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Captain William C. Bacon Michigan Car Ferries Collection, 1883, 2010, and undated

27 cubic foot (in 25 boxes, 5 Oversized folders)

The collection includes papers, volumes, photographic materials, keys, and blueprints. The focus of the collection is Michigan ferries and the Ann Arbor Railroad Company ferries, but other ferries and boats are also documented, as well as railroads, towns, related topics, and people.

The papers are divided into two main series: Captain Bacon’s personal materials (approximately .5 cubic foot), and Ferries, Ferry-Related Materials (the rest of the collection).

Captain Bacon’s personal materials include mostly correspondence about ferries, shipping, shipping history, his dismissal, Benzie Area Historical Museum, his membership cards, photographs, and legal documents.

The Ferries and Ferry Related Materials include employment agreements and memorandum between company employees and the company, usually the Ann Arbor Railroad Company related to ferries; Ann Arbor Boat Company organizational records, 1916-1958; photographs, blueprints, correspondence, certificates of inspection and enrollment, sales records, reconstruction records, licenses, financial records, casualty records, log books, marine shop time books, keys, specifications for parts, mostly propellers, oil and lubrication books, and other materials documenting numerous ferries including the Ann Arbor No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, No. 5, No. 6, No. 7, Arthur K. Atkinson (originally Ann Arbor No. 6), Badger, City of Midland 41, City of Green Bay, City of Milwaukee, Viking (originally Ann Arbor No. 7), Wabash (originally City of Green Bay), and the Grand Haven; Ann Arbor Railroad Company organizational records re: trains and ferries, 1895-1992, undated; Benzie Area Historical Museum and Historical Society materials; Correspondence from Superintendents of Steamships; information on various railroads, ship building companies; information on Benzie, Elberta, and Frankfort, Michigan; Information Bacon was going to include or not include in his book; various I.C.C. (Interstate Commerce Commission) dockets, decisions, and applications concerning railroads and car ferries; Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation Company materials; related court cases, particularly about abandonment of the ferries or parts of railways; materials documenting Michigan and other railroad reorganization or rationalization plans; various annual reports; newspaper clippings (copies) of many ferries, railroads, and related topics; numerous reports; job information, lists of positions and duties. Other materials document (somewhat) unions, such as BRAC (Brotherhood of Railway and Airline Clerks); administration units, and officers, such as the Association of Maritime Officers.

Besides I.C.C. and railroad plans railroads are also documented in stock certificates, passes, calendars, tariffs, and other materials. Specific railroads well documented in the collection include the Ann Arbor Railroad Company, Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company/ Chessie System, and the Detroit, Toledo, and Ironton Railroad Company. Other railroad companies for which at least one item is found in the collection include: Escanaba and Lake Superior, Grand Truck Western, Green Bay and Minnesota, Manistee and North-East, Manistique and Lake Superior, and Pere Marquette, and Conrail.

Photographic materials includes photographs, negatives, postcards, and slides, and is comprised of three main subgroups, railroads, ships (ferries and other boats, ships), and lumbering. The Ships section is by far the largest portion of photographs focusing mainly on car ferries. Car Ferries across Michigan are featured, notably the: Ann Arbor Car Ferry 1-7, Arthur K. Atkinson, the Badger, Viking, Ludington Car Ferry, Sparta, and several from Wisconsin. The collection is extensive and covers the time period between 1880s to the early 2000s. Many of these images were in acidic photograph albums or scrapbooks from which they were removed. There are also some oversized photographic materials. Slides are found in Box #25. Lumbering is documented solely through photographs, 1899-1915, undated.

Oversized materials include various car ferry records, photographs, some maps showing railroad property and lines, and blueprints (9 Oversized folders), as well as other materials. The blueprints are mainly ferry propellers, shafts, valves, deck arrangements, and other parts. The blueprints are housed in a map cabinet due to their size.

Ferry keys are found in two small boxes (Boxes #23-24).

