Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Cobblestone Farm - Ann Arbor

I've passed by this house a few times as I was driving on Packard but usually I see it at night.  It looked like one of those Federal houses I've seen in Pennsylvania and Ohio.  Little did I realize, there was more to it than just the Cobblestone House.
 Tonight I decided to head to the Cobblestone Farm that sits in front of Buhr Park in Ann Arbor.  I was mainly interested in the Cobblestone House and I didn't realize that there was more to the grounds.  I didn't realize that there was this log cabin on the grounds.  Apparently it is the Willis Cabin and was the last log cabin in Ann Arbor.  It was moved here in 1981.

The cabin itself was originally on Willis Road and was built around 1837 (the year Michigan became a state).  There is some degree of controversy on who built it.  Some call it the Lucy Look Cabin because she owned the land that it was built on in 1835.  Another group calls it the Harris Cabin.  But it all depends on what maps you look at.
 Next to the cabin is a pretty cool looking scarecrow.
 A closeup of the scarecrow's face.
 I'm not sure about the origins of this barn.  I'm guessing that it was a part of the orignal property.  However, it's been renovated and has been used for gatherings.  One time, I came here for the Waste Knot event.  I'll have to say it was pretty cool.
 A front view of the barn.
 One of the surprises that I encountered was the fact that there were actually farm animals here.  I was not expecting to see these.  The goat was staring at me for a while and then he decided to wander up to me.
 This looks almost like the goose that hangs around Gallup Park.
 A pair of gooses.
 A pair of chickens.  I'm going to have to come back to this place when it is a little wamer, sunnier and open.
 An overall shot of the animal barn.  I think it looks kind of neat.  It also looks like it was restored.
 I kind of liked this shot of the goat.
 And what I came here for...the cobblestone house.  The cobblestone house was predominantly built in New York.  It is a very labor intensive process that came about for two reasons.  One, the Erie Canal was completed and there were masons looking for work.  Two, people were getting rich off the Erie Canal and wanted cool houses.  For the most part, these are built using glacial stones and there were several around the area.
 In 1835, Dr. Benajah Ticknor moved to the area.  He was a Naval surgeon from Connecticut.  He saw opportunity in the Michigan Territory and bought this land.
 In 1844, the house was completed
 I'll have to admit that it looks pretty cool.
 Looking up at the stones.  This almost looks like it could have been taken on a road.
 A quarter shot of the front of the house.  I think this is where the style really shines.
 Looking at the front.  Like  I said, it reminded me of the houses that I normally see in Pennsylvania and Ohio.  In 1868, Benajah dies and his wife inherits the farm.  She sells it to the Booth family in 1860.  Also around that time, his extensive medical library was donated to the University of Michigan.
 After the Booths bought the house, they made a circular carriage drive flanked by sugar maples.  He also added an apple orchard.  I think you can see bits of these throughout the property.
 Looking at the side of the house.  I think the yellow house in the back may be the original house built when the Doctor moved here, but I'm not sure.  It still looks pretty cool.
 Another angle of the house.  In 1881, the Booths sold the farm to the Campbells.  William Campbell was a Scottish Immigrant who taught school and ran a farm in Ypsilanti.  He expanded the apple orchard.  The Campbells ran the farm for 91 years.  In 1924, a fire gutted a good chunk of the farm forcing the Campbells to sell part of it to other people.  Part of the land was bought by Joseph Buhr, who donated his land to Ann Arbor in 1955.  In 1972, the farmhouse was sold to Ann Arbor.  I'll have to admit, I didn't realize I was going to get a history lesson in doing this.
 Another shot of the horse.
 And another goat.
 Pulled out a bit to get more of the horse and his surroundings.
 One of the pieces of farm equipment.
One more shot of the cabin.

Like I said, I'll have to come back here when the building itself is open.  I would love to wander around inside.

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