Historic Home Tour

Marshall Michigan

Wirtz Home
16137 Old Route North

This timber-framed Greek Revival farm house has been abandoned and rescued from various stages of deterioration three times since it was built in 1838. In 1973, the house had been vandalized to the point where it was fit only for the wild animals living inside. The parents of the current owners rescued the home once again with major structural and mechanical improvements.
The present owners are the fifth generation to live on this farm since the land was granted to the family in 1838. The original land grant certificate for 80 acres, signed by President Martin VanBuren, hangs over the fireplace. The home is registered as a Centennial Farm, and now includes nearly 100 acres.

The original house measured 15’ x 26’. Three wings were added between approximately 1850 and 1890.  The home has two attic bedchambers on the second floor accessible only by a steep, narrow staircase located behind the fireplace. The fireplace itself, with oven and crane for iron pots, was the home’s sole heat and cooking source.
The home was last on tour in 1990 with the parents of the current owners. Since that time the kitchen and front and back entryways have been remodeled. The original fireplace chimney has been restored. All the rooms have been redecorated. A gazebo was built in the yard with sandstone from the old Sackrider school on 11 Mile Road.

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Photos courtesy of Jan Lee, Backyard Photography
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