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Digitized Michigan Township Maps

By |2018-02-27T15:41:46+00:00December 22nd, 2012|

The Archives of Michigan has just published digitized copies of the original survey of Michigan’s township parcels.

1819 survey map of Lima Township - via

To view the maps, visit and choose the Advanced Search option (the green button in the upper right corner). Uncheck the box labeled “Death Records, 1897-1920” and check the box labeled “GLO Plat Maps.” Type the township name in the search box, and you’re good to go!

Chelsea’s Stories: A Coloring and Sketch Book – 1986

By |2018-12-13T18:58:01+00:00December 18th, 2012|

In 1986, Eastern Michigan University and the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce worked together to create a coloring and sketch book of Chelsea landmarks and historic moments.

Line drawings of local landmarks, such as the Depot, the Jiffy Towers, and the Clock Tower are prepped and ready for coloring.

Want to print your own copy of the full coloring book?  Email Sarah at and she’ll send you a pdf.

The Man Behind the Camera – Rob Coelius of Video Farm Productions

By |2018-02-27T15:41:47+00:00December 16th, 2012|

Filmmaker Rob Coelius introducing the Village Life documentary on 10-21-12.

Rob Coelius of Video Farm Productions has worked with the library to film and produce five local history documentaries, starting with One Room Schoolhouses in 2008 and proceeding on to WWII Veterans and Farmers and completing Village Life and Korean War in 2012.

Rob films each interview and edits it so we can present them on this website individually. He also creates each film, finding a narrative threads that connect each interview and tell a complete story. Rob incorporates the photos, finds archival footage, selects the music and handles all the creative details that come together to create engaging and informative films.

It has been a pleasure to work with Rob and his company, Video Farm Productions and we look forward to completing our next documentary: Local Landmarks, which will trace the route of a walking tour of Chelsea’s historic downtown. We look forward to many more successful projects with Rob and Video Farm to continue to document and share the stories of Chelsea.

Korean War Documentary: Watch Now

By |2018-02-27T15:41:47+00:00November 12th, 2012|

Chelsea Community History Project: Korean War from chelsealibrary on Vimeo.

We are proud to present our latest documentary, honoring the men who served in the Korean War and sharing their stories through film. The Chelsea Community History Project: Korean War was made possible through a partnership of the American Legion Post #31, Chelsea VFW Post #4076 and the Chelsea District Library. We thank our community sponsors as well. As part of the Chelsea Community History Project, this film was supported by the Chelsea Community Foundation. Thanks to Video Farm Productions for their creativity and hard work that went into this film.

Many thanks to the participants and supporters who made this film possible.

Village Life Documentary: Now Available!

By |2018-02-27T15:41:47+00:00October 30th, 2012|

Chelsea Community History Project: Village Life from chelsealibrary on Vimeo.

The Chelsea Community History Project: Village Life documentary is a love letter to Chelsea, aimed a telling the story of how life in this community has changed through the years. We focused on the central downtown of Chelsea and collected the stories of longtime residents and business owners, sharing their recollections of how things used to be and how they came to be the way they are.

This film was made possible by the people who were willing to sit down and share their memories and stories with us on camera – thank you to our interview subjects. It was generously supported by the Chelsea Community Foundation. The film was made by the talented and hardworking folks at Video Farm Productions. Chelsea District Library librarians Emily Meloche and Sara Wedell  worked hard at making this concept a reality. Thanks to all those involved.

We premiered the Village Life documentary at the Washington Street Education Center on October 21, 2012 before a great crowd of Chelsea residents and supporters. Thanks to everyone who came out to be a part of this event!

This film will be available to borrow from the library or purchase through the Friends of the Chelsea District Library – please check with the library for details.

The Storm – 1950s band

By |2018-12-13T19:00:25+00:00October 29th, 2012|

In January of 1959, Ralph Guenther took photographs of Bill and Mac, members of a band called The Storm.  The two really hammed it up for the camera, posing with their guitars.

Does anyone remember The Storm? Do you know who else was in the band?  (Surely they were made up of more than two guitarists.)  If so, email Sarah at

Bill from "The Storm"


Mac from "The Storm"

Mock Elections – 1959

By |2018-02-27T15:41:48+00:00October 15th, 2012|

In 1959, Ralph Guenther was hired to take photographs for the Chelsea High School Yearbook.  A set of eleven photos seemed to be the results of the senior mock elections, and a little investigating in the 1959 yearbook revealed that to be true.  Take a look at the following pictures and try to guess what “awards” they won.  The answers are at the bottom of the page!

Delores Scripter and Loren Keezer


Elaine Walker and Bob Eder


Fritz Wagner and Sharon Slane

Don Ferguson and Anita Eisemann


Pat Merkel and Sandie Karner

Gus Steger and Priscilla Neal

Chuck Slocum and Veretta Greenwood

Sandie Fraser and Bob Smith


Lynn McMannis and Frank Fredericks


David Schroen and Ellen Keusch

Steve Bristle and Helen Lentz

Most Athletic

Delores Scripter and Loren Keezer

Elaine Walker and Bob Eder
Best School Spirit

Fritz Wagner and Sharon Slane
Best Dressed

Don Ferguson and Anita Eisemann
Best All Around

Pat Merkel and Sandie Karner
Most Flirtatious

Gus Steger and Priscilla Neal

Chuck Slocum and Veretta Greenwood

Sandie Fraser and Bob Smith
Class Sweethearts

Lynn McMannis and Frank Fredericks
Most Studious

David Schroen and Ellen Keusch
Most Courteous

Steve Bristle and Helen Lentz

Homecoming – 1959

By |2018-02-27T15:41:50+00:00October 1st, 2012|

This Saturday is the Homecoming dance at Chelsea High School.  Somehow I suspect it will look a little different than these photos from the 1959 CHS Homecoming dance, which were taken by Ralph Guenther.

Fall Means Football — 1950s

By |2018-12-13T19:03:34+00:00September 10th, 2012|

For many in this town, fall means Chelsea Football!  While you’re waiting for the Bulldog’s next game, jump back to the 1950s and take a look at these football pictures taken by Ralph Guenther, local photographer. 


This photo of Stan Knickerbocker was taken sometime in the 1950s.


Players and coaches study the plays (or, I suspect, pretend to for the photo). We don’t know the names of the people, or the exact date, but this photograph was taken sometime in the 1950s.


This picture and the two that follow it were taken on March 10 1959 for the Chelsea High School yearbook. I doubt they were playing football games in March, so it’s likely that these players suited up just for the camera.


Here’s the 1959 football team. This photo was also taken on March 10, 1959 for the CHS yearbook.

 As usual, if you are able to identify anyone in these photographs, email

The Bulldog Barks: Chewing Gum Drama

By |2018-02-27T15:41:51+00:00August 27th, 2012|


In the 1950s, Chelsea High School journalism students published “The Bulldog Barks,” a student newsletter.  This paper, as one might expect, covered the school events, featured students, and reported the scores of athletic games.  However, it also devoted an impressive amount of space to the biggest issue facing the school: chewing gum.

The reasons behind the no gum chewing rule were laid out in the March 11, 1952 edition of “The Bulldog Barks.” 


Though the reasons behind the rule seem reasonable, that doesn’t stop chewing gum from being the center of three of these listed pet peeves of the September 23, 1952 issue.


Chewing Gum was also an issue at the Junior High School, as noted by this snarky signed editorial on the Junior High News Page on October 27, 1953.


These articles are just three out of a countless number that deal with the controversy around the chewing-gum rules.  It is, without a doubt, the most represented topic in “The Bulldog Barks.”


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