Historic Home Tour
County was established in 1833 after the first settler, Sidney Ketchum
came to what is now Marshall in 1830. In 1835, Albion College was
founded by the Methodist Church and around the same time, Isaac Crary,
from Marshall, drafted the section of the Michigan State Constitution
on education. Thirty eight years later, during 1873-74, the U.S. penny
postcard made its debut, the first halftone photograph was produced,
Lord Kelvin first calculated the tides with a machine, Remington
started manufacturing his typewriter and Jeremiah Cronin had a Tuscan
villa built for his family on what is now 407 North Madison Street in
After 130 years, ownership was transferred from the Cronin estate to Thomas and Diane Zeharion in June of 2003. Over the last two years the couple has fully restored this 5,358 square foot treasure, filling it yet again with the sounds of an active family. This year the couple agreed to be part of the Historic Home Tour and share the window into the past offered by this community landmark, Thomas Zaharion is a builder and has done extensive home restorations over the years, though none of historic properties.
But the time the Zaharions bought the property, the house had become famous beyond Marshall through a mystery written by children’s author John Bellairs titled The House With a Clock In Its Walls. Written in 1973, 100 years after its construction, The Cronin house served as the inspiration for the book’s famously mysterious house.
From the beautiful landscaping to the top of the 64-foot tower of the house, almost every inch of the property has been restored while the Zabarions lived in the house. All new plumbing, heating, downspouts and electrical service are in place which was no small task since many of the interior walls are brick.
Said Thomas Zaharion, “Structurally, the house was in surprisingly good condition considering its age. The gutters and eaves, though, were so distorted that they caused serious deterioration of the interior plaster. Also, each section of the house has its own roof and all of them were leaking. One guy (a member of the Amish crew working on the restoration) was repairing one of the ......... (continued)
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