1156 W. Ann Arbor Trail

30 Sep

1156A2Trl

1156 W Ann Arbor trail was built in 1914 and was the residence of John J. McLaren not to be mistaken with his Father or his Son who both shared the name: John D. McLaren.  In 1901 J.D. McLaren purchased the Hough Grain Elevator business (315 N Main Street) from Lewis C. Hough whose family was doing well putting all their efforts into the Daisy Air Rifle Company. J.D. McLaren died prematurely in 1915. After his death the McLaren Firm was run by John J. who was born on the family farm 3 miles West of Plymouth. John J. a graduate of the University of Michigan had run a Ford agency at 331 N Main Street which was virtually on the same property of the Grain Elevator Co. Above the Ford Agency John J. also ran a fishing lure and frog spear company. After the death of his father, he closed the spear factory and sold the (Bonafide) Ford Agency to William J. Beyer.

For the remainder of his life John J. ran the family business which gradually changed from one of handling grains to one of selling coal, lumber, and building supplies. The six elevators the McLaren’s had acquired in 1901 had expanded to 15. In addition to the headquarter location in Plymouth, there were McLaren elevators in Romulus, Wixom, Salem, Olivet, South Lyon, Charlotte, Ionia, Clare, Novi, New Hudson, Oxford, Watrousville, Collins & Colling. During John J’s time, the firm also established a transit mix company on Junction St, later sold to Gene Glynn.

John J. served on the Plymouth board of Review and was a member of the Plymouth School Board. When he died in 1968 (at age 81) he had been President of the McLaren Company for 53 years. He was succeeded in the business by his Son, John D. who was born in 1916. In 1977 J.D. decided to start liquidating the company so he could retire and in 1983 the building which once housed the elevator company located on Main Street caught on fire and burned down. In 2018 the land still sits vacant.

Today the J.J. McLaren Family home is another example of a beautifully maintained piece of Plymouth history. On a side-note: Fishing lures made by McLaren (Bonafide) company are highly collectible and some are known to fetch thousands of dollars for some of the most rare lures.

Below is an early 1900s photo of the J.D. McLaren Company located on the North Side of train tracks on Main Street:

McLarenElevator

Photo below is an image of this home while under construction:

1156A2TrlMcLaren

3 Responses to “1156 W. Ann Arbor Trail”

  1. Steve Werner September 30, 2018 at 11:37 PM #

    Once again thank you for sharing this piece of Plymouth history.

  2. bluesthecat October 1, 2018 at 2:18 AM #

    another well researched posting ! However, note that the “grain elevator” that burned down in 1983 was I believe a restaurant by that time called the “Grain Mill”. I went there only once then it was gone. Mark Oppat

  3. Ken garner November 13, 2018 at 12:33 PM #

    Thank Jim for your wonderful work and history about Plymouth, mi

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