Tag Archives: Plymouth MI

1477 W. Ann Arbor Trail

30 Jul

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1477 W. Ann Arbor Trail was built in 1938 by Cass & Margaret Hough. Their first home was actually the first home built in the Hough Park neighborhood (located at 1395 Park Place). When this Georgian Colonial was built, it was constructed to the satisfaction of wife Margaret who loved many homes in New England and this home shares many attributes of some of her favorite houses. At the time of construction, Cass was the President of the Daisy Air Rifle factory and was a third generation Hough family member to serve as an executive for the company. An interesting note about the stone wall that sits at the perimeter of the property is the fact that Cass built the wall in 1920 well before the home was built.

In 1941 the Detroit News (newspaper) featured this home in an article touting its elegance and beauty. In 1955 Cass and Margaret had split up. Margaret continued to live here for another ten years. In 1965 a couple happen to be driving through town and came to a stop and got out of their vehicle to admire this home. A woman by the name of Janet Warrick insisted to her husband Chip that they get out and speak to the owner. The couple met with Margaret and stated that if she would consider selling her home to please contact them. Margaret contacted them not long after their meeting and agreed to sell her home to the eager couple. In 1965 this 3700 SQFT, 5 Bedroom, 4.5 bath home was sold to the Warricks. They loved everything about this home so much that it was virtually left “untouched” until 2010 when the home was sold to new owners.

Cass Hough not only served as the President of Daisy but was also a war hero that served as a pilot during WWII and is featured in the Aviation Hall of Fame. Cass passed away at his Florida home in 1990 and was laid to rest here in Plymouth at the Riverside Cemetery.

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Cass Hough 1949 presenting awards

 

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“It’s a Daisy!” is the most complete published book about the history of Daisy written by Cass Hough in 1976.

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1477 W. Ann Arbor Trail in the winter.

796 N. Mill Street

29 Jul

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796 N. Mill Street is one of the oldest homes in this part of Plymouth. Built on a field stone foundation it was recorded that this home was built in 1866 but upon further inspection, this structure has materials and structural signs that date it back circa 1837. There are also records that show that this home was standing prior to the Civil War.

In 1886 this was the home of Conrad Springer who was a German Immigrant born in 1834. Springer had served as a volunteer soldier in the 24th Regiment, Company K for the Union Army during the Civil War. Conrad passed away in 1916 and was laid to rest in Plymouth’s Riverside Cemetery.

Through the years ownership of this home changed a number of times but today this place now serves as the home of the Red Twig Art Gallery. The owners of this home have not only cared for this historical home but they also have done a great job of preserving the historic home of William Starkweather just down the street.

1090 N Holbrook

22 Jul

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1090 N Holbrook Street, built circa 1850 on a stone foundation. This was once part of the Henry Holbrook estate which once was home to one of Plymouth’s earliest mills. The Greek Revival home next door (1142 Holbrook) was the main house on the property and this home was built to house other family members. It’s been said that this was once the home of one of Henry’s 3 daughters. In 1850 it was recorded that Henry’s estate was worth $16,500 which by today’s standard would be just over a half-million dollars. This home was remodeled in 1922 to the current appearance that you see today. After nearly 170 years, it’s awesome to see this home is still standing strong. The current owners are proud of it’s rich Plymouth history and have done a great job keeping this home preserved.

Note: If you look closely to the left of the photo, you can see the yellow exterior walls of the well-known “Holbrook House”.

44525 Gov. Bradford Rd

19 Mar

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44525 Gov. Bradford Rd. Built in 1956 was the home of Former Michigan Governor John Swainson (D).  This home was originally designed to easily accommodate a wheel chair. Read more and learn why…

John Burley Swainson was born in Windsor, Ontario Canada in 1925 and came to Michigan with his family when he was two years old. He fought with the 95th Infantry Division of the United States Army during World War II, losing both his legs to a land mine explosion in France in 1944. He was awarded France’s Croix de Guerre, the Presidential Unit Citation with two battle stars, and the Purple Heart, all before his twentieth birthday. After earning his law degree in 1951, Swainson was elected as a Democrat to the state senate and served there from 1954 to 1958, as Lieutenant Governor from 1958 and 1961, and as Governor from 1961 to 1963 after his election in 1960. As Governor, Swainson appointed the first African American to sit on the Michigan Supreme Court. He was defeated in the 1962 election by Republican candidate George Romney (father of future Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney).