In Box 15, item 1, the license for Art Frederickson is really unusual. Art was an Ann Arbor captain who was well known on the lakes. He and his wife, Lucy, wrote several books on the car ferries and sold shipwreck maps in the 1960s-1970s. Their collection was sold to the Institute for Great Lakes Research (now the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes) at BGSU. Seven books about ferries, trains, ships, and shipwrecks by Arthur C. Frederickson are separately cataloged and in the Clarke’s book collection.

In Box 15 the last item, Development and Design of Lake MI Car Ferries, Paper Presented, 1948, by Art Zuehlke, who was the man at Manitowoc Shipbuilding. There is a memorial to him at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. The Manitowoc Shipbuilding Collection is at the museum.

Spelling Note: There were inconsistencies in the collection as to how car ferries or carferries are spelled, as well as Michigan, Mich., or MI, and the way company names are abbreviated. These inconsistencies were continued in the Box and Folder listing. If Bacon titled a folder with an acronym, such as BRAC, that is how it is presented here, with a note to explain what BRAC is. Sometimes vessels were listed as M/V or M.V. (motor vessel) or S.S. or S/S (steam ship) and sometimes not.

Processing Note: Approximately 18 cubic ft. of duplicates, materials that were fragile, acidic, or moldy, and had to be photocopied, materials that included social security numbers, any materials of investigations and grievances of ferry employees, Bacon’s personal bills, medication directions, and any reading, blank, or peripheral materials were withdrawn from the collection. In addition, a large number of publications 121 items were separately cataloged as books, manuals, or serials, and added to the Clarke publications collection.

Allergy Note: Please note that some of the materials have a musty smell to them, especially most of the oversized volumes. Researchers with allergies should use these materials with care.


Charles Conn Michigan Railroad Collection, 1913, 2005, and undated

9 cubic feet (in 13 boxes)

The collection includes 20,000 images, in various formats, of mostly Michigan railroad-related topics, as well as people, scenic views, bays, towns, fires, inside and exterior views, Camp Custer, World War I and II military, and lumber camps.

This is a collection of 41,1056images in various photographic formats, booklets, CDs, and databases of digital images and information. Most of the images were taken or collected by Mr. Conn although some small groupings of images were given to him by other senior railroad enthusiasts over time. The collection is physically organized by format and intellectually by topic. Most of the topics are railroad-related, engines, companies, lines, stations, and others are of people, scenic views, bays, towns, fires, inside and exterior views, Camp Custer, World War I and II military, lumber camps, notably, Day Lumber Company, Emmet Lumber Company, Yuill Brothers Lumber, and some unidentified lumber camps, the Cadillac Handle Company and the Antrim Iron Company.

The first part of the collection includes original images or scans (either positive or negative) that have been made into slides or negatives. This includes 13 boxes of slides (1 slide box), slide negatives and negatives (approximately 5.5 cubic feet in 6 boxes), a few photographs, glass-plate negatives of various sizes (2 cubic feet in 4 boxes), and booklets of reproduced images (approximately .5 cubic foot in 1 box). These materials are organized by format and then by alphabetically by topic. Most of the items are undated. Dates noted by the photographers are 1913-1914, 1916, and 1918. A few miscellaneous items, possibly related to the photographers have been retained in the collection (see Box 12, Photograph, 1918, and Letter, 1916.)

While most of the collection is in very good condition, a number of the slides suffer from peeling emulsions and cracks, as well as other damage, which are noted on each individual negative’s sleeve. Also, because of the damage the glass-plate negatives sustained, not all of them were scanned.

The second part of the collection includes databases of the digitized images and identifying information about the images. A copy of the database called Michigan Railroad.accdb is divided into Conn and Conn Neg, and a copy of the TIFF files, called MichiganRailroad, which is organized by subject, are both available in the Clarke reading room (as of October 2012) as well as on the archivist’s office computer. The TIFF files are organized by general subjects so the link between the two databases is not always obvious to a non-railroad enthusiast. Mr. Conn reused identifying numbers, so everything related to one location has the same number, which may mean multiple railroads in one city. There is also a hard drive for preservation purposes.

