Tag Archives: 48170

615 N. Mill St

20 Feb

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615 N Mill St Built circa 1878. In 1873 John Christian Peterhans (Chris) purchased a plot of land from George Starkweather and built this home. This home was owned by his descendants until 1975. Below is the obituary from The Plymouth Mail (newspaper) that was published in November of 1915:

“The death of J.C. Peterhans, which occurred last Friday morning at the family home just northeast of the village, Plymouth, loses one of her well-known and most highly esteemed citizens, and another veteran of the Civil War has answered the last roll call. Mr. Peterhans was a man who was honest and upright in all his dealing and had a host of friends. The funeral was held from his late home, Monday afternoon at two o’clock, Rev Joseph Dutton conducting the services. There was a large attendance of neighbors and friends. The members of Eddy Post No. 231 attended the services in a body.

The floral offerings were many and beautiful. A large American flag was draped at the head of the casket, which was the regimental headquarters flag of the 16th Michigan Infantry, to which Mr Peterhans belonged. The flag was not a regimental flag that was carried on the march or on the field of battle, but a flag that floated over the commanding officer’s tent, when they were in camp. It is more than 50 years old and has been under fire on several occasions. At the close of the war the flag was presented to Lieutenant Charles Salter, who saved the flag from being captured at Gaines’ Mills, June 27, 1862. In 1892, Lieutenant Salter died and it was given to Major JW Jacklin for safe keeping. October 6, 1906, it was left with the late George C. Peterhans and since his death JC Peterhans has been its custodian.

The internment took place in Riverside Cemetery, G.A.R. taking part in the committal service at the grave.

John C. Peterhans was born in Plymouth, Michigan, February 9, 1840, and departed this life November 5, 1915. He was a twin brother of the late George C. Peterhans, who died March 17, 1911. Mr Peterhans had been in failing health for nearly two years, having been confined to his home for the past two months. He bore his suffering very patiently. He was a member of Eddy Post, No. 231, G.A.R. and during his sickness spoke very much of his comrades. At the age of nine years, Mr Peterhans moved with his parents to Cincinnati, Ohio, remaining there about one year. He then returned to Plymouth, where he lived most of his life, with the exceptions of a few years spent near Caro, Tuscola County. On September 8, 1861, he enlisted in Co. F, 16th Michigan Infantry for three years. On October 25, 1862, he was discharged on surgeon’s certificate disability, at Antietam, Maryland. On July 2, 1863, he married Hester A. Smith of Plymouth. To this union were born five children, two sons, George and William having died in infancy. He leaves to mourn their loss, besides his widow and three daughters, three brothers, Henry and Emanuel of Caro, and Charles E. of Mt Pleasant; two sisters Mrs. Christina Ingersoll of Caro, and Amelia Peterhans of Cleveland, Ohio, also several other relatives and a host of friends. “

~ Today we are happy to still be graced with the presence of his former home adding to the historic beauty of Plymouth’s Old Village. Although the home has a large, modern addition on the backside, the original structure is still very much intact and is also used for commercial purposes.

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John Christian Peterhans

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View of Mill Street (near Liberty St) looking South circa 1905

994 Penniman Ave

18 Jan

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994 Penniman Ave. Built in 1925. This home was built by Elizabeth “Bessie” Rattenbury and was the childhood home of the well-known Plymouth business woman and beloved philanthropist Margaret Dunning (daughter of Bessie). This home was constructed by Gottschalk Home builders which built many homes in Plymouth. Margaret lived in this home for more than 90 years; she was nearly 105 years old when she died in May of 2015. Being a car enthusiast, this 2,337 square foot home also has a heated six-car garage that housed some of her most prized, award-winning vehicles, some of which can now be found at the Gilmore Car Museum.

Margaret was a graduate of Plymouth High School in 1929 she also attended the University of Michigan and Hamilton Business School. In the early 1930’s she worked at the Ford Phoenix Mill plant here in Plymouth located on Northville Rd. From 1935 to 1940 she was a bank teller and assistant cashier for the First National Bank of Plymouth after that she worked for the Plymouth United Savings Bank. During WWII Margaret volunteered driving a truck for the American Red Cross motor pool. After the war in 1947 Margaret and her mother purchased an apparel store on Main Street and renamed it Dunning’s. In 1950 she moved Dunning’s department store to Forest Ave in downtown Plymouth. Dunning served on the board of Community Federal Credit Union in Plymouth from 1962 to 1984 and was president of the board for 19 of those years. Through the years she served on different boards, volunteered and benefitted a number of causes.

