Colonial revival home of Shawn and Lorrie Hicks was built by Louis
Napoleon Giroux around 1917.
Louis was born in Marshall in 1867 to Ludger Giroux, a Canadian
immigrant and Martha Nixon Giroux, who was born in 1838 to Irish
emigrant parents. Louis founded Standard Printing in 1892 and married
Minnie Modricker in 1901. The original site of the home was at 312 E.
Mansion Street, directly across the street from the Brooks Mansion, now
the site of Oaklawn Hospital. Their only child, son Louis Napoleon, was
born in 1919.
Louis Sr. chose the Mansion Street location because of its proximity to
his growing business, originally located on State Street (now Michigan
Avenue) between the Brooks Rupture Appliance building and the Post
Office. His entrepreneurial spirit lives on in the 21st Century as
Standard Printing & Office Supply, located at 100 S. Kalamazoo
Mr. Giroux died in 1924. His widow, Minnie and son, Louis, continued to
live in the house until 1927 when it became the United Methodist Church
That year, Minnie exchanged the home for $5,000 and the deed to the
church’s old parsonage on Green Street. The Methodist Church, which had
recently built its new sanctuary at 214 E. Mansion Street - the present
day Franke Center for the Arts - found the Giroux home the perfect
location for the parson’s residence.
Between 1927 and 1964 the house was home to seven pastors and their
families. It was moved in 1986 to its present location on North
Shawn and Lorrie Hicks purchased the house in late 2002. The couple was
thrilled to finally realize a dream fo owning an historic home, and
they quickly got to work on restorations and improvements.
The first summer they rebuilt the front porch, which was near collapse.
The following year saw the addition of all new landscaping and the
beginning of what would become a four year project to hand scrape 11
coats of paint off the exterior wood siding, treat the wood and then
Hand built wooden storm windows have also been replaced, matching the
originals. All this work was done with the help of Lorrie’s father, who
is a retired mechanical engineer.
The Hicks have also made numerous interior improvements, including
remodeling the first floor powder room, living room, vestibule, and
dining room. Most of the woodwork required the stripping of paint and
refinishing. Wallpaper and lighting fixtures have been carefully chosen
to reflect the age and décor of the home. The kitchen cabinets,
countertops, and floor have been restored and/or replaced.
Lovers of antique and period furnishings, Shawn and Lorrie have
numerous antique furniture pieces, including a 1927 Brannbach Baby
Grand Piano, a Lincoln sofa and rocker and an 1870s parlor suite. Other
collections include framed antique English cigarette cards and prints,
which feature their favourite dog breed, the Cairn Terrier.
Lorrie also has compiled a collection of antique porcelain including
Mason china, dating to the 1850s, and numerous Nippon pieces. The
living room also features a 1920s palace-size Karastan wool carpet that
the couple recently restored.