Friday, August 5, 2011

Remnants of the Peckville School

This Daily Ypsilantian-Press article from February 6, 1926 reveals that in the 20s, remnants of the old northside Peckville school were still standing, near Forest and River. The city's second-oldest school, it was then being used as part of a garage by the Swaine family.

The 1856 plat map clearly shows the school on Forest near River. Other interesting details: Maple was called Mill St., and Prospect was called Cemetery St. One wonders when the last bits of the old Peckville School were razed. Also, this map shows the school abutting Forest, but the school is said to have been later turned into the Swaine malt house, which is set back some distance from Forest. Were there two iterations of the school building? Another note is that plat maps are not infallible and were drawn by non-resident plat map companies. You can certainly find errors on old Ypsilanti plat maps.

Here is a Reward of Merit given to one Florence Small(e)y in 1857 and recently published in Gleanings. At first I thought that the school illustrated on the form was the Peckville school, and thought, "that''s a pretty imposing structure for a then-semi-rural schoolhouse!" On closer examination I see that one has to fill in the school name on this form, so I speculate that it was just a standard purchased form someone ordered from a school supply-house.

Modern-day Peckville resident Janice A. has written a delightful account of her onetime neighborhood, published in the Summer 2010 Gleanings. It's worth a read to learn about this onetime northside community.


Anonymous said...

The garage/school part is still our garage. It once fronted Peck St. which is our back drive. When it was enlarged to a Malt House, it did sit just about at Forest. Our brick wall is the outside wall of it. We have pictures that show the school with enlargement. 2 walls of the school house fell down in the mid-1870's and were replace. What remains was the original school. Jan

Dusty D said...

That is fascinating; thanks for filling in the missing pieces! If you'd like me to publish the pix with credit to you, you can email them to It's cool to know someone who is an expert on a onetime Ypsi neighborhood.

Russ said...

I'm curious after looking at the map. On the far right is shows a Cemetery on Cemetery St.

I don't ever remember hearing anything about any cemeteries in Ypsi except the ones on N. River St.!

Did they close it and move the graves? Also, the "Cemetery St". . .I'm racking my mind trying to wonder what that's all about. Am I nuts or was that name changed way before I was born and grew up in the '50's? I really don't remember it.

Dusty D said...

Yep, you're right Russ, Prospect Park used to be a cemetery. The bodies were moved to Highland Park and the street was renamed Prospect Street, probably in the 1860s or 1870s.

I once compared lists of names of the original interred Prospect Cemetery bodies and the lists of those who were reinterred in Highland...and there were about 14 people I couldn't account for.