Processing Note: Only a few extremely badly damaged glass-plate negatives were withdrawn with Mr. Conn’s permission from the collection.


Charles Conn Slide collection, 2002, and undated

1 cubic foot (in 1 box)

The collection includes 3,100 black and white and colored slides of Michigan railroad companies, vehicles, tracks, wrecks, depots, workers, and Michigan towns.

The slide collection includes approximately 3,100 mostly black and white, but with some colored 35 mm slides of Michigan railroad companies, their cars, engines, tracks, wrecks, depots, workers; Michigan towns on railroad lines, and the people, organizations, events, and buildings in them; logging camps, their crews, trains, kitchens, big wheels, and river jams; ships and boats; special trains and train cars; and miscellaneous. Towns well documented in the collection include: Charlevoix, Deward, Ellsworth, Flint, Gaylord, Honor, Midland, Petoskey, and Traverse City, Michigan. Lumber companies well documented in the collection include: Stephan’s Lumber Company, Waters, Michigan, and Yuill Bros. Lumber Company, Vanderbilt (Mich.). Two negatives of an unidentified railroad depot and an inventory to the slides completes the collection.

Michigan is abbreviated “Mich.” in the box and folder listing.


Culinary Ephemera: Almanacs, 1871-2005

1.50 linear feet

Forms part of the Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive. This collection includes various almanacs dating from 1871 to 2005. There is particularly strong representation of publications by the W.T. Rawleigh Company from the early- to mid-twentieth century.

This collection forms part of the Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive. It includes various almanacs, dating from 1871 to 2005. There is particularly strong representation of publications by the W.T. Rawleigh Company from the early- to mid-twentieth century.


David V. Tinder Collection of Michigan Photography, ca. 1845-1980

Approximately 113,000 photographs and 96 volumes

The David V. Tinder Collection of Michigan Photography consists of over 100,000 images in a variety of formats including daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, cartes de visite, cabinet photographs, real photo postcards, stereographs, and mounted and unmounted paper prints. The collection is primarily made up of vernacular photographs of everyday life in Michigan taken by both professional and amateur photographers from the 1840s into the mid-twentieth century. In addition to supporting local history research, the collection has resources for the study of specific events and subjects. Included are images related to lumbering, mining, suburbanization; the industrialization of cities; travel and transportation; the impact of the automobile; the rise of middle-class leisure society; fashion and dress; ethnicity and race; the role of fraternal organizations in society; and the participation of photographers in business, domestic, and social life. The collection is only partially open for research.

The subject contents of different photographic format series within the Tinder collection vary, depending in part upon how each format was historically used, and the date range of that format's popularity. For example, cartes de visite and cased images are most often formal studio portraits, while stereographs are likely to be outdoor views. Cabinet photographs are frequently portraits, but often composed with less formality than the cartes de visite and cased images. The postcards and the mounted prints contain very diverse subjects. The photographers' file contains many important and rare images of photographers, their galleries, promotional images, and the activities of photographers in the field. See individual series descriptions in the Contents List below for more specific details.

Included throughout are images by both professional and amateur photographers, although those by professionals are extant in far greater numbers.


Don Wilson Collection, 1886-1985, and undated

3.75 cubic foot (in 8 boxes)

Collection of reports, Right Track Reports, manifests, and other materials documenting the history of the Ann Arbor Railroad Company and its car ferries.

The collection consists of Wilson’s typed reports, Right Track Reports, 1980-1981, and other materials, mostly originals, that he collected from various sources, mostly documenting the history of the Ann Arbor Railroad Company and its ferries. Most of these materials are various types of communications or regulations. The scrapbooks of newspaper clippings from various newspapers, 1962-1985, are acidic on black pages, and were originally housed in binders. The scanned newspaper clippings are largely the same information, but are in good condition. Most of the materials are in stable or good condition. Those that were acidic were photocopied.

The 2013 Addition consists of Car Ferry Manifest, Kewaunee Boat Landing, June-December 1975 (Boxes 7-8, .75 cubic ft.).

