Friday, March 16, 2007

House histories, talks and tours

Houses are the stages on which we enact the stories of our lives. The stories are sometimes drama, sometimes comedy, and sometimes, sadly, tragedy. These stories can the daily life of a family, with the birth of children, and the death of parents, and the changes that occur as a part of passing time. As a result of these changes a house becomes a home, and home is the most important place in our lives; and in the end, that which we want most is to go home.

Every house has stories to tell, stories of the people who lived there. These stories are of their hopes and dreams, and the drama of their lives, and the changing times in which they occurred. The stories may not be earth shacking events, but were important to those who lived them. These same stories may be of interest to those who now live in the house, and would like to know more of those who lived there before.

I would like to offer my professional services to those interested to learning the stories of their house. I can research the history of your house, find out when it was built, the names and stories of those who have lived there, and write a history of your house. I charge $35 per hour, and am willing to work out a payment plan, so you do not have to pay me all at once. Please contact me at my email address if you are interested in taking advantage of my skills. My email address is:

I am also available as a gust speaker for your club or group, and can, if you request, research a subject of interest to your club or group, and give a talk or your enjoyment. The usual charge for this is $50. Again, we can work out an arrangement if that is a problem. I once gave a talk to a class of schoolchildren, for which I received payment in brownies.

I can also give tours of any section of the city, or can research a subject and present a tour of interest to your group of club on request. Again the usual fee if $5 per person.

I hope you are interested in taking advantage of my skills, and will email me at:

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Recovers from awful shock

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Thursday, March 14, 1907.

Burton Patterson, the electrician who was struck by a high voltage current at the power house Wednesday afternoon is resting easily at the Congress Hotel. There is every indication now that he will entirely recover from his awful experience.

Patterson owes his life to the prompt action taken by fellow workermen at the power house. His fall was broken by Roy Pringie, who was working beside him. Patterson was as stiff as a marble statue when laid on the ground. workmen ran to his side and began the life saving tacties. They are similar to to those employed to resusicitatn persons who have almost drowned. The arms are worked back and forth, to expand the chest, and start respiration and heart action. It was but a few minutes before he showed signs of returning life. A physician arrived and helped on the good work.

Two red spots in the head just above the temple showed where the current had struck the man. The hair was singed, too. Otherwise there were no marks on him.

Pattersonwas placed under opiates, and when he awoke during the night he showed much improvement. He rested well during teh remainder of the night.

It is the opinion of chief Engineer Curtis that Patterson's hair came in contact with the high voltage wire.

"The wire carried 22,840 volts," he said. "A high voltage current will leap but a very short distnace, although when established it may be drawn out to more than a foot. Patterson was a very careful worker. He came here from Detroit and was assisting in installing a new switchboard."

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Find "Happy" Very Sick Man

The following story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on Friday, March 8, 1907.

Sleeping on rude trunks which he fitted up for his bed, and scantily covered with layers of burlap, that odd genius, popularly known as “Happy Hooligan,” was found in a bare, cheerless room in the Union block, ill with pneumonia. Today, under orders of the city physician, he was removed to the county house for treatment.

“The man is undoubtedly insane,” said the city physician to the Daily Press. “He was refused admittance to the University of Michigan Hospital, and fearing that he delay in getting him admitted to the asylum in Pontiac might be fatal, we removed him to the county house. With good treatment he will likely recover.”

Chief of Police Gage says that he man had a little fuel when he arrived. He had some bread and milk for food. He became delirious and threatened to shoot his attendant with a revolver. The weapon was taken from him.

“Happy” is a sign painter. He strayed into town several years ago. No one knows where he came from. Neither is his real name known. Chief Gage says that it is Harry Roman. That is the name he places on his signs. Another man told the Press that he once made out a check for him and “Happy” hesitated when asked what name should be written in. He finally said Leslie, but gave no initials.

Hooligan is about 40 years of age. He is slender and delicate-looking, with a pale face, and a sandy mustache. He wears a small gray hat.

“Happy” caries a big tin watch which he prizes highly. He tells that it was owned by one of his ancestors, whom he claims, was a duke.

Prize fighting is “Happy’s” hobby. He isn’t a fighter but he knows all about the fast ones that wear gloves. He keeps a scrap book in which he pastes newspaper accounts of all the big fights. He likes to quote scripture, too. He is pretty well versed in the bible.

“Happy” wears a leather belt to which is attached a plate. On the plate are initials, and the information that in case of death word should be sent to a bureau in Philadelphia, where he can be identified.

He always had a roll of bills, and boasted that he wasn’t broke.