Hickory Street (south to north)  

John Grow House (402 Hickory).  Milford still has a number of surviving Greek Revival houses, built by her earliest settlers, but many have lost the elements that define the style. One of Milford's Greek Revival buildings that retains many of its original characteristics is this story-and-a half wood frame house built by John Grow in 1848.  Grow was one of three brothers who came to Milford in the 1830's and were carpenters responsible for constructing a number of early homes in the village, several of which are still standing.  This house was John Grow's family's home for many years. The house is oriented with its ridgepole parallel to the street, as were many of the very earliest Greek Revival houses.  This story-and-a-half original part of the house has a central recessed doorway with pilasters and side and transom lights.  There is one six-over-six window on each side of the door.  The entablature runs under the eaves and there are return eaves on the gables at each end, with two six-over-six windows above and below in each gable. Both entablature and gable moldings have dentils.  A rear one-story wing was probably original and was raised in 1909 when the house became a two-family home.   A late nineteenth century porch runs along the entire south side, where the entrance for one of the apartments is now.  There is also a projecting bay window on this porch.  An inappropriate pediment has recently been added above the main entrance on the west front.  Inside, in the two parlors on the west front of the house, is found original woodwork, Egyptian Key in the south parlor and Bull’s-eye in the north parlor.   

Thomas Jewett House (424 Hickory).  This attractive two-story wood frame Italianate house was built in 1876 by Phipps, Lowell & Greig for Thomas Jewett, a partner in the Jewett Brothers Foundry on North Main Street.  The house served as the Milford Presbyterian Church's manse from 1911 to about 1949.  The house exhibits a double-leafed front door with a bracketed portico, as well as slender classical porch columns and elaborate moldings on the porch and above the four-over-four windows.  The eaves brackets have apparently been lost.  The original woodshed, kitchen and porch in the rear of the house were torn off and replaced with modern additions.  There is a small original one-story wing on the north side of the house and a story-and-a-half wing on the rear.  Inside, the house retains its original woodwork.  One stairway has been removed.   

Ellis House (644 Hickory).  This charming story-and-a-half American Bungalow was built in 1919 for Perry Ellis, just after he returned from service in World War I.  The wood frame house with cobblestone foundation has an unusual placement of the main entrance on the south side, rather than on the side facing Hickory Street.  The entry features a small porch with a classic pediment.  On each side of this entry are slightly projecting triple windows, surmounted by the same type of pediments that top the small porch. There are hip-roofed dormers on both sides of the roof.  Inside, all the original oak woodwork and floors survive, as well as the original fireplace and beveled-glass closet doors. Another unusual feature is the porch on the west side of the house facing Hickory Street that has an entry from the house but none from the outside.  This porch has a cobblestone foundation also, and a gabled roof.  There is also an original wood frame garage.     

Union Street (south to north)

Methodist Church (212 Union).  This striking brick edifice was the second Milford Methodist Church, replacing the wood frame Greek Revival church that stood north of this building.  This church was built in 1875 and dedicated in January of 1876.  In 1890 a new kitchen, parlor and dining room were added in the rear, the auditorium was enlarged and a large alcove was built for the choir and organ.  In 1908 a pipe organ was installed in the addition.  In 1967 the Methodist congregation built a new church on Atlantic Street and this building was sold to the Milford Masonic Lodge, which still owns it.  The Masons closed up the loft at the east end, installed the wall on the west, and removed the steeple.    The Italianate building features stone-arched entrance doors and stained-glass windows.  The brick tower remains, minus its steeple.  Brick corbeling lines the eaves and gables.  Four window openings on the front have been bricked up.  Inside are the beaded tongue-and-groove wainscoting, the original Romanesque doors on the east and in the upper hall, doorknobs from the Milford Doorknob Factory, the original walnut altar rail and a few remaining pews.  