Researchers may be interested in knowing that there are several collections and many publications by and about the Ann Arbor Railroad in the Clarke, as well as other collections and published sources documenting other railroad companies.


Henry C. Gilbert papers, 1826-1864

365 items (1.5 linear ft.)

The Henry C. Gilbert papers consist of a substantial body of personal and business correspondence documenting a long and successful public career. As attorney, Indian agent, political hand, and Colonel of a regiment of Civil War volunteers, Gilbert served his state and nation for over twenty years.

The Henry C. Gilbert papers consist of a substantial body of personal and business correspondence documenting a long and successful public career. As attorney, Indian agent, political hand, and Colonel of a regiment of Civil War volunteers, Gilbert served his state and nation for over twenty years, giving his life in the cause. His letters, mostly addressed to his wife, Hattie (Harriet), are extremely literate, tinged with a good natured sense of humor, though occasionally a black humor, and a deeply felt affection for family and nation. At his best, Gilbert is a passionate, keenly observant writer who never minces his words or hides his opinions. His forthrightness and firmness of opinion come through in nearly every letter, as does his sense of fun and fair play.

The Gilbert papers are arranged into several series. The first four boxes comprise the main run of correspondence, both professional and personal, written between 1826 and his death in May, 1864. The correspondence begins in earnest after Gilbert's move to Michigan. The early part of the collection is dominated by letters stemming from his work as prosecuting attorney for Branch County, providing a limited indication of crime and criminality in rural western Michigan in the 1840s. There are three extensive reports on Branch County merchants prepared by Gilbert in 1845 that give an indication of their viability for credit agencies.

Gilbert's employment as an Indian agent is somewhat sketchily documented, though there is a very nice series of five letters written while Gilbert was distributing annuity payments in the upper Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula in the fall of 1853. The best of these includes a nice description of the Indian village at Cross Village at the northern limit of the Lower Peninsula. Unfortunately, Gilbert's letters from the field tend to be somewhat sparse of detail, and are generally shorter than average.

For many researchers, the heart of the Gilbert papers is the 210 letters written while he was colonel of the 19th Michigan Infantry. These letters form a complete and detailed history of the activities of the regiment from its formation in July, 1862, through the death of Col. Gilbert at the Battle of Resaca on May 13, 1864. Although the regiment was in the rear during much of this period, assigned to reserve duty with the Army of the Cumberland in Kentucky and Tennessee, they nevertheless provide an important perspective on the war, as well as on the attitudes, motivations, and duties of an officer. Gilbert was ideologically driven, and less concerned for self-glorification or promotion than for the ardent and ceaseless pursuit of the war against secession and slavery. While he did not follow the radicalism of his cousin, Theodore Dwight Weld, he was a moderate abolitionist and held progressive views on race relations. Some of his best letters are filled with a strident patriotism and calls to sacrifice for the survival of the Union.

The significance of Gilbert's Civil War letters lies in their documentation of the activities of the army of occupation in Kentucky and Tennessee. Although the 19th Michigan was not involved in many major battles prior to Resaca, Gilbert's letters paint a vivid picture of the brutality of the guerrilla conflict in East Tennessee and the resulting devastation. Gilbert leaves no doubt that he considered the situation to be an inevitable result of civil war and a necessity in meeting the political goal of ending the war and slavery. His transformation from a stern disciplinarian into a more ruthless and rigid commander under the pressure of guerrilla violence is a particularly interesting feature of the collection.

In one letter and in his diary, Gilbert provides an account of the Union debacle at the Battle of Thompson's Station and of his capture by Confederate forces. Information on his imprisonment at Libby Prison in Richmond is sketchy, but between his diary entries for this period and five letters a strong sense emerges of the physical and psychological hardships he endured. His toughness, though, resulted in his very rapid return to active duty.

