up horse

This story appered in The Ypsilanti Daily Press of Tuesday, January 11, 1907.

Wm. Fuller dropped ded yesterday while hitching up his horse to return to his home in the country, after having attended the anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. L. F. Allen (of Willis).

Mr. and Mrs. Fuller had been guests at this event and the latter had gone to the barn to hitch up his horse. The guest had just genially slapped his host upon the back and bid him farewell and Mr. Allen had started toward his dwelling, when upon turning around he found that Mr. Fuller lay dead upon the ground.

Dr. Smith of Willis was immediately called, who pronounced his death either due to heart failure or apoplexy.

It is stated that Mr. Fuller had not been in his usual good health for the past two or three months, but that with this exception he had never known what sickness was.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Courier is now empty space

I stood on the sidewalk looking into the empty space that had been home to the Ypsilanti Courier for so many years. A great sadness swept over me as I looked into the darken room, and only a few slips of trash scatted about the carpet. The desks were gone, the computers carried off by the movers on Wednesday. I used to write for the Courier, back when it was a good newspaper.
I was the guest speaker for the Ypsilanti Heritage Foundation and Judy at the Courier called me, to ask if the paper could do a profile on me. Of course I agreed, and was interviewed and a photo of me taken. The profile and a large photograph of me ran on the front page, as it must have been a slow news time. Soon after, Judy called me again, and asked if I would like to write a monthly column for the Courier on local history. Again, I agreed.
The name Footnotes in History was chosen for the column, and it became a weekly column even before the first story was published. That first story was published on April 1, 1999; an easy date to remember.
My deadline was noon of Thursday of the week before the column was to run. Every week I turned in my story and slowly came to know the people in the office. There was Judy, my editor, Dave the publisher, and the others there. Every week I turned in my story, and, as the paper was a weekly, I could spend time visiting. I learned a great deal from those visits, about newspapers, the city, and of human nature.
One day I received a call, asking me to stop by the office. When I got there, I was told the paper had been sold, but there was nothing to worry about. The new owners were pleased with what the Courier was doing, and wanted us to continue as we were. The only change was the paper would now have more resources. This state of affairs did not last long.
In two weeks the new owners were taken over by another company, which in turn is owned by a corporation. Quickly the good feeling of things to come changed to the realization that we were in for a disappointment. The idea of the newspaper these now owners had, was that of shopping news. Their interest was only in selling ads, and nothing in content. The moral in the office turned bitter. In time Judy, left fed up with the new owners, and Dave left as well.
I had been told I was one of the two writers the new owners wanted to keep on at the paper, and then My first paycheck was eight weeks late. It took some time for the problem to be solved.
In time I made the painful decision to leave the Courier, and move over to the Ann Arbor News. I came to realize I had no future with the Courier, and needed to move on. I still feel pain thinking of leaving my friends behind. I had been talking to Christine Uthoff of the News on and off for a few weeks, when I made the finale decision. That Monday morning I walked into Christine’s office and said, “Now is the time for all good rats to abandon the sinking ship.” I turned in my contract and felt better that the deed was done.
I then crossed the street and made my way to the office of the Courier, to tell them the news. I walked into an office of smiling faces, as the new editor who had replaced Dave was out, and everyone there already knew the news. They had read about my move to the News on the ypsidixit blog even before I had turned in my contract.
I have been happy at the news, everyone there is friendly and the paper has been kind to me. I am pleased I made the move when I did, as it clearly was the right chose. Still, I am sad to see the Courier go, as the office has been moved out of town. The Courier was in space that was rented, and is now moved to space the company owns.
I will always remember my time with the Courier with fondness, and enjoy good memories. What I am now, and will become, I owe in part to my time at the Courier. You see, I wrote for the Courier, back when it was a good newspaper.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Another Landmark has disappeared

This story appeared in the Ypsilanti Daily Press of Thursday, January 3, 1907

One of the oldest homesteads in this city, that owned by Miss Helen Post, on the corner of Hamilton and Pearl streets, and for years the Hewitt residence, was moved this morning by Phillip Duffy to a site near the gas works (the the city DPW yard). This house was built by Cornelius Earl, who is now in his nineties, some time in the eighteen thirities, and was one of Ypsilanti's landmarks.