Hanorah and Ellen Morse House, 1882


Hanorah and Ellen Morse House, 1882

307 North State Street

Hanorah and Ellen Morse House, 1882

A dynamic woman named Ellen Morse was responsible for the building of many rooming houses along this stretch of North State Street in the 1860s to 80s. Local Ann Arbor historian Louis W. Doll quotes an 1879 newspaper article about her: "This [house being constructed"> makes the seventh large and commodious house erected by Miss Morse... [She"> is entitled to thanks... She is a business woman and orders all her own lumber... and personally supervises the erection of her houses ... in the words of one of our hardware merchants 'She is as sharp and close a purchaser as I have to deal with."

In 1881 Morse and her mother Hanorah purchased a large property on North State Street where she subsequently built both 301 and 307 in 1882. As with her other houses, the builder was probably William Lawrence, and the tenants were students.

After the Civil War the University of Michigan grew tremendously and, according to Doll, returning veterans boosted enrollment to over 1,200 making it then the largest university in the country. Morse's houses were designed to fill the tremendous need for housing and the fact that both she and her mother lived in them, moving often from one to the other, meant that they were constantly looked after.

Miss Morse charged $1.75 per week with the students furnishing their own wood for heat. According to Doll, she often did her own housecleaning and was a daily sight on State Street with her mop, pail, and brushes. Morse could have been a rich woman had it not been for a disastrous investment which left her almost penniless. Despite her near poverty, she managed to hang on to a few properties and live to the age of 87. She donated her last, and most permanent home at 419 North State Street, to the Sisters of Mercy who started St. Joseph Mercy Hospital there.

Miss Morse sold the house at 307 North State to Alexander and Lena Wallace in 1915. Their daughter, Minnie Wallace, continued the boarding house tradition established by Miss Morse. In 1970 the house was purchased from her estate by the Intercooperative Council for co-op housing. The esteem in which she was held by generations of students led to the naming of this house after her. Known for years as Minnie's, the house is a local landmark partly because the co-op's constitution requires the house to be painted purple.

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



Newton A. Prudden House, 1854


Newton A. Prudden House, 1854

418 North State Street

Newton A. Prudden House, 1854

The Newton A. Prudden house is one of a small group of stuccoed Greek Revival houses built in this neighborhood in the 1840s and 1850s. Built in a simple style with a side entry, the house dates to the mid-1850s and was constructed of adobe brick like its neighbor at 602 Lawrence Street. As such it is one of only two known examples of adobe houses in Ann Arbor proper. It originally had a gable roof that was altered into the present hipped shape after the Civil War. No elaborate details exist on the house save for the transom and sidelights around the entry.

Prudden was a local fruit dealer, bee keeper, and manufacturer of water filters. After his death, his nephew Newton F. Prudden took over the business and lived in the house with his aunt until 1893 when he traded the house for a farm in Chelsea. The diary of visiting nurse Emily Hollister from 1889 gives us an unusual perspective on this family. She noted that she had come to nurse Mrs. Prudens [sic"> and that she made a will in which "she gave away some relics [being"> a card and a comb to her nephew [and"> her flax wheel to the M. E. Church art loan program, her feather bed with blue patch to Mr. Pruden [sic"> and...a dollar to a cousin that she owed it to for...years." Mrs. Hollister went on to comment about the house: "[It"> is old and has been neglected. It reminds one of old mansions with many rooms, that one reads of in books and it gives one a creepy feeling. Well, death comes today, January 6."

Like most of the other houses on this block, this house was converted to a boarding house in the 20th century. Celebrated local author Louis W. Doll purchased the house in 1938 from the Home Owners Loan Corporation, an agency handling the property of banks that failed during the Depression. Doll remarks that during his renovation of the house he was surprised to find that the hipped roof had been built over the original gable roof. He tore out the older roof and re-used the oak beams to level the ceiling. An addition on the side was so deteriorated that it had to be demolished. Doll also replaced the old entry with a "colonial" door that was featured on the cover of House Beautiful in September 1937.