Among other miscellaneous items of note in the collection is a humorous description of Gilbert's visit to the home in of Theodore Dwight Weld and Sarah and Angelina Grimké in Belleville, N.J. (1849 July 22). To his annoyance, Gilbert, the smoking, coffee guzzling carnivore, found that the lot of them were on the Graham system, eschewing meat, caffeine, and tobacco. Of equal interest are two exceptional descriptions of séances with one of the Fox sisters, held in Detroit in 1853 (1853 August 26, 29). Gilbert is at his literary best in conveying the emotional power of these séances and the mechanics of the séance itself.

Box 5 of the Gilbert papers contains correspondence and records relating to the Southern Michigan Railroad, 1848-1852. As the only one of three railroad lines planned for Michigan to be completed in the 1850s, the Southern Michigan Railroad established an important communications and commercial link between the eastern and western parts of the state. As President, stock holder, and chief lobbyist in Lansing, Gilbert was instrumental in securing passage of a bill in 1849 to help finance the construction of the line.

The Southern Michigan Railroad series contains a considerable body of detailed information regarding the laying out and financing of the line, including 74 letters received by Gilbert between June, 1849, and December, 1851, contracts, time sheets for laborers, surveys for right of way, and information on stocks and dividends. Additional information on the railroad can be found in letters from Gilbert to his wife, filed in the main correspondence series.

Finally, the Champion-Warner series relates to Gilbert's financial entanglements with his father-in-law, Reuben Champion, with whom he was often at odds. Most of these items are deeds and legal documents relating to the grist mill in Lima, Ind.


John Magee collection, 1812-1882 (majority within 1824-1860)

1 linear foot

The John Magee collection is made up of correspondence, financial records, and legal documents related to Magee, a United States representative from Bath, New York, and later Watkins, New York. The material primarily regards his multiple business interests and, to a lesser extent, contemporary politics.

The John Magee collection is made up of correspondence, financial records, and legal documents related to Magee, a United States representative from Bath, New York, and later Watkins, New York. The material primarily pertains to his business interests and to contemporary politics.

The Correspondence series contains around 200 incoming letters to John Magee from 1824 to 1867. Some of the earliest correspondence regards political issues, including a series of letters about a proposed post office in Lodi, New York, in 1830. Congressman Edward Howell wrote to Magee about national politics and James K. Polk after Magee's return to New York in the early 1830s. Some of the later letters (1850s) respect New York State political issues. One writer, George F. Freer, speculated on the economic effects of a "threatened war with England" (June 1, 1858).

The majority of Magee's correspondents discussed business and financial affairs, including Magee's involvement with railroad construction in New York and Michigan, and interests in lumbering, milling, and banking. The bulk of the correspondence ends in 1859, and is followed by a group of 4 letters to Magee dated in 1867.

The Documents series is comprised of around 140 manuscript and partially printed legal and financial documents related to John Magee, the Watkins family of Naples, New York, and other residents of the Finger Lakes region. Many of the earliest items (1820s) pertain to Magee's duties as Steuben County sheriff. Other materials include a business partnership agreement, deeds for lands in New York, a list of proposed stagecoach lines, a document regarding the purchase of a steamboat, and items related to railroad companies in New York and Michigan.


Kirtland D. and Jessie Davis papers, 1885-1889

15 items

The Kirtland D. and Jessie Davis papers contain 15 letters from Kirt to his fiancé and later wife Jessie, while he is away building new railroad lines in southern Michigan for the Michigan Central Railroad Company.

The Kirtland D. and Jessie Davis papers contain 15 letters from Kirt to his fiancé and later wife Jessie, while he was away building new railroad lines in southern Michigan for the Michigan Central Railroad Company. He described his work, his social life, the scenery, and the towns of southern Michigan during the late 1880s. The letters are endearing and often comical, providing occasional glimpses into the couple's personal lives.


Stinchfield family papers, 1837-1999

6.25 linear feet

The Stinchfield family papers contain the correspondence, business records, financial and legal documents, photographs, and genealogical papers of the Stinchfield family, founders of a successful lumber business in Michigan in the mid-19th century. The collection also includes materials related to social and family events in Grosse Pointe and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, through the mid-20th century.

