What were Ypsilantians eating in 1870? Well, their diet was somewhat different. For one, they observed "tea" at what we now think of as dinnertime, and ate another meal around 8 p.m. Kind readers may remember Ypsi teen diarist Abba Owen in 1888, still making reference to having tea at her grandmother's house. Earlier in 1874, another Ypsi teen diarist Allie McCullough made reference to it too.
The Michigan Exchange was a big hotel and restaurant in Detroit on Jefferson Avenue. This ad in the Ypsi paper was meant to lure Ypsi travellers and tradesmen taking the train to Detroit, and farmers coming into town there, to stop off for a meal. Menu for November 10, 1870 as printed in the Ypsilanti Commercial:
BREAKFAST: Green Tea, Coffee, Black Tea, Chocolate.
Broiled--Beef Steak, plain, Mutton Chops, Beef Steak with Onions, Ham, Liver, Salt Mackerel, Pork Steak, Salt Pork.
Fried--Oysters, Veal Cutlets plain, Mush, Calf's Liver and Pork, Veal Cutlets in Butter, Pork and Apples, Codfish Balls, Sausages, Fresh Fish.
Miscellaneous--Minced Codfish, Hashed Potatoes, Stewed Potatoes, Cold Boiled Ham, Stewed Oysters, Hashed Meat, Baked Potatoes.
Bread, etc.--Rice Cakes, Plain Bread, Graham Bread, Hot Corn Bread, French Rolls, Boston Crackers, Soda Biscuit, Butter Crackers, Plain Toast, Dipped Toast, Butter Toast.
Hours for Meals--Breakfast 6 1/2 to 9 1/2; Dinner at 1; Tea, 6 to 7; Supper 8 to 10.