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



James F. Royce House, 1866


James F. Royce House, 1866

311 East Ann Street

James F. Royce House, 1866
Creator: Royce, James F.

James F. Royce, an early pioneer of Washtenaw County, built this pristine example of an "Italianate cube" in 1866. Royce came to Ann Arbor from Connecticut in 1830 as a skilled cabinet maker and began a chair-making business which lasted for several decades. He later operated a carriage factory and clerked for Philip Bach, his son-in-law. Royce was 61 years old when he built this house and Bach may have paid for it as a form of "social security" for his aging father-in-law.

The house exhibits typical features of the Italianate Cube style: a low, hipped roof with paired brackets under the wide eaves, a symmetrical arrangement of windows and doors, and ornamental sawn woodwork or "gingerbread" on the front and side porches. Thin chamfered porch posts with no railings are also typical of this style, though the still-working pairs of French doors and louvered shutters are very unusual in Ann Arbor. What is most remarkable is that almost no changes have been made to this house since its construction. Even the windows still have their original blown glass.

Mrs. Royce's will gives us an idea of how this house was furnished in the 1880s. She left her "large lamp with glass pendants" to Philip Bach and "a small marble top stand" to his wife, while other members of the Bach family received her mahogany sofa covered with hair cloth. The wife of the minister of the Baptist Church received her "gold bowed glasses as a memento of my love and respect for her."

Following Mrs. Royce's death, the house was sold to two unmarried sisters, Harriet and Electa Knight, daughters of another Washtenaw County pioneer. They lived here and rented rooms to various relatives attending Ann Arbor High School. Later they rented rooms to doctors and nurses working at the hospitals nearby. By the 1920s many upper and middle class people moved out of the Old Fourth Ward into Burns Park and other newer subdivisions. The house remained a single-family dwelling until the 1960s. Since then it has been rented as apartments.

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



George Dock House, 1894


George Dock House, 1894

1014 Cornwell Place

George Dock House, 1894

Perched on a steep bluff overlooking the Huron River valley, this elaborate house was built in 1894 for George Dock, Professor of Clinical Medicine and Pathology at the University of Michigan. The irregular massing of forms, the polygonal tower with tent roof, the wrap-around porch, the use of cross gables, windows in varying shapes and sizes, and the combination of various materials including clapboard, board and batten, and unusual cut shingles are all features of the late Queen Anne style of the 1890s. They combine to give the house a complicated, eclectic look ???_ the essence of this style.

Dr. Dock no doubt wanted to be close to the Medical School and University Hospitals which were then located at Catherine and Glen Streets, but after 14 years he sold the house to another professor, Dr. Albert Barrett. Barrett, who was also Director of the State Psychopathic Hospital, lived in the house for a decade, after which it served a number of owners including the Gamma Alpha fraternity from 1925 to 1950. By 1970 it was known as Clark's Tourist Home. It remained a rooming house until 1986 when it was purchased by the University of Michigan to house its "Med Inns" program. Today the University rents its rooms to foreign students.

The house is remarkably intact despite its many changes of ownership. It had an almost identical twin, the Jacob Laubengayer House formerly at 416 South Main Street, which was moved several years ago to 2345 Huron Parkway. Together with another transplanted Queen Anne, it now houses a medical clinic. Since Laubengayer's house was designed by the noted Detroit architectural firm of Spier and Rohns, it is possible that the George Dock house may have been designed by them as well.

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



Edward Campbell House, 1890


Edward Campbell House, 1890

1310 Hill Street

Edward Campbell House, 1890

This spacious and attractive house is of Queen Anne vintage, but its symmetry and classical detailing are in sharp contrast to Queen Anne buildings. Inspired by the centennial celebrations of 1876, a renewed interest in earlier design led to adaptations called Colonial Revival. The house was first occupied by Edward D. Campbell, junior professor of metallurgy, when he was called to his position at the University of Michigan.

