Tag Archives: Michigan

217 Ann Street

15 Apr

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217 Ann Street was built in 1912 and was home to a very well-known Teacher and School Principal of Plymouth-Canton Community Schools (PCCS). Nellie E. Bird (Smith) was born on a farm in Salem Township on March 4th, 1882. After graduating from Ypsilanti High School, she received her teaching degree from Ypsilanti Normal School (now known as Eastern Michigan University) while she was employed by PCCS, she earned her Masters Degree from the University of Michigan. Mrs. Bird was married to Frederick Bird and they moved into this Plymouth home in 1917 with their 2 daughters. When the Birds moved to Plymouth, Mrs Bird became a 5th grade teacher at Central Grade School. Mr Bird passed away in 1922. In 1923 Mrs Bird became the Principal of Central Grade School which was located in the same building as Plymouth High School (today known as PARC) until 1950. Mrs. Bird also served as Principal of Starkweather School.  In 1950 the Plymouth-Canton School Board voted unanimously to name the “new Elementary school” being built on Sheldon Rd after Mrs. Bird. In 1951 the Nellie E. Bird Elementary School located at 220 Sheldon Road in Plymouth was dedicated. (Go Thunderbirds!)

Mrs. Bird loved to plant a large garden and her specialty was raspberries. Many of her students stated that visiting her home on Halloween was always a delight especially since she would know most kids’ names even while wearing costumes. “She could see right though those disguises no matter what the costume” said a former student. It was said that Mrs Bird was very efficient, the child always came first and she was very fair with children and teachers. ” Working with her was really a delight, she was very strong on the fundamentals of education” stated by Mrs Tanger who taught under her. Nellie Bird passed away in 1980 and was laid to rest in the Riverside Cemetery. Mrs Nellie Bird was definitely an asset to the Plymouth-Canton Community and her legacy will continue to live on as hundreds of students are educated at the school named in her honor year after year.

Below is a photo of Nellie Bird at the dedication of Bird Elementary School.

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Bird Elementary at 220 Sheldon Rd

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.

905 Penniman Ave

2 Aug

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905 Penniman. Built Circa 1886. This home stands at the South West corner of Penniman and Harvey Street. This place once served as the home of Nettie Dibble who lived here for several years from the 1920s up until her passing in 1944. Nettie was quite active in the community and also Authored “History of the Presbyterian Church in Plymouth” and “Historical Data of Plymouth Twp”. At one time this home was completely covered in siding which covered the brick work. In 1991 this home was remodeled and the siding was removed to reveal the hidden bricks by the current owners Dubois-Cooper Associates who now use this as a commercial office.

1338 Penniman Ave

6 Mar

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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

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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.

306 S. Main Street

21 Dec

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306 S. Main Street. Built in 1920. This Iconic Plymouth structure was originally built as the Plymouth United Savings Bank. There’s no missing this building when you’re in downtown Plymouth as it stands guard at the corner of Main and Penniman overlooking Kellogg Park. This bank was once run by some the most well known names in Plymouth’s history like: Bennett, Geer, Hough, Shearer, Starkweather, & Wilcox. This structure was built using solid materials like Limestone. This bank was built on the same spot where the old Coleman building once stood. This building operated as a bank until 1994 when it was sold. It has since seen a couple of different occupants and is currently home to the Greek Islands Restaurant.

Below is a photo from 1920 right after the construction of the bank, notice that the clock on the front hadn’t been installed yet.

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