fragment (the front was moved to 111 North Linden about 1912) of the
Isaac E. Crary home may be part of the oldest residence in Marshall.
Dating from about 1834, this portion was used as a private study and
occasional living space for Crary who was a prominent attorney in
Marshall as well as Michigan’s first congressman in 1837. Crary was a
delegate to the 1835 convention that drafted Michigan’s first
constitution. While the chairman of the Committee of Education, he drew
up guidelines for a public school system, the appointment of a
superintendent of public instruction and a comprehensive library
system. Isaac Crary was a member of the State Board of Education until
his death, May 8, 1854.
Over the next one hundred years, 108 N. Park was held by citizens make
it their home or business until the early 1950s when it became vacant
and remained so until 1972. At that time the Wirtz family began work on
the exterior and the interior. Later the Minick family took over and in
1977 the interior design studio of Mrs. Minick operated from “The Crary
fragment”. The two successive owners have been women with residential
interior design practices; Susan Coolbaugh, of Susan’s Interiors, from
1984-88 and currently Janet Ostrum, since 1988.
Local efforts to preserve and renovate downtown business sites began in
1967 with a group of citizens working through a Chamber of Commerce
restoration committee. Since that time, many downtown buildings have
been preserved and are enjoyed and remembered by visitors to the
community. 2001 brought the continuation of the Marshall grass roots
preservation tradition, when Janet initiated a community wide endeavor
culminating in Marshall being honored as one of the first four Michigan
Main Street communities. Downtown revitalization continues through the
Four Point Approach of Design, Economic Restructuring, Organization and
Promotion set out by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
While you are our guest, please enjoy Marshall’s historic business
district, its hospitable merchants and their unique offerings.