In 1901, when the Campbell family moved to 1555 Hill Street, Margaret Lydecker, a widow recently arrived in Ann Arbor, purchased the home and opened a boarding house which was famed for its style and elegance and for providing the "best food in Ann Arbor." Her daughter, Margaret, married Professor Earl S. "Doc" Wolaver, and they raised their family in this house. It remains a single family dwelling.

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



Waite-Kellogg House, 1838/1865


Waite-Kellogg House, 1838/1865

723 Moore Street

Waite-Kellogg House, 1838/1865

Behind its unappealing asbestos siding and fire escapes, this house is a gem waiting to be uncovered and restored. Built in approximately 1838 by Joseph Waite, it was originally two stories high and one room deep ???_ an example of the type of folk house known as an I-house. Although built as a private house, and adorned by a very handsome Greek Revival doorway, it soon became a rooming house for workers at the nearby Jones and Foley paper mill. Times were tough in the country after the Panic of 1837 and large houses like this quickly became a heavy burden for individuals.

A very individualistic citizen, however, saw fit to purchase the house in 1865 and enlarge it into its present Italianate configuration. This was Daniel B. Kellogg, clairvoyant physician. Dr. Kellogg was famous enough -- and his home was grand enough -- to be featured in an engraving in the 1874 Atlas of Washtenaw County. From this engraving one gets a true image of the treasure which lies beneath the surface.

Kellogg was born in Pittsfield Township to pioneers from Oneida County, New York. His first encounter with his "gifts" for clairvoyance (or "clear vision") came when he was 17 and encountered a traveling hypnotist. Kellogg was a quick study and soon his neighbors in Pittsfield visited him to "join hands, hear rappings, witness automatic writing and watch the parlor furniture dance as if bewitched." Word of his supernatural perceptions spread quickly and his diagnoses were often linked with remedies. He moved to Ann Arbor in 1865, set up his office on nearby Broadway, and did a brisk business in mail-order diagnosis, answering letters from all over the country and even from Europe. To keep up with demand for his services, he enlisted the aid of his brother Leverett and sold a line of "family medicines" as well, including Kellogg's Liver Invigorator, Kellogg's Magic Red Drops, Kellogg's Family Cathartic Pills, and Kellogg's Lung Remedy.

Unfortunately Kellogg's success was short lived. He died in 1876, at the young age of 42. Undaunted, Leverett continued to sell the patent medicines while Daniel's son Albert C. Kellogg continued to practice his father's unusual profession. An 1891 biography of Albert stated that he continued to manufacture Dr. Kellogg's Family Remedies, which were handled by druggists throughout the State of Michigan, and that his pleasant home in the old part of the town was where he and his wife "keep up the old homestead."

By the 1890s the house had once again reverted to a rooming house, and tenants came and went in rapid succession. As in the rest of the area known as "Lower Town," the decline persisted as businesses and residents moved closer to campus and to the thriving shops on Main Street. But the house did not go unnoticed. In 1936, Emil Lorch of the University of Michigan School of Architecture, noted the unusual entrance and added: "plus or minus good stairs, interior doors and trim." At that time the house was owned by Louis Goffe, a tenant for over 25 years. It remains a rooming house today.

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



Edward Campbell House, 1890


Edward Campbell House, 1890

1310 Hill Street

Edward Campbell House, 1890

This spacious and attractive house is of Queen Anne vintage, but its symmetry and classical detailing are in sharp contrast to Queen Anne buildings. Inspired by the centennial celebrations of 1876, a renewed interest in earlier design led to adaptations called Colonial Revival. The house was first occupied by Edward D. Campbell, junior professor of metallurgy, when he was called to his position at the University of Michigan.

In 1901, when the Campbell family moved to 1555 Hill Street, Margaret Lydecker, a widow recently arrived in Ann Arbor, purchased the home and opened a boarding house which was famed for its style and elegance and for providing the "best food in Ann Arbor." Her daughter, Margaret, married Professor Earl S. "Doc" Wolaver, and they raised their family in this house. It remains a single family dwelling.

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



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