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.
- The Detroit Edison Company, Lehman Brothers Collection, The Harvard Business School n.d.
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.
- Glen V. Mills Directory, 1905