Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Huron Hotel: Humor with your Food

This is neato mosquito, a menu cover from the Hotel Huron in 1961 (click any image for larger version).

In that year, the hotel was facing financial difficulties.

The hotel started offering dinners for lunch prices and allowing weekly room rentals.

Though those efforts were ultimately not successful, one of the artifacts it generated was this menu cover cartoon featuring a caricature of downtown Ypsilanti.

Here you can see the downtown hotel at Washington and Pearl. You can see the buildings on the north side of Pearl between Washington and Huron. There's the Grand Army of the Republic Hall, which of course is still standing. One Yank and one Reb are having a shootout in front. Next door, at the Huron corner, is the onetime Ypsilanti Press building.

You can also see the north side of Michigan Avenue. There are a number of women swarming one store offering a sale where the modern-day Mix is housed. Note that by the 60s, the original 3rd floor of Hewitt Hall was already removed (some decades before).

In the cartoon's upper left corner, you can see the water tower and the onetime location of the business school.

There's a hunter up there too shooting a pheasant, and there's the old YHS (now Cross Street Village.

In the lower left corner, you can see a box extolling the features of the hotel. Dusty D likes "TV and Radios" especially. And a fire-resistant building is always a plus. I wonder if they meant they'd installed asbestos.

Note the little cartoon of a va-va-voom type girl inciting a car crash and another guy's wolf whistle. You can also see a bunch of kids playing stickball (?) and a woman sensibly hanging out her laundry.

Last, here's a shot of Depot Town. You can see the Streicher murder house at Cross and Huron with the old poultry barn behind it, which did exist there for many years.

A couple of guys are playing football on Frog Island--for years the YHS used Frog Island as their athletic field. Two silos seem to refer to the old Farm Bureau corn silo at Forest and the RR tracks (?). There's a simplified referenced to the old Peninsular Paper factory. Dusty D has no idea what the "Archery" building next to Michigan ladder might be. Last, you can see the present-day automotive museum ("Used Cars").

I leave y'all with a question: is that really a coal-powered steam train that's going through Depot Town? Were any of those still around in 1961? I thought things had largely switched over to diesel engines by around that time. Anything else that you notice or would like to comment on?


BF said...

I notice the roof of the theatre has an indication of a future use of the building.

I first saw the plane, and wondered what the pilot was looking at.

I *did*... really!

Dusty D said...

(Loyally) I believe you, BF. Really. :D

I love picking out what's different on this drawing. I note, for example, that all (well, most) of the women around town are all wearing dresses, in lieu of the standard jeans today.