Tag Archives: Real Estate

184 Caster Ave

8 Jul

184Caster

184 Caster Ave. Built circa 1890; this was once the home of William “Phil” Markham. William F. Markham was born in Plymouth in 1851 and was the Son of A.B Markham one of Plymouth’s first pioneers that settled in this community. Markham became a Plymouth business owner that made tanks and cisterns. In 1887 William Markham was granted the first patent for an Air Rifle. Phil was instrumental in starting the industry that put Plymouth on the “map” Internationally… The Air Rifle Industry. Phil’s company became the Markham Air Rifle Company which later changed its name to the King Air Rifle Company. Markham started manufacturing Air Rifles prior to the formation of the Daisy Air Rifle Company which was literally within walking distance of the Markham Company. This statement about ‘who was first” is only made because of a popular misconception that Daisy Air Rifle Co. was the first to invent and manufacture Air Rifles.

As for this grand home and why it was built. Well, this home was built for Phil to reside at while he was estranged from his Wife Carrie who refused to grant him a divorce. In 1907 the home was sold to Elisha Caster. Markham owned a number of homes in S.E. Michigan. Interestingly enough he also owned and built the home located at 676 Penniman Ave which he built for his mistress Blanche. After his wife Carrie passed away in 1910, he married Blanche and moved into the home located on Penniman across the street from Kellogg Park.

This home that elegantly stands at the corner Caster and Holbrook in the Historic “Lower Town” also known as Plymouth’s “Old Village” has a history that is unrivaled when compared to other historic homes in the area considering that Markham not only invented the modern-day BB Gun but also started an industry that changed the landscape of Plymouth and helped put this community on the map as the “BB Gun capital of the world”. Today the Markham Air Rifle Company building still stands at 304 N. Main Street and is the largest commercial brick building in Plymouth. In 1911 Markham and his family moved to California and became successful in Real Estate. At one time Markham was the owner of a large parcel of property that today is now known as Hollywood. Phil Markham passed away in 1930.

Below is a photo of William Markham taken in 1900:

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At the time of this post this home is currently on the real estate market for sale. You can view the listing for this home by clicking here: 184 Caster

1411 W. Ann Arbor Trail

29 Jul

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1411 W. Ann Arbor Trail was built in 1918 by Edward C. Hough. This was the home of Ed & Louise (Sheffield) Hough from 1918-1959. They had given their estate the name of “The Elms”. Edward Hough was the son of Lewis C. Hough who was an original founder of the Plymouth Iron Windmill Company which eventually became the Daisy Air Rifle Company. Ed joined the business in 1893 as the Treasurer for the company.  In later years, Ed’s Son Cass Hough would go on to become the President of Daisy. Both Edward & Louise Hough have been laid to rest at the Riverside Cemetery.  The Hough family played a significant role in the history of Plymouth and their legacy will continue to live on for many years to come.

This home still retains all of its original elements including the original carriage port on the West side of the home and the 2-story carriage house located behind the home. This home still has an unpaved driveway which makes it easy to look at the home and picture yourself stepping back into time and looking at the grandeur of this home as if it were still the early 1900s.

Below is a photo of the executive team that operated the Daisy Air Rifle Company in 1895. The Team included Lewis C. Hough, Edward Hough, Charles H. Bennett, George W. Hunter, and Alfred W. Chaffee

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View of Ann Arbor Trail in 1930. The Hough home sits on the right of the photo:

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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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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.

876 N. Mill Street

18 Oct

 

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876 N. Mill Street. Built Circa 1887 by George and Eva Streng who were German Immigrants. The Streng family were involved in the hospitality business here in Plymouth and owned the Hotel which used to be right next door (North side). In 1924 this home and the hotel next door were purchased by Frank Sambrone and stayed in the Sambrone family for several years. The Hotel Victor was later known as the Anderine Hotel, The Nelson Hotel and the Old village Inn. The hotel burned down in the 1980’s. This historic home is still standing strong and adds to the charm of old village. This home has most recently served as a multi-family home (3 apartments). We look forward to see this home continue to be a great part of our community.

Welcome to Plymouth MI Discoveries!

4 Jul
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Jim, Andrea, Ava, Alicia, & Aaron

This page is committed to sharing the history and facts of historical structures and homes in Plymouth, Michigan. This page is dedicated to the past and present residents of Plymouth. As a Plymouth resident, my family is Proud of the richness of history, the great schools, and the great people of this wonderful community. After a visit to the Plymouth Historical Museum, we became very interested in the homes and structures around town and the history behind them. In the spring of 2012 we started a facebook page documenting our discoveries. In partnership with the Plymouth Historical Museum, we evolved to the creation of this page. Our goal is to raise awareness of the rich history of Plymouth and to showcase to the world the great community we live in. Our posts only scratch the surface of the extensive stories behind each structure and we can only hope it will encourage the community to learn more and appreciate Plymouth history. We also hope that our page helps encourage the preservation of structures that hold much of the great history of Plymouth. We invite the public abroad to pay a visit to our wonderful community and to stop by the Plymouth Historical Museum located at 155 S. Main Street, Plymouth, MI 48170 Phone Number: (734) 455-8940.

To contact the author of this page, simply enter your info below:

Author of Plymouth Discoveries