He later served as a Wayne County circuit judge, was elected to the state Supreme Court in 1970 and came to be seen as a prospective candidate for the United States Senate. Unfortunately his political career ended in 1975 after he was convicted, in Federal District Court in Detroit, of lying to a Federal grand jury in connection with accusations that he had accepted a bribe in 1972 to help a convicted burglar gain a review of his case. He was acquitted of conspiracy and served 60 days in a halfway house in Detroit. Some say that he was framed.

Swainson later became the president of the Michigan Historical Commission, a title which he held until his death of a heart attack in 1994. John passed away at his Manchester, MI home. Two years later, the Commission established the Governor John B. Swainson Award to recognize “State, County, or Municipal employees who have contributed to the preservation of Michigan history even though such activities are not part of their primary job responsibility.”

In 2010 Author Lawrence Glazer wrote an award-winning book about Swainson titled: “Wounded Warrior: The Rise and Fall of Michigan Governor John Swainson”.

You can also find a display commemorating Swainson’s Army service at the Michigan Military & Space Heroes Museum in Frankenmuth, MI

Below see a photo of John Swainson, photo of Swainson with Martin Luther King Jr in June 1963 on the day that MLK first gave his “I have a dream” speech in Detroit. Photo of Swainson with John F. Kennedy. Last image is the book cover of the book written about John Swainson.

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Gov. John Swainson (D)

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195 Liberty Street

15 Jan

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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:

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511 N. Holbrook

14 Nov

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511 N. Holbrook built in 1867 by Henry Robinson. Henry was born in 1833 in England and immigrated to the US and chose to move to Detroit. In 1862 Henry joined the efforts of the Civil War and became a part of Company G of the Michigan 24th Infantry in the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic). At age 30 he was actually the oldest in his regiment. In April of 1863 Henry received a disabling head injury from an exploding shell at Fitzhugh Crossings which was part of the Chancellorsville campaign during the war. After recovery, Henry served in the Veterans Reserve Corps and in 1865 was honorably discharged. After his discharge he moved back to Detroit and then chose to settle with his wife in Plymouth. When Henry and his wife Helen moved to Plymouth in 1867 they built their home at the corner of Holbrook and Caster Street where they raised 4 Kids (William, Herbert, Helen, & Marion). Henry and his family can be found resting in the Riverside Cemetery. We are happy to see that the home of this Civil War Soldier is still standing strong and is an attractive asset in “Old Village” Plymouth.

701 Church Street

2 Nov

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701 Church Street. Current structure built in 1937 but the church originally assembled in 1833. In our opinion there is an intriguing and amazing story when it comes to this place of worship. There is literally a book written about the history of this church which is deeply woven into the overall history of Plymouth.  This is the First Presbyterian Church of Plymouth and some of the previous congregation members include some of the most known and prominent members of our community, even members who’ve had streets named after them like Penniman, Starkweather and more. One of the first homes that the original members met at is still standing at 1496 Penniman Ave where it intersects with Sheldon Rd (North East corner).

Now for the amazing part… So the first chapel was built in 1846 and unfortunately it burned to the ground in 1936 with an amazing phenomenon that some will say was possible with the work of a higher power. When the original church burned down, there were many witnesses who saw the sight of a Bible and Lectern that were virtually untouched right below where it originally stood on the altar of the sanctuary. Keep in mind that the roof had also completely burned down and fell to the ground. Well these amazing facts were also featured on a publication of Ripley’s Believe It or Not.  Today you can see this awesome bible that survived the fire encased and preserved inside the church. When we had the opportunity to see this Bible for ourselves, we found it to be an emotionally moving experience and encourage you to stop by and see it for yourself if you get the chance!

There is much more to the story of this church but we’ll let you read the details of their story by reading the book which is available at the Plymouth District Library. It’s a Sam Hudson book and it made for a good read. We’re just glad to share just a couple the great historical details with you and hope you will appreciate the history of the place like we did.

Visit the First Presbyterian Church of Plymouth webpage at: www.fpcp.net

Historic photo taken circa 1901 and is courtesy of the Plymouth Historical Museum. The photo (below) of the Bible is the actual Bible that survived the destructive church fire of 1936.

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