Michigan: Other Historic Sites Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Michigan’s abundant natural resources and access to major waterways, including four of the five Great Lakes, have made it an important area of human activity for more than ten thousand years.

Bay View

Location: Northeast of Petoskey on U.S. 31, Emmet County

Relevant issues: Cultural history, education, religion

Web site: www.sos.state.mi.us/history/preserve/phissite/bayview.htm

Statement of significance: This site is one of the finest remaining examples of two uniquely American community forms, the Methodist Camp Meeting and the independent Chautauqua. Designed for the first purpose in 1876 as the country’s only romantically planned campground, and adapted for the second from 1885 to 1915, Bay View is a major monument of American religious, cultural, social, and educational ideals embodied in an artistically shaped community plan with 437 contributing buildings.

Cranbrook

Location: Bloomfield Hills, Oakland County

Relevant issues: Education, social reform

Web site: www.sos.state.mi.us/history/preserve/phissite/cranbroo.html

Statement of significance: Cranbrook is one of the most important groups of educational and architectural structures in America, a summary of the first half of the twentieth century in the form of a group of buildings. This enclave in Bloomfield Hills, 25 miles from Detroit, was one of the idealist institutions meant to combat shoddy machine-age goods–from the making of beautiful objects to the creation of an architectural setting with details of the finest quality.

Dow House and Studio

Location: 315 Post Street, Midland, Midland County

Relevant issues: Art and architecture

Web site: www.sos.state.mi.us/history/preserve/phissite/dowalden.html

Statement of significance: The architecture of Alden B. Dow (1904-1983) received national attention from his very early career through to his late period, partly because he was closely associated with Frank Lloyd Wright. The body of his work is of rare quality and completeness and remains highly original among the contending forces of twentieth century architecture. The house and studio form his most clearly acknowledged masterpiece.

Durant-Dort Carriage Company Office

Location: Flint, Genesee County

Relevant issues: Business and industry

Web site: www.sos.state.mi.us/history/preserve/phissite/durantdo.html

Statement of significance: From 1895 to 1913, this site served as focal point for the promotional activities of William C. Durant (1861-1947) in both the carriage and the automobile businesses. The Durant-Dort Company played a significant role in financing not only Buick but also General Motors, which he had founded in 1908. His contributions, such as the concept of a large company manufacturing several makes of automobiles, greatly influenced the automobile industry.

Fair Lane

Location: Dearborn, Wayne County

Relevant issues: Business and industry

Web site: www.sos.state.mi.us/history/preserve/phissite/fairlane.html

Statement of significance: Henry Ford (1863-1947) revolutionized American transportation by mass-producing an inexpensive car. The Ford family occupied this fifty-six-room house from 1915 until 1950, three years after Henry’s death.

Fisher Building

Location: 3011 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit, Wayne County

Relevant issues: Art and architecture

Web site: www.sos.state.mi.us/history/preserve/phissite/fisher.html

Statement of significance: The Fisher Building (1927) contains some of the most beautiful detailing of any American skyscraper ever built. The Fisher brothers, part of the burgeoning automobile industry in Detroit, intended the building to be a public monument as well as a gift to a more beautiful Detroit. The architect, Albert Kahn, had a national reputation for his industrial buildings but was known in Detroit as well for his commercial, civic, and domestic structures, and this skyscraper is one of his greatest achievements.

Hemingway Cottage (Windemere)

Location: Walloon Lake, Emmet County

Relevant issues: Literary history

Web site: www.sos.state.mi.us/history/preserve/phissite/hemingwa.html

Statement of significance: Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) spent his boyhood summers from 1904 to 1921 in this one-story frame structure. He began his writing career here, using the setting and his boyhood experiences in some of his stories.

Highland Park Ford Plant

Location: Highland Park, Wayne County

Relevant issues: Business and industry

Web site: www.sos.state.mi.us/history/preserve/phissite/highland.html

Statement of significance: Designed mostly by noted industrial architect Albert Kahn, this plant is considered the birthplace of the moving assembly line. It was in operation from 1910 to 1927.

Lightship No. 103 “Huron”

Location: Port Huron, St. Clair County

Relevant issues: Naval history

Web site: www.sos.state.mi.us/history/preserve/phissite/huron.html

Statement of significance: The 1920 Lightship No. 103, also known by its last official designation, Huron, is the only surviving example of a lightship type specifically built for service on the Great Lakes. Lightships were vital partners of Great Lakes shipping, particularly where shoals and reefs far from land could not be safely marked by lighthouses. The Lake Huron station was at the south end of the lake at the entrance to the St. Clair River, on the primary trade route of the Great Lakes. The last lightship to serve on the Great Lakes, No. 103 is now an outdoor exhibit.

Norton Mound Group

Location: Grand Rapids, Kent County

Relevant issues: American Indian history

Web site: www.sos.state.mi.us/history/preserve/phissite/norton.html

Statement of significance: This site contains well-preserved Hopewell mounds of the western Great Lakes region. Norton Mound Group was the center of Hopewellian culture in that area, c. 400 b.c.e. to 400 c.e.

Pewabic Pottery

Location: Detroit, Wayne County

Relevant issues: Art and architecture

Web site: www.sos.state.mi.us/history/preserve/phissite/pewabic.html

Statement of significance: Founded in 1903 by Mary Chase Perry Stratton, Pewabic Pottery gained national recognition for iridescent glazes as well as their production of architectural tile. An artist of the Arts and Crafts movement, Stratton was concerned with raising the artistic standard of American ceramicists. Her tile installations are in private homes, schools, and churches, as well as in the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Ford Factory in Oklahoma, the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and the Immaculate Conception Cathedral (in Washington, D.C.); her pottery is the only American work displayed in the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Gallery of Art. This building, designed by William Stratton, has been the home of Pewabic Pottery since 1907.

Quincy Mining Company Historic District

Location: Hancock, Houghton County

Relevant issues: Business and industry

Web site: www.sos.state.mi.us/history/preserve/phissite/quincy.html

Statement of significance: Quincy Mining Company is an outstanding example of the growth and development of the United States copper industry from its earliest years through 1920. Between 1862 and 1882, Quincy ranked first nationally in copper production, making a singular contribution to the Northern effort during the Civil War. Quincy, along with the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company, represents the major elements of the copper industry: mining and mining technology, immigration and ethnic settlement, corporate paternalism and company towns, and labor organization.

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