Tag Archives: history

195 Liberty Street

15 Jan


195 W Liberty St. Built in 1871. This is the Starkweather building built by George Starkweather. This was the first commercial building built on Liberty St. Starkweather was very instrumental in bringing the Rail Roads to Plymouth and in anticipation of the business that the RR lines would bring to Plymouth, he actually carved Liberty Street through his own property and built this structure to house his Dry Goods store. After building his store, he lived upstairs with his family until 1875 when he built his house diagonally across the street (711 Starkweather) which still stands today. In addition to his Dry Goods store, Peter Gayde’s Grocery was also in this building. Gayde and Starkweather were very good friends, good enough to where Peter Gayde built his home right next door to the Starkweather home. Although the Starkweather building has served as home to a number of businesses through the years, since 2003 this has been the home of Hermann’s Olde Town Grille. This structure has been so well preserved that we definitely recommend paying a visit to Hermann’s to dine and/or enjoy spirits in the ambiance of a great piece of Plymouth history. Check Hermann’s website at:  www.HermannsOTG.com

Below is a historic photo of the Starkweather building circa 1905 courtesy of the Plymouth Historical Museum:


1338 Penniman Ave

6 Mar


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.

860 Penniman Ave

2 Jan


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 Malcolm 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 Malcolms 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.


838-846 Penniman Ave

28 Feb


836-846 Penniman Ave. Built Circa 1893. Look closely, there’s a historic home hidden within these walls. This was actually the residence of Dr. Coleman who was a family practitioner. In the early 1920’s this home was moved up closer to the street from its original spot (farther back) by builder John Patterson. Patterson built the commercial brick façade that made Dr. Coleman’s old house virtually unrecognizable. When the initial makeover was completed, this location became home to Pettingale’s Grocery store which was well known in the community for several years. When you look behind this building you can still see significant parts of Dr. Coleman’s old home.


842-848 Sheldon Road

19 Jul


842-848 Sheldon Road. Built circa 1849 by Ebenezer Penniman and was the Carriage house for his home located near the intersection of Penniman Ave and Church Street. The property was purchased by Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in 1943 and this carriage house was moved in 1946 to become a Multi-Unit home.

Below is a rough historic photo of what the carriage house looked like in 1898:


298 S. Main Street

1 Jul

298 S. Main Street. Built in 1898. The Conner Building was originally built as Conner’s Hardware Store. Additions were made in 1904 and in 1926. Michael Conner established Plymouth’s first harware store in the 1850’s. Today this Iconic building houses multiple shops & offices such as Kilwin’s, a great place to treat yourself!  https://www.kilwins.com/plymouth


Below is a photo of Penniman Ave and Main Street where you can see how Conner Hardware appeared in the 1940s.



587 West Ann Arbor Trail

27 Jun

587 W. Ann Arbor Trail. Built in 1928. This building was purchased by Dean Saxton about 1937 and has been a fixture in Plymouth since then. The addition was added in the late 40’s. Saxton’s sold commercial & residential lawn care equipment and tools. It is unfortunate to see the doors close 10/31/2012. Today this property is owned by the Plymouth Downtown Development Authority.


Haggerty Comfort Station

27 Jun

Built in 1937, Located on Hines Drive just West of Haggerty Rd, this comfort station can be found in Hines Park (Haggerty Park location). This comfort station was one of the early public comfort rest stops and it was a prototype for roadside development. When originally constructed, this station had a full-time attendant, an information booth and concession stand. Wayne county was one of the first county road agencies in the United States to promote the “Good Roads Movement” Setting procedures for design, construction, and maintenance of roadside developments.



550 N. Holbrook – Starkweather School

27 Jun

550 N. Holbrook. Starkweather School built in 1927. Named after Plymouth’s first born settler child, George Anson Starkweather who once served as a Schoolteacher in addition to being a prominent figure in Plymouth’s history.


331 N. Main Street

27 Jun

331 N. Main street. Built in 1910 was originally Bonafide Manufacturing and Garage. You could have your old Ford serviced here. This was also Bonafide Manufacturing where fishing lures and frog spears were made. For years this was most known as Allison Chevrolet (bottom photo). This used to be a single story building but was heavily modified. The historical photo is of the same building circa 1912. The angled structure of the current day photo is actually a covered ramp used to drive cars up to the second floor when this was a car dealership.
The current business is very welcoming to visitors, it’s currently Plymouth Furniture Refinishing  http://plymouthfurniturerefinishing.net/



291 Spring Street

27 Jun

291 Spring Street. Built circa 1840 by the Presbyterians and was originally located at the corner of Mill & Liberty Streets. In 1847 the church was purchased by the Baptists who then sold it to the German Lutheran Church who had it moved to its current location and then built the home next door as the parsonage. The old clapboards are hidden below the more modern siding but it still has wonderful stained glass windows.Today this Church is now the Church of Christ West.



Gunsolly Mill

26 Jun

Built in 1850 or 51 by John Gunsolly. The Plymouth Gunsolly Mill once sat riverside along Hines Drive South of Wilcox Road. Henry Ford would visit this carding mill with his Dad. In 1929 Mr Ford had the mill moved to Greenfield Village. There is now a comfort station in the same spot where the Mill once stood in the Gunsolly Recreation area in Hines Park.  http://gfv1929.blogspot.com/2008/08/plymouth-carding-mill-aka-gunsolly.html


Ford/Plymouth Mill Plant on Wilcox Rd @ Hines Drive

26 Jun

PlymouthMillHines Drive & Wilcox Rd. Henry Ford had this structure built in 1920. At one time this was the site of the Plymouth Flour Mill which eventually became Wilcox Mill. This property is now owned by Wayne County and is used for storage.

A view of the factory from the 1920s:

Learn more at:  http://www.detroit1701.org/Plymouth%20Mill.html