The Early Days, or, How to Name The Streets

Ann Arbor was founded in 1824 by John Allen and Elisha Rumsey, who named it Annarbour (original spelling) after their wives, who were both named Ann, and because of the large volume of trees in the area.

As founders, Allen and Rumsey had the enviable task of naming the streets. They split the job; Rumsey got the North-South streets, which he named First Street, Second Street, and so on; Allen got the East-Westers. He started off with the presidents (Washington, Madison, Jefferson, Monroe), William after his brother and Ann after his wife.

1837: The University moves to Ann Arbor

The university was founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, about 20 years before the Michigan Territory officially became a state. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres of what is now known as Central Campus.

1900s: The Great Divide

In 1903, Ann Arbor prohibited the sale of alcohol East of Division Street in the traditionally student area of town. The "Dry Line" held until 19XX.

Ann Arbor in the 60s