On the northwest corner of the park stands
one of the most unusual pieces of architecture to be seen anywhere
in the United States.
| This is Marshall's now
famed "Honolulu House." Now well over 130 years old,
it was built by Abner Pratt in 1860. He was chief justice of
the Michigan Supreme Court, 1853-1857, and United States Council
to Hawaii (1857-1859) under President James Buchanan.
| A fine example of Italianate
architecture, the Honolulu House was built in 1860. Unique for
its wall and ceiling murals, it is listed in the National Register
of Historic Places.
It serves as Marshall Historical Society
Headquarters and is open to the public May-Oct. from noon to
5 p.m., 7 days a week.
The unusual design of the house has intrigued
thousands of travelers, who passing through Marshall have noticed
it standing beside the small park marking for many years the
intersection of Highways US 12 and US 27. The house was said
to have been copied from a building occupied by Pratt while in
|Pratt loved the islands and
regretted leaving. Once back in Marshall he set about building
a reproduction of the home he has occupied during his sojourn
in the islands.
A house of true tropical architecture, it had fifteen-foot ceilings,
ten-foot doors, long open galleries with the dining room and
kitchen on the ground level and a sweeping circular stair rising
to an observation platform on the roof more than thirty feet
above. The platform in Hawaii would have afforded him a view
of the sea and the incoming ships, but in Marshall it afforded
him a view of his daughter's house directly across the street.
The staircase, an architectural wonder
was made of ebony, teak, mahogany, and maple. The walls were
covered with murals depicting the flora and fauna of the tropics.
Colored glass panels flanked the front door.
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Excerpts of "A history of Marshall"
used by permission from
Richard Carver, all rights reserved.