Central School

210 W Cross St Ypsilanti

Washtenaw County Historic District Commission
Written By Washtenaw County Historic District Commission

Washtenaw County's historic preservation program is dedicated to supporting local historic districts, spurring heritage tourism, and attracting investment in our historic resources.

At the turn of the century, Ypsilanti was a growing town with a growing school district. Some middle school students attended Woodruff School, built in 1900 on the northwest corner of N. Park Street and E. Michigan Avenue. Other students from Ypsilanti attended Central School, now Cross Street Village Senior Housing, on E. Cross Street. The Ypsilanti Historical Society has notebooks from two girls attending Woodruff and Central schools around the turn of the 20th century. Both girls were part of a “Domestic Science” class, where they leaned not only how to cook, but also the chemistry behind cooking.

Bessie Sinkule attended Woodruff School around 1910. She married Sumner Coleman in 1917, and stayed in Washtenaw County her whole life. Her middle school Domestic Science notes provide us with a recipe for apple sauce. Today, Local Michigan apples are still plentiful in the fall. Gertrude Maulbetch attended Central School. She graduated from 8th grade in 1913. Her middle school Domestic Science notes are consistent with Bessie Sinkule’s, indicating that similar curriculum was taught at both schools. Gertrude’s notebook also contains a tasty recipe for oatmeal cookies.

Apple Sauce

Apples [6] Water [2 cups] Sugar [1/2 cup] Cinnamon [1/2 teaspoon] 1. Wash, pare, and cut sour apples into pieces 2. Put them into a sauce pan with enough water to keep them from burning 3. Cook till the apple is very soft; stirring, mashing or beating it to make it smooth [you may need to add more water to keep the apples moist] 4. Add sugar just before taking from the fire [stove] 1 cup to every 12 apples 5. Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon This recipe is easily doubled.

Oatmeal Cookies

Preheat oven to 350°F before beginning your recipe. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray, butter, or line with parchment paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes 1 cup brown sugar 1 cup butter or 3 cups lard ½ cup sour milk [1/2 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus ½ cup milk. You can also buy buttermilk from the grocery store] 1 cups oatmeal 2 cups flower 1 tablespoon baking soda A little salt A little nutmeg 1. Cream shortening and sugar 2. Add sour milk carefully 3. Add oatmeal, flower, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt 4. Roll thin, cut, and bake in a moderate oven until pretty brown

Sources: Coleman, Clarice Koester. The Westfall and Coleman Family History. 2003. Available at http://colemanfamilyhistory.info/book-by-clarice/westfall-coleman-booklet.pdf (accessed 1 September 2015). Disbrow, Dorothy. “The Early Elementary and Secondary Schools of Ypsilanti.” Ypsilanti Gleanings. April 1979. Available at http://ypsigleanings.aadl.org/ypsigleanings/13459 (accessed 1 September 2015). Domestic Science notebooks. Available at the Ypsilanti Historical Society Archives. Accessed 26 August 2015. “Gertrude N Maulbetsch.” Geni. Available at www.geni.com/people/GerturdeMaulbetsch/6000000003387854703 (accessed 1 September 2015). Mann, James. “Ypsilanti History: Quirk House leaves lasting impression for good reason.” The Ypsilanti Courier. 29 August 2014. http://www.heritage.com/articles/2014/08/29/ypsilanti_courier/news/doc53f8ac8a1e1bf732663447.txt (accessed 1 September 2015). (The old Central School, now Cross Street Village, https://hotpads.com/cross-street-village-senior-apartments-ypsilanti-mi-48197-w1cbb4/pad)

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