Bissell House (334 Union).   This house was built in 1880 for Edward J. Bissell, a lawyer who came as a young man to Milford in the early 1870's.  Bissell was heavily involved in the Milford community for many years.  He was a highly regarded lawyer who served as the receiver in the bank failure of 1891.  He was also a partner in a number of local manufacturing concerns, including the Milford Doorknob Factory.  He was also Village Clerk of Milford (four terms) and Circuit Court Commissioner (two terms).    In 1898 Bissell sold his handsome brick house to Lyman Cate, a produce buyer, who added a large "modern" porch in that year.  In 1899 Cate had steam heating  fixtures installed.  John T. Watkins, a local grocer, purchased the house in 1906, and in 1915 he tore down the north entrance porch and built a larger porch of cement  blocks and a foundation of cement blocks under the south porch. Another south porch was removed completely.  Watkins also added a small wing to the back of the house which contained a cistern, pantry-woodshed and a wood-latticed second story porch.  This spectacular brick Italianate Villa, the first Milford building to be placed on the Michigan State Register of Historic Sites, has been described as "the ultimate flowering of the high Victorian style" in Milford.  The house features a Second Empire slate mansard roof, an octagonal two-story slate-roofed brick tower, Italianate bracketing, and a variety of elaborate wood scrollwork above the windows.  There are three porches: an entrance porch wrapping around the west and north sides and approached by a cut stone walk, a side entrance porch on the north and a porch on the south side of the front tower which has no access from the outside.  The double front door features beautiful ruby etched-glass panels. Inside are found the original interior shutters, splendid woodwork, heavy sliding doors between the sitting room and the parlor and between the sitting room and the dining room and a fretwork arch between the dining room and the back parlor.  Plaster ceiling medallions are found in the parlor, sitting room, dining room and foyer.  The fireplace in the dining room is painted and marbleized metal.  The foyer inside the front door leads to a graceful curved staircase to the second floor.  It is probable that the house is a "pattern house" since it has a twin in Watrousville, Michigan.  Though the two houses are no longer identical because of the alteration of the porches on the Bissell house and the additions, early pictures indicate that they were almost identical when first built.  By the 1960's the house had been very badly treated and the last owner, Charles Fisher, planned to demolish the house and build a gas station.  When the Village Council rejected his plan he sold the house to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Craigie in 1968.  The Craigies spent ten years restoring the house to its former grandeur.  It now serves as offices on the first floor and an apartment on the second floor.   A recent fire (Nov., 1996) did much damage to the rear of the building and water damage inside the house.  The house has been repaired and restored.    

First Street  Methodist Parsonage (308 First Street).  This brick Italianate cube house was built in 1865  by William Gordon, a house carpenter. In 1867 he sold the house to the Methodist Church and it was used as their parsonage until 1920, when a new parsonage was built at 218 Union Street, next to the Church building.  The house is a two-story brick cube with a one-story wing on the south.  Both upright and wing are hip-roofed, as is the porch on the front of the one-story wing.  The four-over-four arched windows have brick trim above.  The front entry on the two-story upright is in the recessed Greek Revival style with side and transom lights and the original door.  It can be presumed that the house was built with bricks from the Sherwood brickyard west of the village.  A new brick one-story wing has been added to the back of the house

East Street  

Rice House (314 East Street).  In 1930 Ralph Loehne of Pontiac built this attractive house for Mr. and Mrs. Claude S. Rice.  Mr. Rice was a partner in Rice & Reid Appliances and later worked for the Carpenter Chevrolet Agency.     The house is a two-story brick veneer structure in the popular Tudor Revival style.  The house features a front gabled entry with an arched doorway, simulated thatch on its roof and three small windows, and a projecting rear entrance.  Both entrances have brick and concrete stoops.  The second floor front has imitation half-timbering and herringbone brickwork with wood clapboards above in the cross gable.  Casement windows are found on the lower south side, the front and the upper north side.  There is a brick chimney on the south.   

Summit Street  

Hibbard Tavern (115 Summit Street).   The Hibbard Tavern, listed on the Michigan State Register of Historic Sites, is one of Milford's oldest buildings, probably the second oldest still standing in the Village.  Built sometime in the mid 1830's as a home, it served as a stagecoach stop on the Pontiac to Howell Stage Line from 1845 to 1860. The home is situated on what was a 40-acre United States government land grant dated in 1835, originally held by Aaron Phelps, Milford's first postmaster, distiller, miller and the person who platted most of North Milford.  Phelps sold the property to William Hebbard and his brothers, Alvah and Ira, in 1845 and the Hibbard Tavern was opened at that time.  These three brothers, with their brother Sterling, were much involved with the development of Milford in the 1840's and 1850's. (The difference in spelling between the Hebbard Brothers and the Hibbard Tavern results from inconsistencies in its spelling in the records.)  The structure, when first built, included the neighboring house on the east, which was separated from the west end of the tavern and moved to its present site just east of the tavern in 1861.

 The house is in remarkably original condition.  It is possible that the flush-sided porch, typical of stagecoach inns of that time, extended the full width of the building at one time, but the east end must have been enclosed very early because it contains the greenhouse room that was used to grow vegetables for use in the tavern kitchen, and a small sleeping room.  A wing was added to the kitchen in the 1970's with such sensitivity to the character of the house that experts have been surprised to discover that it is not an original part of the building.  A wing has been recently reconstructed on the west end to replace the one that was removed (as previously mentioned).  This new wing contains a bedroom and a bath.  At the time of this reconstruction the eyebrow windows in the front entablature were discovered and re-opened.    The story-and-a-half building features the typical Greek Revival return eaves, entablature with eyebrow windows, six-over-six windows and front porch with square wood support pillars.  The original woodwork is found both inside and out.  The back wall of the porch is faced with flush boards and has the two doors typical of stagecoach inns, one for ladies leading to the parlor, and one for gentlemen leading to the taproom.  Inside is the original woodwork, as mentioned above, and the steep enclosed stairway leading to the low-ceilinged upstairs bedrooms.  A dormer has been added in the roof at the rear to give more headroom.

Milford Historic District Key Historic Landmarks (Continued)
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