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Industry on Detroit Street

Miller’s Planing Mill, 529 Detroit Street, 1874 (Later the Treasure Mart)


Used cars were sold at 514 Detroit Streetin the last part of Andrew Schmidt’s carriage factory buildings, before it was demolished in 1933. Schmidt and his wife had lived upstairs.


Ferguson’s at Detroit and Division Street manufactured road wagons, fine carriages, and horse racing carts.


Industry on Detroit Street


In 1869 John G. Miller built this large steam-powered planning mill, which specialized in windows, doors, shutters, and gingerbread trim for the growing city.  Detroit Street hummed with industrial activity that took advantage of the nearby railroad and lumberyards.  Herman Krapf bought the mill in 1878 and ran it until 1905.  Like Miller before him, he lived in the house on the left.  E.J. Knowlton briefly rented space from Krapf to manufacture his nationally advertised collapsible “Universal Bath.”


The automobile changed the neighborhood.  A gas station replaced Schmidt’s carriage factory at Detroit and Kingsley streets.  At the Division Street end of the block, an auto dealership opened next to what had been the Ferguson Cart Company.  In 1960 the Treasure Mart opened a consignment shop in the old mill.  It was the first of many businesses that would become the Kerrytown shopping district.


The Ann Arbor Gas Company, established in 1858, built a plant (left) to manufacture gas from coal at a site bounded by Beakes, Summit, and Depot near the foot of Detroit Street.  An explosion in 1895 destroyed part of the plant (right).  In 1900 a larger gas works was built on the other side of the railroad tracks.


Sponsored by The Treasure Mart

Photos courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library


Submitted by

Bryan Arnold


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