The Stinchfield family papers consist of the correspondence, business records, financial and legal documents, photographs, and genealogical papers of Jacob W. Stinchfield, his wife Maria Hammond Stinchfield, and their descendants. The collection's correspondence and documents are organized by generation, reflecting their original order. The earliest items in the collection (Generation I series) include real estate transactions involving Jacob Stinchfield of Lincoln, Maine, dating from 1837. Beginning in the 1860s, after the family’s move to Michigan, the records include correspondence, accounts, and other financial records relating to the lumber business, begun by Jacob and continued by his son Charles Stinchfield. The materials provide information respecting the management of men in lumber camps, logging in winter weather conditions, methods of transportation, the challenges of rafting logs downriver, and other lumber business operations in volatile market conditions. Jacob and Charles Stinchfield’s partner, and frequent correspondent, was David Whitney, Jr., a wealthy Detroit businessman.

The Stinchfields expanded their company to include railroads (to facilitate their logging operations) and mineral mines. Many documents in the Generation II series, including manuscript and printed maps, concern land development in Michigan, where the family owned a farm in Bloomfield Hills, and in the West, especially Wyoming. The family traveled extensively and corresponded about their experiences in Europe, Asia, and the western United States. The Civil War is represented with small but significant holdings -- among them, a September 21, 1864, note written and signed by President Abraham Lincoln, requesting a fair hearing for a furlough (probably for George Stinchfield), and a February 14, 1863, letter from Vice President Hannibal Hamlin to Jacob W. Stinchfield, assuring him that George McClellan would not be ordered back to the command of the army.

The collection's twentieth-century materials (Generation III and Generation IV series) consist largely of the personal correspondence of Jacob Stinchfield’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The life of Charles Stinchfield, Jr., is well documented, from his schooling at St. John’s Military Institute in Manlius, N.Y., and a brief time at Cornell University, through his roles in the family business, his marriage, and the raising of his three children. Interactions between Charles Stinchfield, Jr., and his father, Charles Stinchfield, a demanding and energetic businessman, are also well represented in the collection. The materials reveal relationships between family members and their servants, and spiritualists' attempts to contact Charles Stinchfield III, who died of appendicitis in 1933 at the age of 15. Later papers provide descriptions of the social life of a wealthy family in the early and mid-20th century, at their residence in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and at their country home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

The Genealogy series, compiled largely by Diane Stinchfield Klingenstein, contains extensive background research on family members, copies of Ira and George Stinchfield’s Civil War records, transcriptions of letters written by Charles Stinchfield on a journey west in 1871 (not otherwise represented in the collection), and a typewritten draft of Diane Klingenstein’s family history, "One bough from a branch of the tree: a Stinchfield variation."

In addition to materials organized by generation, the collection includes photographs, scrapbooks, pastels, realia, and books. Many of the photographs are individual and group portraits (both studio and candid) from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The images include many exterior views of the land and buildings of the family’s country home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (Stonycroft Farm, ca. 1910), and of the Stinchfield residence in Grosse Pointe, Michigan (ca. 1940s). Early 20th-century lumber camps and railroads in Oregon and mining camps in Nevada are represented in photographs and photograph albums. The collection contains photos from trips to Japan (ca. 1907), the American West, and Europe. The collection's scrapbooks include newspaper clippings, invitations, and photographs, mainly concerning the life of Diane Klingenstein in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, during the 1930s and 1940s.

The Stinchfield family papers contain three pastel portraits of unknown subjects. The Realia series includes a bone ring likely made by George Stinchfield when he was a prisoner on Belle Isle, Virginia; a ring bearing Ira Stinchfield's name and regiment, in case he died during the Civil War; hospital identification and five baby pins for Diane W. Stinchfield (1925); a variety of additional Stinchfield family jewelry; and several wooden, crotched rafting pins, apparently from Saginaw, Michigan.

The Books series includes a copy of The Pictorial Bible, given to Charles and Mary from Father Fish, June 12, 1879, and a selection of 9 additional publications, which are cataloged individually. A comprehensive list of these books may be found by searching the University's online catalog for "Klingenstein."