This page is dedicated to telling the history and cool facts about historical structures and homes in Plymouth, Michigan. Greetings and welcome to our Plymouth Discoveries. My family and I moved to Plymouth because of the richness of history, the great schools, and the great people. After a visit to the Plymouth Historical Museum, we became very interested in the homes and structures around town and the history behind them. In the spring of 2012 we started a facebook page documenting our discoveries. In partnership with the Plymouth Historical Museum, we have now evolved to the creation of this page. Our goal is to raise awareness of the rich history of Plymouth and to showcase to the world the great community we live in. Our posts only scratch the surface of the extensive stories behind each structure and we can only hope it will encourage the community to share their memories and encourage others to learn more! If you own a historical Plymouth home and would like to share, PLEASE contact us. We hope that this will encourage the public to pay a visit to our wonderful community and to stop by the Plymouth Historical Museum located at 155 S. Main Street, Plymouth, MI 48170 Phone Number: (734) 455-8940
821 Penniman Ave. Built in 1893. It’s hard to mistake this building when driving through downtown Plymouth considering that it’s one of the only historic 3 story brick buildings in town. The upper 2 floors once served as a hotel in the early years and the 1st floor originally was a General store then served as a number of different retail stores. For years the first floor served as Huston Hardware. In more recent history this building was home to the Community Crier newspaper. Today the top two floors are apartments but this structure is most known for being home to Sean O’Callahan’s Public House, a traditional style Irish Pub. It’s worth visiting this pub to take a step back into Plymouth’s past and though it may seem to be a strange recommendation, I would advise paying a visit to the restrooms on the lower level to see more of the original building materials such as the field stone foundation. When looking at historic photos this building once had a three sided brick facade (similar to a bay window effect) but was remodeled in the early 1900’s to a straight brick facade as we know it today. Check out O’Callahan’s web page at: http://seanocallaghanspub.com/
Historic photo (below) of Penniman Ave taken circa 1923. If it wasn’t for the historic cars in the photo, this would almost seem to be a recent photo of Penniman Ave. The 3rd building from the left is the same building discussed in this post.Click on the photo to enlarge.
1338 Penniman Ave at the intersection of Evergreen Street. Built in 1860 by Isaac M. Hoag. Isaac purchased the property that this home sits on from E.J. Penniman in 1858 and built this home for his family 2 years later. Mr. Hoag farmed this land and was a nurseryman. He actually operated a nursery from this home. If you look closely at the back of this residence, it appears to have a small house attached to the back side. It is believed that a small home was moved and added to the overall residence although it is unclear as to when this occurred or where the smaller structure was moved from. In the early 1900s more of the home’s property was slowly subdivided and additional homes were built around it. It was recorded that at one time this home had a number of large apple trees on the property. In 1936 this home had been significantly remodeled by architect Thomas Moss. Although this Civil War era home has seen a number of occupants through the years, today it’s hard to miss this place when taking a cruise down Penniman and it’s easy to appreciate how well it’s survived.
9101 McClumpha Road. Built circa 1851 by Ashley Harlow. This home has a unique history compared to most other Plymouth homes because of the fact that it was owned by descendants of the original builder for about 160 years and the property for even longer. In 1834 the property this house sits on was purchased by Ebenezer Harlow who farmed this land. Ebenezer’s Son Ashley purchased additional property and built this home circa 1851. Ashley’s Daughter married into the Tyler family and continued living here. The Tyler’s also had a Daughter (Mrs. Leon Scharmen) was born, raised and even got married in this house. The cycle continued up until 2012 when members of the Tyler family sold this home to the current owners. Although this home has been renovated through the years and has seen some current updates, this home still retains much of its original appearance from the outside as it did in the 1800s with the exception of the bay window. Old records state that the original posts and beams used to build this home are made of solid oak, so we hope to see this house still stand for another 160 plus years.
340-380 South Main Street. Built in 1951. Out of all the homes and structures we’ve posted, this building is the “youngest” of our Plymouth Discoveries but considering the historic significance of this piece of prime real estate in the heart of downtown Plymouth, we felt it only appropriate to do this post. Located directly across the street from Kellogg Park, this piece of property has seen its share of structures standing on this parcel of land. Throughout the 1800’s and into the early 1900’s there had been a number of businesses that stood here and were a big part of the Plymouth community. At one time there was even a Kroger that stood here. In 1951 the S.S. Kresge Company purchased the 4 buildings that had been standing in this spot and leveled them to build their department store. Kresge (the precursor to K-Mart) served post-war Plymouth for a number of years and left a number of memories for several members of this community. Today this building now serves as 3 restaurants owned by the Yaquinto family. Fiamma Grille, Comparis, and the Sardine Room. These restaurants have earned accolades from local food critics and were also featured on the show “Under the Radar Michigan”. When visiting Plymouth, check out these eateries for a distinctive dining experience.
Below we’ve included 2 photos of this same parcel of land on Main Street between Ann Arbor Trail & Penniman Ave
Below: Left – Photo of Kresge on S. Main Street circa 1953 Right– Photo of S. Main Street circa 1950
11685 Haggerty Rd. Built in 1911 was originally located on Main Street. This home served as the Manse (Parsonage) for the historic First Presbyterian Church located appropriately on Church Street. In 1937 this home was relocated to Church Street (on the Church’s property). By 1982 this home was no longer occupied, was in disrepair and was nearly considered for demolition until it was saved by Greg and Mary Ash who purchased it for $1.00 and had it moved to its current location. Of course Mr. & Mrs. Ash did a complete renovation of this home and it still stands as an attractive part of the Plymouth community. Special thanks to Bryce Ford who read about this one in Sam Hudson’s book “150th Anniversary History First Presbyterian Church” and brought it to our attention.
Construction of this Post Office began in 1935. On April 1st 1936 this branch known as the Pursell Station Post Office opened it’s doors to the public. This branch was closed in the Spring of 2014 and we are happy to announce this brief post about the future of this historic building. This Post Office was purchased by Plymouth Residents, Mark & Patty Malcom who happen to also own other historic structures in Plymouth and are actively involved in the Plymouth Preservation Network … Meaning that we can only expect good things to happen with this piece of history. The Malcoms have signed a long-term lease with the Westborn Market to take residence here. There are also plans to restore the building and preserve much of it’s historical substance including a painted mural inside the building titled “Plymouth Trail” by Carlos Lopez who was commissioned to paint the mural by the U.S. Government in 1938.