Packard & Thompson

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Most common townie mistake becomes official via @A2GOV: [photo] [What's the name of the other street at the intersection where the downtown library is located: Fifth & _______ ]

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  1. By kittybkahn
    February 25, 2011 at 8:52 am | permalink


  2. By Rod Johnson
    February 25, 2011 at 9:01 am | permalink

    Double arrrrrrrgh.

  3. February 25, 2011 at 9:11 am | permalink

    I noticed that one of the A2Gov notices I got by email also had a “Williams” instead of William. But no evidence that this was a townie. Many people commute in.

  4. By TeacherPatti
    February 25, 2011 at 10:34 am | permalink

    I know I know! William!!! I also like when people mix up Fifth Avenue and Fifth Street…made that mistake exactly once but to my credit, I did learn from it.

    @Vivienne, I think so many people have to commute in b/c it’s so expensive to live here and there aren’t enough jobs. I could never find a job here that pays what my out of town job does (not that I would necessarily want to).

  5. February 25, 2011 at 11:12 am | permalink

    I was trying to say delicately that not all city employees live here and so are not necessarily acculturated. I’m pretty sure that Roger Fraser knows William from Williams, though.

  6. By bear
    February 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm | permalink

    I’m always correcting many of my townie friends that it’s William st. not Williams. I also love it when I see delivery trucks go past my home on 4th st. in the summer. I go out and flag them down and ask, “Does the address say North or South?” and redirect them to 4th Ave. It gets tricky ordering pizza sometimes also.

    @teacherpatti, you statement to Vivienne doesn’t seem to make sense. People who commute INTO Ann Arbor, do so because they HAVE jobs in Ann Arbor. I don’t understand your correlation to not enough jobs and commuting into Ann Arbor. Just a thought.

  7. By zollar
    February 26, 2011 at 7:34 am | permalink

    I’ve been a townie well over 50 yrs (born and breed)and its is always pronounced Williams St.

  8. By Sue Perry
    February 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm | permalink

    I agree with Zollar. Also born and bred in AA. Have always referred to it as Williams – - and probably always will. I’m chagrined to learn for the first time that it indeed may be, or is, William. Yikes.

  9. By james c. crawford
    February 26, 2011 at 7:46 pm | permalink

    that is funny, Sue! Yeah, it’s always been that way. I noticed one day there was no ‘s’ on it and since then have worked hard to always pronounce it correctly. One of the nice idiosynchrasies of our beautiful town.

  10. By Nick
    February 28, 2011 at 8:33 am | permalink

    The other thing that bothered me about the sign is that it lists the streets (sic) in the wrong order, you’d cross William before Liberty coming up Division. Adding an “S” is a Michigan or Midwestern trait, anyone been to Kroger today?

  11. By Tom Whitaker
    February 28, 2011 at 11:26 am | permalink

    In ‘Ann Arbor, The First Hundred Years’ (1927), author Orlando Worth Stephenson says this about the naming of William Street (pp. 426-7):

    “The land company which gave the Campus to the State for the site of the University laid out an addition east of Division Street. members of this company used their own names for this plot. William S. Maynard had two streets named for him: William street and Maynard: and the names of William R. Thompson, Charles Thayer, Chester Ingalls, E.S. Cobb, and Daniel B. Brown were also given to streets.”

    The 1853 Henry Hart survey, and the Washtenaw County plat maps and atlases from 1856, 1864, 1895, and 1915 all say “William St.” The 1860 City Directory calls it “William,” as well. However, the 1874 County atlas says “Williams St.” A 1914 transcription of the original city plat also says “Williams.” Clearly, this is a common error that goes way back.

    It’s “William” on all current signs, maps and official documents used by local government, including the designation of the William Street Historic District. I’m sticking with William, which is what I’ve called it for 33 years.

  12. By trevor staples
    February 28, 2011 at 10:55 pm | permalink

    Tom, that’s awesome! Now I know why so many people make the mistake (including me). I’ve lived here all of my 43 years, and still have to pause before saying, “William.”

    Ok, on to another townie conundrum…

    My dad always pronounced the park over on Packard near Elsworth, “B’yur.” I grew up calling it that, but have begun to pronounce it “Burr.” As a townie, I need some help here. How should I be saying it?