Detroit Observatory Chronology: 1852-1855

1852-1855 | 1856-1873 | 1874-1894 | 1896-1916 | 1917-1960s | 1961-present

1852

October Henry P. Tappan visits Ann Arbor
December Tappan inaugurated as first President of the University
Henry Walker organizes a fundraising meeting at the Michigan Exchange in Detroit

1853

February Tappan and Walker order the Fitz refracting telescope in NYC
Tappan travels to Europe by way of New York
Tappan tours the observatories of Europe
July Tappan meets Professor Encke and Dr. Franz Bruünnow
July 15th Tappan orders a meridian circle telescope from Pistor & Martins and a sidereal clock from M. Tiede
Land is obtained for a site to build the Observatory, and for a road to the building; Samuel Pettibone surveys the site
August 5th Ground is broken and construction begins
November Tappan returns to Ann Arbor and orders two collimating telescopes of Pistor & Martins for $375
Tappan offers director position to Prof. W.A. Norton of Yale College, and then to Dr. B.A. Gould of Boston, but they both decline. Position is then offered to Dr. Franz Brünnow, of Berlin, who accepts

1854

June Brünnow's appointment as Director is approved by the Regents
Delivery of the refracting telescope is expected
July Brünnow arrives in Ann Arbor
Fitz refractor arrives but must be dismounted to make alterations
Fitz 4-inch comet seeker obtained
September Meridian circle telescope arrives in Ann Arbor
Sidereal clock (No. 125) by M. Tiede arrives
Observatory completed

1855

Observatory is enclosed by a new fence
New road is constructed to the Observatory
Well and drain are dug
Brünnow published his Tables of Flora
April Temporary refracting telescope mounted
June Board of Regents tours the completed Observatory
August Samuel P. Avery introduces Tappan to Cropsey
September Jasper F. Cropsey visits Ann Arbor; paints the Detroit Observatory and a campus landscape
R. Leggett prepares engravings of the Cropsey paintings for use in 1855-56 Catalogue and on the University letterhead
November Professor Frieze visits Brünnow's parents in Berlin
December Replacement refractor arrives, but it is found to be defective and is returned within a few months; new contract is negotiated with Fitz for a completely new instrument