The Washtenaw Light and Power Company was a predecessor to Detroit Edison, providing electric power from a dam at Dixboro Road. It was incorporated in 1902 in Ypsilanti.


In 1905, Detroit's Edison Illuminating Company pur­chased Washtenaw Light and Power, which had been fur­nishing electricity to Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti from a hydroelectric plant on Dixboro Road. Edison also bought other properties along the Huron where hydropower could be developed or improved, including the river be­low Barton Hills.

This building is characterized by a mysterious, yet intriguing design. The tower portion of the building is two stories high and originally functioned as a relay station by the Washtenaw Light and Power Company. It was built in 1902. In 1949 Detroit Edison purchased the building and used it as a sub-station.

Detroit Edison also expanded through acquisitions; in 1905 the company purchased Washtenaw Light and Power Company, Michigan Milling Company, and Ann Arbor Agricultural Company. As a result of these acquisitions, the company owned the Argo, Barton, Geddes, and Superior generating dams on the Huron River. In 1906 Detroit Edison formed a wholly owned subsidiary, Eastern Michigan Edison Company, and transferred all the Huron River companies to it as subsidiaries.