Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sparrow Heads, Cyclorama, Sugar Social: Tidbits from the March 18, 1887 Ypsilanti Commercial

"Now that English sparrows have a price set upon their heads*, what is to prevent some industrious, able-bodied fellow from raising them for the bounty?"

"The Washtenaw agricultural association will hold a cattle fair on the fair ground at Ann Arbor this spring. Sheep shearing prizes will be offered."

"At Fred Davis' drug store may be seen an orange brought home by Capt. Wallace from California, which is over thirteen inches in circumference and weighs nearly fifteen ounces."

"The Young People's Society of the M. E. church will give a maple sugar social in the chapel of the church next Tuesday evening. Hot biscuit and sugar will be served."

"Take Advantage of it While You Can. The Michigan Central Railroad, in appreciation of the liberal patronage to their cheap excursion given last summer now invites you all to go and see the greatest painting ever produced, and known as the 'Battle of Atlanta,' now on exhibition at Detroit, and will make the fare for the trip almost equal to a free excursion. A special train of ten coaches will leave Ypsilanti at 8:50 a.m.; returning will leave Detroit at 5 p.m. Room for all guaranteed. Rates for the round trip, 80 cents for adults; children 12 years of age, 40 cents. Grasp your opportunity and remember the date, Saturday, March 19."**

*For a time a bounty was placed on English sparrows, calculated by the numbers of severed you brought in to some lucky clerk in City Hall. The non-native birds were viewed as pests to farmers.
**Yes, people took a train trip to see a single painting--but this was no ordinary painting. William Wehner's enormous 1886 work 'The Cyclorama of the Battle of Atlanta' covers over 15,000 square feet and weighs over 10,000 pounds. It is the largest oil painting in the world and still exists, on display in Atlanta.

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