The Dodge home at 432 S. Grand, note the Arbaugh Department Store’s water tower in the background. (FPLA/CADL)

The home at 432 (418) S. Grand was a marvelous structure. It was built between 1894-1896, probably in 1895. The first owner was Ezra B. Dodge, the brother of Frank L. Dodge. Ezra Bradstreet Dodge was born in Oberlin, Ohio of January 31, 1841 to Hervey and Angeline (née Stevens) Dodge. Ezra attended the local schools in Oberlin and lived for a period of time in Cleveland where he studied law. He moved to Eaton County, Michigan in 1866 where he completed his law studies under Judge M.V. Montgomery and managed a local hotel. Ezra moved to Lansing after completing his studies in 1882. The Dodge family were Democrats and with the election of Grover Cleveland, Ezra was appointed clerk of the Third Judicial District Court in the Territory of Arizona in 1885 where he served under Judge John Calhoun Shields. Ezra retuned to Lansing after his time in Arizona and practiced law and was involved in real estate. Before moving to Michigan, Ezra married Miss Laura Curtis in Cleveland, Ohio in 1860, the couple had three sons Joseph, Charles and Frederick. (SR4/18/1905 and LJ4/18/1905)

 

The home at 432 S. Grand after its renovation sometime in the late 1940s early 1950s. (FPLA/CADL)

This was a massive and impressive home. Just who the architect was is unknown. The home was in all likelihood built for Ezra Dodge after he retuned from Arizona. In the first image you can see the pyramidal tower that merges into the second-floor bay window. Note the flared siding and the pent roof over the first-floor windows on the south side, a method that was used to shed water away from the structure. The location of the entrance is a mystery, it seems to have been enclosed. The front porch with is roofline and pediments seem heavy and overwhelms the slight columns. The second-floor porch on the façade was soften by the delicate scrollwork along the top between the columns. As you can see in the above image the front of the structure has been stripped away. The tower and bay window have been removed as well as the small second floor porch and the main porch. The side entrance porch has been remodeled with the pediment removed. The home at this point in time has been subdivided into three apartments. The home was razed in 1954 to provide addition parking for the Arbaugh Department Store. (LSJ 4/29/1954)

©Lost Lansing 2019

This is just an FYI. Lost Lansing is changing, there may be a new look in the future. Some posts have been removed and will reappear in a Lost Lansing Book with some new stories.

The Woodcock Terraces at 309-317 N. Capitol. Note the dirt street and the hitching posts along the road.

The Woodcock Terraces were one of the first of townhomes built in Lansing, they were constructed in May of 1886 by David F. Woodcock. (SR 5/31/1886) The better-known Barnes’ Flats were built in 1887. Woodcock was a long-time resident of Lansing who was in construction business with George H. Kneal. The firm of Woodcock and Kneal handle many of the paving contracts in the city, for example, the company was hired to pave Washington Avenue and Capitol Avenue. Woodcock personally handled the construction of the Woodcock Terraces. But just who was the architect remains a mystery. There are several possibilities; Darius Moon, Israel Gillett, Lemuel Dwight Grosvenor, Claire Allen, James or William Appleyard.

You can see in the above image the size of Woodcocks residence, note how it extends to the rear.

The Woodcock Terraces have an appealing appearance. The multiple story bay window and the elevated entrance porch are all the traits one would find in a typical townhouse. The building was constructed of brick with limited windows on the north and south end. The Woodcock Terrances consisted of four separate units with the north unit be twice the size of the other three units. That is because 317 (311) N. Capitol was the residence of David F. Woodcock. After Woodcock’s death the home was split to create another unit. The Woodcock Terraces were torn down in 1966 when city block 84 was cleared. The great irony is that the city of Lansing tore down 27 townhouses when they cleared the block. Today the block sits effectively empty with the empty Oliver Towers as the only building left on the block. So, Lansing great plan of redeveloping the area came to naught.

 

The terraces in the 1940s observe the lack of windows on the south side of the structure.

David F. Woodcock was born in Phillipston, Massachusetts on June 4, 1829 to Tisdale and Patty (née Baker) Woodcock. David first settle in Adrian, Michigan in about 1859. Just when David came to Lansing is a bit of a mystery. He is listed as a Notary in Lenawee County in 1867 while just two years later he is appointed a notary in Ingham County. David’s obituary mentions that he came to Lansing to take a position with the auditor general’s department. Later he was in business with George Kneal and was one of the founders of the Central Michigan Savings Bank. On June 1, 1851 David married Miss Ann Eliza Reed in New Hampshire. The couple would have one child, Edward F. Woodcock. It was on a visit to his son’s home in Minneapolis that David passed away at the age of 77. His body was returned to Lansing for burial at Mt. Hope Cemetery. (SR 11/3/1902 and LJ 11/4/1902)

Coming Soon the Gillett Townhouses

©Lost Lansing 2019

 