As a philanthropist, Margaret helped many causes that benefited our community and beyond. Both the Plymouth Historical Museum and the Plymouth District Library bear the Dunning name. As benefactor of the Plymouth Historical Museum, Margaret was very active with the museum; in addition to being a financial contributor she was an advocate for preserving Plymouth history.

At the time of this post the home is property of the Margaret Dunning Foundation and is currently on the real estate market for sale. We can only hope that this uniquely historic home finds a new owner that will appreciate and preserve its elegance. Acquiring this home is about the closest a person could get to owning the home of “Plymouth Royalty.” This home has graced Plymouth’s Penniman Avenue for some 92 years and we look forward to having it continue to be a part of our community for years to come.

Below is a photo of Margaret Dunning during WWII as a Red Cross driver (left) photo of Margaret in 1965 as President of the Credit Union (center) photo of Margaret in 2014 with the author of this page Jim Salamay (right) and photo of Margaret with her prized 1930 Packard 740 (bottom) (from American Road Magazine)

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For sale information of this home contact (734) 453-8080

Here’s the Zillow listing:  http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/994-Penniman-Ave-Plymouth-MI-48170/88559914_zpid/ 

On a personal note: Margaret offered her support of our “Plymouth Discoveries” and encouraged us to continue to keep up our efforts and offered her personal memories and to help however she could. Her admiration of our page and her personal support had been one of the motivations for us to continue our research and to share the great history we have here in our wonderful town. Plymouth has been blessed to have such a wonderful member of our community. God bless Margaret and may she rest in peace.

11808 Haggerty Road

3 Oct

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11808 Haggerty Rd. Built Circa 1855. This home sits at the corner of Haggerty and Gilbert Street. When the current owner purchased this home, the real estate agent told him that the house was built around 1910. After doing some research, we come to find that this house was built in the Mid 1800’s and was the farmstead of Gilbert M. Shattuck and his wife Mary. The farm used to extend from Ann Arbor Trail on the South Side to Plymouth Rd on the North Side and from Haggerty Rd on the West Side to Francis Ave on the East Side (where Miller Park is). This house blends into the row of homes on Haggerty and is hard to tell that it’s been sitting there longer than any other home in that area. We were also able to verify its approximate age based on dated materials discovered by a previous owner when remodelling. When you look closely at the photo, you can see the field stone foundation which is also visible in the basement where there are also signs of hewed timbers. Just another neat piece of Plymouth History!

1274 Penniman Ave

19 Mar

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1274 Penniman Ave. Built in 1894. Once serving as the home of Floyd W. Hillman who was a local business owner.  At one time Hillman actually owned a “Graham-Paige” auto dealership that once stood at 505 S. Main Street. In 1938 this home was purchased by Perry Richwine who was an attorney that also served as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Plymouth Federal Savings & Loan. Richwine also served a term as the Mayor of Plymouth. Today you can still see the plaque that bares Richwine’s name where he had his law practice at 863 Penniman. In 1948 this home was purchased by Arthur Jenkins who was the editor of the “Plymouth Mail” newspaper. Today this home is currently owned by an attorney that has put much work into preserving this wonderful Plymouth home that once housed some of Plymouth’s prominent people from days of long ago.

Prior to this post, we had not heard of Graham-Paige automobiles, let alone the fact that there was a dealership here in Plymouth. Learn more about Graham-Paige by clicking this Wikipedia link:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham-Paige

