A Historic Tour of Hertler Brothers and Downtown Home & Garden

Mark Hodesh takes us on a tour of the historic downtown Ann Arbor building he owns, which was originally built in 1896 as Hertler Brothers, and renamed as Downtown Home & Garden in 1997. The building located at 210 S. Ashley St. has provided services and supplies to the wider Ann Arbor community for over a century. While in some ways it remains unchanged—continuing to sell bulk seed, grain, and hay—it's also adapted to changing times and evolving customer needs. Current owner of the Downtown Home & Garden store, Kelly Vore, also adds her perspective on this legacy.

Branching Narratives: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of the Tappan Oak

In this short documentary, filmmaker Jen Proctor tells the story of the Tappan Oak, a tree that predated white settlement in Ann Arbor and the campus that grew up around it, and the human actions that marked its last decades of life.

From Filmmaker Jen Proctor:

This film represents both singular and collective stories. A lone undergraduate student communes with a tree to help him feel connected to a college campus from which he felt alienated. A professor collaborates with students to create a sense of belonging to Michigan’s natural environment. A society of students fosters belonging by performing a ritual around the tree to induct members into their community. In creating belonging for a select few, however, the society excludes and demeans others who similarly seek to belong. An activist collective responds by effecting change over decades to create spaces for belonging for all people on the campus.

All of these stories bear a relationship to the great oak, an unwitting but central figure in their narratives.