Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ancillary Materials for Flood Story

Here are some ancillary materials (below) that I looked at to write the story of the March 23, 1904 flood, posted here in case you'd like to peruse 'em too. Click for larger image.

1. Photo of part of Henry Scovill's lumber operation on Frog Island. Here we are standing on the northeastern part of Frog Island looking south-southeast. On our right, out of view, are the numerous buildings of Scovill's lumber yard. To the left, on the mainland bank, are stored logs. Lots of times farmers would cut their lumber, haul it to Ypsi, and Scovill would cut it to order. In left rear is the old Depot. The freighthouse is visible, as is a now-vanished storage building behind the also-visible Depot Town buildings. The storage building was used for storage of extra hay presses from the old hay press plant just northeast of Forest Avenue and the river.

2. Photo labeled 1895 of Scovill's lumber yard. Here we are on the millrace bridge at the southeastern part of the island. This is the bridge that was obliterated in the flood, stranding the men on Frog Island. Today it is the southeastern bit of the running track. Here's a then and now comparison. In left rear is the big underwear factory.

3. Portrait of Henry Scovill, head of the lumber yard. Scovill was mayor of Ypsilanti from 1881-1884 and 1900-1901. You can see the strength and clarity of character that kept him working at his lumber yard until he was killed in an accident--at age 86.

4. 1914 receipt for C. S. Smith's purchases at Scovill's. You can see the address is N. Huron street, just by the bend. Because of the flood, Scovill moved his yard from Frog Island to here. He hesitated because the Frog Island yard had been powered by hydro, which was cheap, and he'd have to convert to electricity. However, he successfully made the move.

5. Civil War discharge papers for Corporal Scovill. He was one of the first to sign up at Lincoln's first call for Michigan volunteers. Apparently his term of service was only 3 months. I don't know if he served another term. Note that this dynamic and life-filled man was a mere 5 feet 7 inches tall.

6. Photo of Amasa Scovill, Henry's father. Dusty D has a chair (my favorite one) not unlike Mr. Scovill's.

7. A little map of Depot Town I made to understand the fabric of it, since Bracy's boss had a grocery here. There were 5 groceries, 3 restaurants, 2 meat dealers (directly opposite each other), 2 lawyers, and one coal dealer, cigarist, shoemaker, hardware dealer, baker, barber, painter, furniture dealer, hotelier, druggist, and jeweler. I used the 1905 info because generally the city directories lag a bit behind the actual year in question, so this is probably pretty accurate for 1904. Green is current businesses, red is 1904 businesses, and blue is residents living above the shops.

8. Obituary cards for Scovill, his wife Mary, and his son William. There are 73,000 of these in the Archives.

9. & 10. history of the Scovill lumber co.

11. Undated story (prob. 1962) about the demise of Ypsilanti lumber companies.

12. Scovill's 1929 obituary. He is buried in Highland Cemetery.

Hope you liked those! There was even more stuff, but as my mom says, "there's a limit." :)

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