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47420 Ann Arbor Trail

26 Feb

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47420 Ann Arbor Trail built in 1928 by Hal Wilson. This storybook looking house that stands at the North West corner of Ann Arbor Trail and Beck Rd is a Cotswold style home with an organic looking cedar shake roof. This home at a quick glance appears to be a humble home but in fact is a 2700 square foot, 5 bedroom residence.  After Mr. Wilson lost this home during the Great Depression, the next owner of this home was Norman Ruehr who used to own Heide’s flowers which at one time was the longest running business in Plymouth. Norman’s parents Reinhold & Louise Ruehr purchased Heide’s flowers in Old Village Plymouth from Carl Heide shortly after they immigrated from Germany. This home was given a couple of names by the locals, most popular were the “Casa Llama” and the “Peacock House”.  This property used to be inhabited by the Ruehr’s pet llamas and they also had peacocks. The front of the home is also decorated with a large peacock, thus the names it was known as. Inside you could find the presence of an Armor suit and a number of interesting items that were brought from places around the world that they had traveled to. One could overlook these items while standing from the second floor balcony inside. The current owner purchased this home from Emily Ruehr the widow of Norman who passed away in 1997. This is a very unique home that we hope to see will continue to be a part of Plymouth’s landscape for many years.

1071 N. Holbrook

5 Sep

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1071 N Holbrook. Built in 1898. This home is one of just a handful of houses in Plymouth’s Old Village that was built of all brick. This home was built by one of the very first successful business owners in this part of town. Andrew Jackson Lapham owned a substantial portion of the block bordered by Holbrook, Wilcox, Pearl and N Mill Streets and at one time had two store structures and two homes on his land. This home had replaced the wooden house that Andrew built in 1873. Lapham’s General store was very popular in the late 1800’s because of its close proximity to the Plymouth Mill, the Phoenix Mill and Gunsolly Mill. Growers would trade in their raw materials at the mills and head to Lapham’s to purchase all types of needed goods. Lapham’s also had an Ice house on the property where they would store ice that formed in Wilcox Lake in the winter and sell it through the year. In 1929 this home was deeded to Andrew’s Daughter Helen Shackleton and was kept in the family for many years.  Although it’s showing signs of its age being well over a century old, this home still stands strong and maintains a great deal of history within the walls of this structure. Today the old stores no longer stand on this property but other homes built by the Lapham & Shackleton family still exist in this part of town and descendants of Andrew still live here in town and surrounding areas.

Historic photo of this home, Lapham’s General Store and of Andrew Lapham provided by the Andrew’s Great Grand Daughter: Janet Millross Renwick. Photo below is Lapham’s General Store that was located on Holbrook right next to Andrew’s home. Look closely at the historic photo of the house and you can see the brick wall of the store. LaphamGenStoreHolbrookSt

Holbrook brick house (Lapham)

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Mayflower Hotel Site

16 Jul

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This post is quite different from any of our previous posts because of the fact that that it highlights a building that is not very historic yet is a corner that is rich in Plymouth’s history. It has been our discovery that this page receives many searches for the Historic Mayflower Hotel and we were quite surprised to find that there are many people who are still unaware that the Mayflower no longer stands. 827 W. Ann Arbor Trail was home to the Mayflower Hotel from 1927 through 1999. The Hotel was razed in 2000 and is now the home of Mayflower Centre which consists of both retail spaces and condominiums. This was the location where Plymouth’s first home was built by Plymouth Pioneers William and Kezia Starkweather in 1825. Although Plymouth’s first home was more of a primitive shelter, it was still a home and this South West corner of Main Street and Ann Arbor Trail is where it all began. Today there are still “remains” of the Mayflower. Directly across Main Street, the former Mayflower Meeting House still stands and is now home to a Banquet Facility and office spaces. The Mayflower’s later addition (Mayflower II) still stands at 471 S. Main Street and operates as the Mayflower Motor Inn.

Here is verbiage from an old post card dated 1986 of the Mayflower:

100 room historic, family-operated hotel featuring Bed and Breakfast Full complimentary breakfast for overnight guests, at Main Street and Ann Arbor Trail, off I-275 and M-14, 25 minutes from Metro Airport, Ann Arbor, Detroit and Greenfield Village – Five minutes to Northville Downs Within walking distance of 150 unique shops, tree lined Kellogg Park and a movie theater – Banquet facilities up to 400 – Six meeting rooms – The Mayflower II rooms feature direct-dial phones, color TV, refrigerators, queen-size or double beds, individually controlled heating and cooling, Sprinkler system and smoke alarms – Deluxe rooms feature Kohler whirlpool bathtubs and king-sized beds

Below are some old images of the Hotel:

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