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Unless a town was founded for reasons other than the pursuit of agriculture, as was the case with lumbering or mining towns, the first industry established in most towns of the Upper Midwest were mills.  Ypsilanti was no different, and the first mill recorded was established by Benjamin Woodruff on the Huron River in 1824.  No one then could foresee how this industry would blossom in the Age of Steam and bring Ypsilanti along with it.

In this episode, we’ll be learning from circulation clerk Jerome Drummond about the history of the milling industry in Ypsilanti and how it would change Ypsilanti’s economy.

More about the Podcast Speaker:

Jerome Drummond

Jerome Drummond is a clerk at YDL-Michigan and a member of the Ypsilanti Historical Society and the Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County. He majored in history in college, earning his bachelors degree from the University of Michigan – Flint, has taught introductory genealogy classes at the library, and is writing a biography of Charles Rich Pattison.

Photograph of Charles Pattison

 “Oliver Evan’s Mill Flour Mill Design,” from the Library of Congress

Photograph of Charles Pattison

“Wheat Field,” taken by Jerome Drummond.