Wednesday, June 17, 2009

There Are No Pecks in Peckville--But There Is a Dwight Street

Dwight Peck, the great- grandson of pioneer Ypsilantian Joseph H. Peck, in a 1954 photo.

Peck's Gully south of Highland Cemetery takes its name from the several generations of Pecks that lived in the area, beginning with Connecticut-born Joseph H. Peck. After arriving in Ypsi and scoping out the site in 1825, he had to walk back to Detroit through the woods to buy the land deed--that was the nearest land office.

Through the years, the Peck descendants owned much property in the Forest-River area--so much so that the entire E. Forest area was known as "Peckville."

The article below notes, "Near the house was built an early school, a small structure called the Peck School. This was later incorporated into a malt house." DD wonders where this school was located--the plat maps show 3 buildings in the area as early as 1856, but they're not labeled. I did wonder about the nearby DPW office, a charming brick building, but I would guess that was built much later.

As late as 1915, as seen in this clip from that year's plat map above, descendents still owned much of the area land. Later these large holdings were divided up, and today apparently no Peck descendents remain in this section of Ypsi.

This 1954 Ypsi Press article reveals that a group of Potawatomi lived near the farmhouse. It also describes Joseph's wife Sophia's joking offer to swap her young son Erwin for a Potawatomi child. When the Indian woman took Erwin and left, an hours-long, arduous search resulted, until he was finally found.

No residents with the Peck surname live in Peckville today, according to the ewashtenaw property lookup. But traces remain: Dwight Street, between Forest and Holmes, memorializes in its name this pioneer family, one of the first in Ypsilanti.


Mike said...

Wow! You guys really do your homework. You have a great blog. I now check it daily since you update it so much. I sent you an email to your Gmail account. Not sure if you go it.

Fritz said...

In peck2.jpg, there's a reference to a large double log house. Does anyone know what "double" means here? Thanks.

Dusty D said...

Hey Mike, thank you for your nice comment!

I am "you guys." :D

Yes!--I just replied to your email--the first thing you sent was QUITE amazing! As for the second, yes sir, I've been there and found just a few graves in the underbrush, one marked "Hannah." It's a very haunting spot.

But if you really want haunting, (shiver), you should check out the Comstock/Kelly/Graves cemetery down on Whittaker Road. I went with a friend and we were both creeped out by the malevolent and ominous atmosphere. It was oppressive and memorable. I have NOT gone back. (shudder).

Dusty D said...

Fritz: Double log house? Ah yes, the classic 'double log house,' a venerable and rather complicated technical architectural term...hmm, what's the best way to capture its essence...(strokes chin)

(surreptitiously Googles)

"And sometimes a wealthy settler, who felt cribbed, and confined too closely in a single room, would build an addition to his log house, like the first, and adjoining it, with a door between. The owner of such a double log house, was looked upon with envy and admiration by all the neighboring housekeepers, who wondered what he could do with so much room; and it would be remarkable and exceptional case if the owner and his family did not put on some airs and go to keeping tavern."

jml said...

Oh, a pioneer McMansion!

Dusty D said...

jml: Yes sir! Can you imagine the decadent waste, the utter extravagance, of having a house with TWO WHOLE ROOMS?!

Talk about wretched excess!


Siani said...

Do you know what the 'PATTEE'S ADD' means on block of houses directly across from the cemetary? Are those houses or something else?

Dusty D said...

Siani: There were many "additions" made to Ypsi over the years; you may remember the erstwhile Public Square, near Allie McCullough's house, (as seen on the 1864 plat, here):

...was later carved up into "Gilbert's Park Addition," consisting of a number of little lots.

So far as I know all of these additions were new chunks of available lots created by developers of the day who bought a big lot and subdivided it.

But I'll double check Pattee when I go to the Archives on Sunday (I suspect it wasn't the early Ypsi-area Methodist minister Elias P.).

Anonymous said...

I just love your blog...I am sending it around town. I hope you don't mind.
Thank You Laura and welcome back! I have missed you