729 W. Allegan Street, originally 719 W. Allegan Street. (CADL/FPLA)

I came across an image of 729 W. Allegan while examining images of the house at 735 W. Allegan. In 1981, David Caterino took a series of photographs of structures west of the Capitol that were slated for demolition.[1]The property at 729 W. Allegan was not part of Caterino’s survey, the home was acquired by the state in 1970 and torn down either in 1970 or 1971.[2]A survey of the Lansing City Directories points to the home being built between the years 1884-1887, the 1888 Lansing City Directorylisted 719 W. Allegan as being owned by Joseph R Larose. Just who the architect of the home was is unknown. But one key to who the architect was were the teardrop columns on the second-floor porch an element not seen in the design of many homes. Note how these columns seem almost suspended over their base and how second-floor porch flairs outward.

An enlargement of the first photograph that show the teardrop columns on the second-floor porch as well as the columns on the entrance porch and the columns that frame the second-floor front window.

The home at 729 W. Allegan was an exquisite structure that contained many interesting architectural elements. Observe the front porch columns in the Doric pier style, a characteristic that is repeated on the shed porch at the rear of the home. The front porch is also canted, laid out at an angle from the main structure. The second-floor window on the front of the home is framed by Ionic style columns, they are so delicate that they could be overlooked. The architect used three styles of columns in the design of the home. It is interesting to note the graceful arching of the roof of the second-floor porch and the attractive slope of the dormer over the second-floor window. These elements coupled with the angler structure of the entrance porch, demonstrated that the architect was comfortable mixing angles and curves in their design.

Note the bay window at the back of the home and the fish scale siding on the gable ends.

Joseph Roman Larose was born on May 22, 1850 to Francis Xavier and Leonore (née De Lisle) Larose in the state of New York. Joseph spent part of his childhood in Milwaukee but received his education in Quebec. He was apprenticed as a painter and left Quebec for Troy, New York where he worked for several years. His career as a painter meant that Joseph led a life of travel, he found work in Savannah, Georgia and later Detroit. In 1876 Joseph married Miss Melvina [Malvina] Robarge in Detroit, the couple had three children; Mary Maud, Ervy [Irving] Emerson and Edith Rose Larose. Joseph moved to Lansing in December 1877 to labor with John B. Voiselle on the fresco work at the state Capitol. John was a native of Quebec, so in a way John and Joseph had a common background. In 1879 John and Joseph formed the decorating and frescoers company of Voiselle & Larose. Besides painting and tile work the firm sold wallpaper, blinds, moldings and supplied business signs. Years later Joseph started his own business, J.R. Larose & Company a painting and decorating firm. On September 23, 1909, Joseph died of cancer after a year and half battle against the disease, he was 59.[3]

Normally I do not explore the home after the first owner, but in this case, I made an exception. The second owner of the home was Anna Trostle (sometimes listed as Trostel or Trussel) who acquired the property in 1891. Anna was the wife of Frederick George Trostle, an early settler of Lansing who was one of the few gunsmiths in Lansing. Frederick was born in Germany in 1840-1841 He married Anna Gilbert, the couple had three children, Mattie M., Mamie E., and George F. Trostle. What is interesting about Frederick is that he disappeared. In 1891 Frederick was brought before the Honorable George W. Bristol, Judge for the Probate for Ingham County and the state of Michigan, by Lawrence Price of Lansing to show that Frederick Trostle was insane. The petition asked that Frederick be committed to the Michigan Asylum at Kalamazoo asa private patient. Doctor Joseph Bowdish Hull, who had practiced in Lansing since 1851, testified on October 20, 1891 that Frederick claimed to be the Son of the Supreme Being and his insanity was related to religious subjects. Next, Doctor Alexander McMillen stated that Frederick was insane on all religious subjects and claimed to be the son of the Supreme Being, but on all other subjects he was rational. Doctor D.M. Nottingham testimony agreed with that of Doctor McMillen and reiterated that Frederick was sane regarding all matters outside those of a religious nature. TheDetroit Free Presson November 1, 1892 stated that Frederick ascended the pulpit at Lansing’s Central Methodist Church, on October 30, 1892 and declared himself to be the savior. He was led away by the pastor. The article indicated that Frederick was committed several times but always managed to escape. Frederick was again confined to the Michigan Asylum at Kalamazoo on January 17, 1893, that same year he walked away from the asylum never to be seen again. A death certificate was issued years later with no date. At this time, it is unknown what happened to Frederick. He could have wandered the county as a vagabond and died as an unknown person somewhere in the United States. Part of me wants to think he was happy wandering. Anna Trostle remained in Lansing, passing away at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Mary E. Kuhns on June 7, 1921.

©Lost Lansing 2019

[1]If you want to view the images of 735 W. Allegan visit Local History Online, check the Items with Images Only box and enter, with quotes “735 West Allegan”.

[2]LSJ 10/7/1970

[3]See LJ9/23/1909 and Portrait and biographical album of Ingham and Livingston counties295.