Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Past and Present: Ypsilanti Gas Co.

The Washington Street office of the onetime Ypsilanti Gas Company, whose plant was on the northeast corner of Huron and Forest. This is the downtown business office, where, if you were a miser like DD too cheap to spring for a stamp, you could go to pay your bill.

The photo is dated 1912. This may be incorrect as the city seized municipal control of the gas plant in 1914, holding it until after WWII. The inscription continues: "House in background: 212 Pearl. Later moved to 921 Sheridan (Ward Roper House). Genevieve C. Cross & Phil Duffy, in front of gas company, 27 N. Washington."

Note that in the reflection of the window you can see the sign for Ypsilanti's storied "ARK" secondhand store/junk shop/nexus of questionable activities.

I guess you could say the northwest corner of Washington and Pearl is still a place with a lot of energy...

12 comments :

Washington gas said...

Nice pictures.Thank you for sharing this summary.

Washington gas said...

Nice Pictures.

Dusty D said...

Thank you, Washington Gas. Sorry for the delay in posting comments--in order to filter spam, they're held in a queue till approved...but I always get to them as soon as possible.

Now then. What is the boxy thing in the back of the wagon--it looks built in--and what on earth is the little mechanical whatsis on the wagon side? Some kind of little....clamp or something?

Dusty D said...

Note: I see on rereading my Ark article that the Ark was pulled down in 1912. So perhaps the date is correct after all...I need to double-check the date of creation of the Ypsi Gas Co. Always a slippery business...

Russ said...

I'm pretty certain that the Mechanical Looking Device in the middle of the wagon is a Plumbers Pipe Vise. It's used to hold the pipe steady while it's being cut and then threaded. My Dad had one when I was growing up.

There's a hinge on the left bottom and an hook on the right bottom that allow you to fold the top over and set the pipe in the jaws. That saves having to always push a long pipe into the jaws from the end.

The cabinet might be a tool chest to store the pipe cutters and thread dies.

I'm thinking that this wagon may be owned by the gas company and part of their installation crew. If you look close, it appears there's a long pipe sticking out of the back of the wagon too.

Looks like a surprise under the cart too from the last horse that parked there. LOL

Russ

Russ

Dusty D said...

Ohhh, that makes perfect sense, Russ. Sure, that's just the thing the gas co would have on hand for installing gas pipes, makes sense. Very cool; thanks, Russ!

Haven't looked up the occupations of the 2 people but will do so in the 1912 directory.

Anonymous said...

This is really cool. I live right around here and it's fun to see a photo of the area from before the bus depot. Thanks!

Dusty D said...

Anonymous: You are very welcome! People do seem to love these comparison photos (I do too, it helps me understand where things were in a concrete way) so I try to do one every Thurs. Thank you for reading! Oh, and if you want the history of your place detailed here, or maybe a similar photo comparison (without using your name) I'm glad to do so--you can mail the address to ypsidixit at gmail. Thanks!

Lisele said...

I love them. Was the Ark on the Southeast corner, where the Huron Hotel is? Or where the Phoenix Building is?

Dusty D said...

Lisele: You are exactly right; the Ark was on the southeast corner of Washington and Pearl, with the Huron Hotel on the northeast corner.

Paul A. said...

"...northwest corner of Washington and Pearl..."

This would be the southwest corner. :-)

Dusty D said...

Paul: Good Lord, I'm such a dolt sometimes. Duh! Thank you for the correction. Sheesh, must have skipped my Geritol this a.m. (facepalm).