Ann Arbor Observer cover
Food Gatherers cancels Grillin', launches donation drive
Ann Arbor Weather:
Monday May 25, 2020
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed

Everyone's a Critic

The Observer's culture blog


Archives for July, 2015

Thursday, July 2, 2015

MICHIGAN'S WATERLOO CONNECTIONS, by Tim Athan

June's bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo passed largely unnoticed in Michigan. But the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, and the site of his final defeat, are still remembered in the names of Napoleon and Waterloo townships, as well as the Waterloo Recreation Area.

There was no Ann Arbor in 1815. Detroit had been established as a trading post in 1701, but still had fewer than 1,000 people. In 1817 the cornerstone was laid there for the Catholepistemiad, which was the start of the U-M. "Annarbour" was platted in 1824. With the opening of the Erie Canal the following year, settlers flooded in—including veterans who fought on both sides in the battle.

Detroit's first Catholic bishop, John Frederic Reze, was born in Hanover and served under Prussian commander Blucher in the Battle of Waterloo. William F. Orins (alternatively Osius) arrived in Washtenaw County from the Grand Duchy of Hesse in 1832, after fighting against Napoleon (not in the Battle of Waterloo, though he claimed to be within hearing distance of it). He served for nine years as supervisor for Freedom Township, and twenty as justice of the peace, before moving to Pittsfield, where he died in 1864.

Born in Prussia, Aaron L. Feldcamp served as a corporal under Blucher, and was present at the surrender of Napoleon. He came to America in 1836, and settled in Washtenaw County, where he died in 1846.

William Wilson was born near London. He tried to visit Napoleon in exile after the battle, on the island of St. Helena, but was kept from the house by sentries. In 1823 Mr. Wilson moved to the United States, and eventually prospered in Ypsilanti.

There's another nearby Waterloo in Ontario, and another Napoleon in Ohio. There used to be a Bonaparte Road near Detroit, but in 1929 it was merged with Joy Road.


Posted by John Hilton at 2:47 p.m. | 0 comments Bookmark and Share


Previous Posts


You might also like:

Waste Not
A year ago, staffers at Ann Arbor Open School were throwing away fifteen bags of trash every lunch.
Chuck Warpehoski
Health Care - Mental Health: Counseling
Small Business Lifeline
The Songs step up.
James Leonard
Susan Ringler-Cerniglia
Tracking the Covid-19 pandemic
Eve Silberman
Nightspots: Blue LLama
The Vindication of Roger Newton
He changed the city's history with Lipitor. Now he's scored again with a drug Pfizer rejected.
Ken Garber
Wildlife
Photo: Timely reminder
What's Happening at 2111 Packard?
A redevelopment plan is the works--but Bgreen Today is in no hurry to move
Britain Woodman
Living Off Campus
Student housing can leave a lot to be desired-but few tenants know where to turn.
Jena Brooker
FIX, REPLACE, INSTALL garage doors
Delux Drapery offers window treatments in Ann Arbor, Michigan like draperies, curtains, shutters & H
FIX, REPLACE, INSTALL garage doors