From the Ann Arbor District Library.
The first specific mention of a brewery here is in the 1860 City Directory which lists Lawrence Trube, brewer, "on fifth." By 1868 brewer John Adam Volz is listed as proprietor of the Ann Arbor Central Brewery.
The larger of the building's two wings is a fairly simple example of the Commercial Italianate style with arched windows and projecting brick window hoods. The gable roof is unusual for this type of building as is the foundation of square-cut fieldstone.
Although Volz ran this large brewery successfully enough to build an elaborate Italianate home next door in 1873, the Panic of 1873 forced him out of business. The brewery business, which expanded rapidly after the Civil War, was beginning to decline, not only because of the 1873 depression but also because local prohibition laws were beginning to squeeze many local brewers out of business. This brewery ceased operations sometime in the late 1870s. By 1883 the building had been converted to Bert Stoll's "Ann Arbor Pop Works," specializing in bottled ginger ale, root beer, and excelsior water. By 1886 it was Ross and Welch's Bottling Works and remained as such throughout the early 1890s. It was converted in 1899 from commercial to residential use, a year after the construction of the brick veneer wing along Summit Street.
It first housed various German families then, during the 1920s, so many Italians that it was known as "Little Italy." From 1921 to 1956 the building was owned by Italian clothier Daniel Camelet. After World War II, it housed Japanese-Americans released from detainment camps.
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