< Macomb County Michigan Genealogy historical homes

The Atwood House
59 Moross
Mt. Clemens, Michigan

The Atwood house is believed to be the oldest residence in Mount Clemens and one of the oldest in Macomb County. Situated on the corner of Moross Avenue and Church Street, the stately modified Greek Revival house reflects the excellent preservation that has enabled it to withstand the ravages of time for 164 years.

The house was erected in 1835 by Captain Sylvester F. Atwood who operated the "Lady of the Lake" which carried cargo by river from Detroit to Mount Clemens. Originally the house was located on the east side of Gratiot Avenue just a few lots south of Shelby Road (now Cass Avenue).

During the nineteenth century the house had a number of owners including August Kimritz, a cigar manufacturer who operated his business in the adjoining building, and Edgar Weeks, a United States Congressman, who, according to various accounts, purchased the house in the late nineteenth century as a sentimental gesture for his wife. Congressman Weeks moved the house to its present location on Moross, then a part of the Ignace Moross farm.

In the twentieth century the house underwent several remodeling and redecorating projects. When Mark and Mabel Alpern purchased it in 1939, they made structural changes which joined the past and present as authentically as possible. The C. Bernard McGhees purchased the home in 1954 following the death of Mark Alpern. Several years later the McGhees redecorated the interior and installed an 1885 wrought iron fence manufactured in Canada.

One of the outstanding features of the house is its large front porch with two story Doric columns characteristic of the Greek Revival style. The dark green shutters and blue ceilings of the porches are also typical ornamental touches. The basement has supporting beams of hand-hewn black walnut. Quarter-sawn oak makes up the flooring downstairs while the original twenty inch wide planks remain upstairs. The garage was once a two story barn located at the rear of the property. The current owners are Mike and Julie Laforge who purchased the property from C. Bernard McGhee in 1998.

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