Monday, August 6, 2012

Vats in Driveway recall bits of Early History

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Saturday, August 3, 1912. Bert G. Moorman has completed some changes in the driveway east of his feed mill on Congress Street (now Michigan Ave.) hill which recall a bit of local history. Probably most Ypsilanti people know that DeMosh’s livery stable just west of the bridge was formerly a tannery. It was on fact erected in 1859 by Crane, Littlefield & West. It was used for tannery purposes until 1881. Underneath Mr. Moorman’s driveway were two reserve vats, 12x20x15. These vats were filled by water from two of the numerous springs which abound along the Huron banks in that vicinity. The tan bark was deposited in the water to make the liquor to put the hides in. A driveway of planks was built above these vats, but they were constantly in need of repairs, and so Mr. Moorman decided to fill the vats up and make an end to it. At least 280 loads of dirt some from the bridge excavation have gone into these vats and it has been a matter of about six months time since the work was begun. There are eight vats still beneath the basement of the livery stables, which would measure probably 8x16 feet.

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