The University Record, October 11, 1999

New look at old hikes published by Bentley

By Joanne Nesbit
News and Information Services

An 1874 birds eye view of Delhi, courtesy the Bentley Historical Library
In spring 1899, Judge Noah Cheever published the first four of his 10 favorite walks and drives in the Ann Arbor area in Pleasant Walks and Drives about Ann Arbor.

One hundred years later, the Bentley Historical Library has published all of Cheever’s favorites, with current notations so the walks and drives can be replicated.

Cheever was described in 1907 as “a radical believer in all social, legal and moral reforms.” He was an advocate of women’s suffrage, a supporter of prohibition and for many years president of the local humane society. He also was one of Ann Arbor’s most prominent attorneys, an unsuccessful candidate for the state Supreme Court and several times an unsuccessful candidate for governor on the prohibition ticket.

Cheever’s descriptions of the walks and drives note the look of the land, whether hilly, woody or bordering the Huron River, as well as expanses such as the Lodi Plains on the way to Saline.

This latest edition was edited by English Prof. John Knott and student Alicia Lavalle, working through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

The most recent Pleasant Walks and Drives about Ann Arbor, available through local bookstores, is a handy guide to the roadways and trails once negotiated by horse and buggy or on foot. Most now can be followed by car.

Those who use the guide will discover that bridges and dams have replaced mills and pumping stations, and commercial and residential development have replaced farms and open plains.