Friday, April 9, 2010

Where is that darn Schad(e) Block, anyways?

Dusty D went to one of the foundational books of Ypsi history to find out. In Harvey Colburn's "The Story of Ypsilanti" I found this on page 196:

"The Schade block, at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Park Streets, was built by Leopold Schade, in 1871."

The picture (seen here) that the Bentley Library calls "the Schade Block" and dates as 1895 is, as Joe noted, reproduced in James Mann's "Ypsilanti: A History in Pictures" on page 62, labeled "Seen here is the west side of North Huron Street between Michigan Avenue and Pearl."

Now, I know Mathias Stein had a cigar factory and store in that area, next to Shaefer Hardware and a barber shop.

The 1905 city directory has cigar and tobacco shops in both places:


Prick G A, 304 Congress E.
Stein Mathias, 25 Huron.


Brichetto John, 15 Huron.
Deuress C C, 22 Cross E.
Manning J H, 212 Congress.
Smith Bros, 103 Congress.
Stein Mathias, 25 Huron.

1905 city directory (personal copy): no listing for "Schad" or "Schade" block.
1910 city directory (personal copy): "Schade Block and Hall, 302-306 Congress E. (Michigan Ave.)
1922 directory (online): 302-306 Michigan Avenue E.
1924 directory (personal copy): "Schade Hall 304 Michigan Avenue E"
1926 directory (personal copy): "Schade Block 302-06 Michigan av E; Schade Hall 304-06 Michigan Av E"

Online PPNA timeline: 1900: The James Brothers Henry and Joseph of Windsor Ontario rent a room in the Shad Block of Congress (now E. Michigan Ave.) and Park St. and set up a gambling parlor called the “Ypsilanti Stock Exchange". 60 or 70 patrons would arrive daily on special inter-urban cars from Detroit. They were run out of town after a few days by Mayor Allen."

But the final word on the subject came from the ever-helpful James Mann. He kindly dug up the original photo he used in his photo book. It is labeled "Huron Street." Dusty D also checked for old pics of the 300 block of E. Michigan. Voila, there it was, several old pictures of the Schad Block. Now gone, it stood at the southeast corner of Park and Michigan. It housed a meat market and the Schad residence was attached to one wall. Thanks to James Mann, the mystery of the Schad Block was finally sorted out!


Dusty D said...

That was an absolutely thrilling post, I know. At least it has a moral: even an institution as wonderful and cool as the Bentley can make a tiny mistake sometimes, though it's a puzzle as to why they did.

cmadler said...

To be clear: did the Bentley make an error in marking this photo as the Schad(e) block, or did Mann make an error in saying that it was on Huron?

If the former, can you share photos of the real Schad(e) block with us?

cmadler said...

Did I just ruin a planned mystery spot?

Dusty D said...

Sure, cmadler, I took some photocopies of some schad block photos today and will post 'em. Sorry they're not scans, but the comp was being used.

And no no no, you did not ruin a MS. This whole town is nothing but one hundred and eighty seven years' worth of layers of mystery spots... :)

James said...

the Shade Bolck was demolished in the 1930's, so nothing is left of it today. It was for a time the home of the Lewis Horse Exchange, befreo it moved to the township and then to Depot Town where it achived fame. Milo Gage who owned the store in the ad, was at one time the Ypsilanti Chief of Police, and before that owned a pool hall. The history of this city is so much fun.