Historical Buildings of Tecumseh

Filed under: Historical Buildings |

The historic buildings of Tecumseh, Michigan include a wide variety of styles and cover a number of decades.

The obvious place to start is with the oldest home in Lenawee County.  The Musgrove Evans home was built in 1826 as a public inn.  It was built by Musgrove Evans and his wife and was home to their 6 children.  It was built with ax hewn timbers and lumber from Tecumseh’s earliest sawmill.  It is considered to a modified Federal style home.  Prior to building this home the Evans family was living in crude log cabin with several other families.  Evans, a Quaker, an engineer and surveyor is credited as founding the settlement of Tecumseh.   He planned and plotted the first 16 blocks of the town as well as planting the first wheat field, building the first grist mill and sawmill.  He was the first postmaster, first probate judge and the first territorial census taker. Evans died in 1832 and his immediate family moved to Texas to begin a new life.

The second home, and probably the most well known historical home in Tecumseh is the Anderson Beardsley home.  Built in 1832 this home always catches the eye as one drives down the Main Street of Tecumseh (Chicago Boulevard).    The architect builder was Elijah Anderson with his interpretation of the Greek revival style. The one storied home, is wood framed and clapboard sheathed.   Wood pegs were used instead of nails.  There is also a Greek revival carriage house on the property.

Directly across the street is Hamilton house built in 1840 by Elisha Anderson, Elijah Anderson’s brother. It is also a Greek Revival Home but is different than its predecessor from across the street.  The home is now purple, which undoubtedly would shock its original builder and owners. The original owner of home, Dr.  Hamilton was one of the earliest medical practitioners in the area.

The Allen Eccles house built in 1855 is a charming home located just off the main street in Tecumseh.  This one story brick home with wood trim.  The original owner is believed to be David Van Tyne, a woodworker and owner of a furniture factory. 

There are also three other building that caught my eye, all of which are not home but include a church, a library and a mill.

The Old Stone church built in 1904 was home to the first Catholic Church in Tecumseh.  Although the earliest settlers in Tecumseh were Quakers, and Catholics were not prevalent in the area for many years. Finally in 1904 after much controversy and difficulty in purchasing the land, which the village refused to sell to the diocese and had to be purchased by individuals who then turned around and sold a small parcel of land to the Catholic diocese.   After many years, and the building of a new and large church the Tecumseh Historical Society obtained and refurbished the building for use as a community museum.

There is also a Carnegie Library in town built in 1904 and is one of 700 libraries constructed as a result of Andrew Carnegie’s dedication and philanthropy.  The one story building’s exterior looks basically the same today as it did in 1905 and it started with a total of almost 5000 books.

Finally the last building I would like to mention is the Hayden Ford Mill.  The mill originally built as water powered flour mill.  It was not the first mill to be built in the Tecumseh area but it was the largest.  The original mill was destroyed by fire in 1898 and it was rebuilt a year later.  In the 1930’s Henry Ford became interested in the property and purchased it and had it rebuilt in its original Dutch Colonial Style.   Ford used the mill to process the soybeans he grew on his farms in the area.   During the 1950’a building was owned by the Universal Button Factory and had a labor force of 35 many of which were women.  Today, the building is used a community center and enjoyed by many as a recreation center, senior citizen center and many others.

There are many many more historical buildings and homes in Tecumseh.  If you are ever in the area just drive down Chicago Boulevard, take a few side routes on the local streets and you will find many beautiful and well kept home.