Thursday, February 9, 2012

Squint Shot 020912

And, now . . . onto a visit to a very old, quite possibly the oldest, house in Fowlerville. I looked forward to this over a period of two weeks after setting the date with Jamie Hernden of Shear Image. She and her husband live in the "old Defendorf" house at 701 East Grand River avenue.

As a little backstory, this house used to be located at the southwest corner of East Grand River avenue and South Second street. Currently, that lot is a parking area for Chase bank. It has been estimated by Nellie Glenn, a historian for the village until her death at around 90 years old in the 1970s, this house was built around 1855-56. It has been called the "old Defendorf" house on occasion because one of the long-time physicians in the village lived in this house and had his office attached to the house -- Dr. Byron Defendorf. In later years, the house was sold to William H. Peek, who also owned the building directly to the west of the house. He fashioned that storefront into a theatre and showed silent movies, and eventually "talkies," held meetings there, and commissioned live performances for the residents. Mr. Peek was the one to have this house relocated sometime around the late 1920s-early 1930s (sometime I'll post the exact date, when I find it).

According to the current owner of the house, when it was moved to this location, it was rolled down the street on large logs -- can we only imagine what that may have looked like?

In later years, the Eaton family, who originally had the Standard station located where the house used to stand, and then Ron and Tomye Daly owned the house.

Over the next week or so, I will be showing squint shots -- and offering more history on the house -- of what I found intriguing and interesting. Today's picture begins with the inside of the front door. Lots of windows!

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