Sevicemen gathered around USO Piano


Sevicemen gathered around USO Piano

Harris Hall's popularity was challenged by competition from movies, automobiles, and other recreational choices. During World War II, St. Andrew's provided the building rent free to the USO as a recreation hall for servicemen (shown gathered around the piano above). Student activities moved for a time to a large home known as Canterbury House, on North Division across Catherine Street from the church.

Frame location: Corner of State and Huron, Northwest

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Ann Arbor District Library



John W. Maynard House, 1844


John W. Maynard House, 1844

218 North Division Street

John W. Maynard House, 1844
Canterbury House, 1950

When John W. Maynard constructed his center-entry side gabled brick house in 1838, this was in the middle of a large, undeveloped block. Catherine Street would not extend between Division and State Streets until 1898. Maynard, a successful grocer with a store on Ann Street, had come to Ann Arbor as a child only months after John Allen and Elisha Rumsey founded the town in 1824. In a letter dated June of that year, Jon's father Ezra, a farmer in Pittsfield Township, wrote the first eyewitness account of the emerging village.

A Michigan Argus account in 1849 entitled "Notes on Our Village, No. 4," included his house among those that exhibited "the style of architecture which is an ornament to our village, and evinces the taste, judgment and liberality of their owners." Today John's house is one of a row of important buildings on large lots with deep setbacks lining the east side of Division Street that exemplify the mid-19th century look and feel of the town.

Maynard family members occupied the house for over half a century. In 1908, Russell T. Dobson, publisher of the Ann Arbor Times, purchased it and in 1910 added the large porch, roof dormers, and two-story center portico in the popular Colonial Revival style. The main entry was then shifted from the center of the house to the south side, where it remains today.

After penumonia took Dobson's life in 1938, the house was sold to the Christian Reformed Church for a student center. Around 1950 the Episcopal Student Foundation of St. Andrew's Church purchased the house and named it "Canterbury House" to use as a center for their outreach program. In 1992, Trailblazers, Inc., a group working with those recovering from mental illness, bought the property for a clubhouse for their members.

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Photos used to illustrate Historic Buildings, Ann Arbor, Michigan / by Marjorie Reade and Susan Wineberg.



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