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New Markers Tell Of Downtown Ann Arbor's History

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Downtown Ann Arbor has four new historical markers celebrating the history of a beloved sandwich shop, downtown bookstores, and the city's musical roots.

More than 100 people gathered Tuesday to celebrate the latest installment of the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit Program. The new markers sit along North University Avenue, east of State Street.

The first exhibits were installed in the late 1990s, and now Ann Arbor's downtown has dozens of historical displays with stories and images.

One new marker features Drake's Sandwich Shop, which was an Ann Arbor staple before closing more than two decades ago.

"We all have our special memories of Drake's," Mayor Christopher Taylor said. "My wife and I had our first date at Drake's."

Taylor spoke at Tuesday's event, as did others including Ken Fischer of the University Musical Society. Fischer told of how another of the new markers describes how the society was founded by church choirs joining together in the 1800s.

Tom Borders, co-founder of Borders bookstore, wasn't in attendance but relayed a message saying "thanks to Ann Arbor for helping us launch our book business in 1971."

Program coordinator Ray Detter said the new exhibits are the last officially through the Street Exhibit Program. The Ann Arbor News reports more are likely. Detter is working on an exhibit for a historic bus depot where a new hotel is located.

The Street Exhibit Program will continue, Detter said, with plans for tours, presentations and events.

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