Thursday, July 8, 2010

The original home of the Maize 'n Blue

You wander around downtown, you always stumble across one of these Michigan Historical markers that you hadn't seen before. They're everywhere.

Still, I was surprised to spot this one earlier today marking the original home of the University of Michigan. The marker is hanging on the side of building on Congress, just a block east of Woodward, in an area that shows no evidence that there was once a university located there. The sign, which includes an old picture of what the building looked like before the campus moved to Ann Arbor in 1837, explains why. It reads:

The Catholepistemiad, or university, of Michigania resided in a building near this site from 1818 to 1837. Conceived of by the Reverend John Montieth, Father Gabriel Richard and Judge Augustus Woodward, the university was established by territorial law on August 26, 1817. Modeled on the University of France, created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1807, the institution was the center of a statewide system of primary, secondary and college education. Reverend Montieth, the first president, and Father Richard held the first professorships. In 1837 the university was relocated to Ann Arbor. The original building was razed in 1858.