Buildings: Their Story

the Caswell house

Pioneer Solomon Caswell built this home in 1832 on Adams Road just north of Big Beaver Road. Solomon, his children, and grandchildren were the only people to ever reside in the home.

Caswell Scrapbook (2)

 

the Caswell Move

Following the death of Solomon’s grandson William Caswell, the house was sold to the North Hills Christian Reformed Church congregation, which donated the house to the Troy Historic Village. The Troy Historical Society raised $8,400 to move the house in 1968. The North Hills Church now stands on the footprint of the pioneer’s home.

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the First Relocation

The Caswell House was the first historic structure relocated to the Village where it was restored. It is one of two buildings in Troy on the National Register of Historic Places. (The fieldstone farmhouse at the Kresge Foundation headquarters on Big Beaver Road is the other Troy building on the National Register).

 

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the Blacksmith Shop

This small board and baton blacksmith shop was built prior to the Civil War on the northwest corner of Livernois at Square Lake Road. From 1947 to 1972 it was part of Gow’s Little Acre a popular antiques store and gift shop. Much of the business was destroyed by a fire in February 1972.

 

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the Wagon Shop

In 1977 Alex Gow retired, sold his property to a developer, and donated the dilapidated and scorched historic wagon shop to the Troy Historical Society. They raised the money to move it to the Village and restore it.

 

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the Brick Forge

Volunteers built a brick forge and installed a set of bellows that date to the 1700s.  Now over 20 blacksmithing students learn traditional skills and create new art through popular Artisan Arts classes.

 

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the Poppleton School

William Poppleton, a prosperous pioneer owned 1,200 acres in Troy Township. He provided the land on Big Beaver Road west of Crooks Road where a one-room brick school was built in 1877. In 1925 that single room was connected through a hallway to a large addition. When Big Beaver Road was developed as a corporate corridor during the 1970s, well-used Poppleton School was slated for the wrecking ball.

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the Poppleton Move

Saving Poppleton School was a Troy Bicentennial Project. Moving the building presented financial and logistical challenges; because it was too heavy to move across the I-75 overpass and too tall to move under it, the building was carefully dismantled and reconstructed at the Troy Historic Village.

 

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the Poppleton Restoration

Following restoration, Poppleton School became the favorite destination for thousands of children who visit the Village on school fieldtrips each year.

 

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the Log Cabin

The log cabin was built around 1840 in Frenchtown Township in Monroe County.  It was donated to the Troy Historic Village in 1981. This photo shows the cabin on its original site as it was being dismantled for relocation.

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the Cabin Restoration

The original hand-hewn logs were reassembled by City of Troy workers. An original bark-covered crossbeam was also reinstalled. The rest of the cabin was completed with new rough-cut lumber. Perma-Chink™, a flexible sealant for log structures, was also installed.

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the Town Hall

Like many buildings, Town Hall has had many uses. It was built sometime between 1857 and 1872 as Troy Union School at the intersection of Atkins and Square Lakes Roads. After 1932 it became a private residence.

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the Town Hall Move

Robert and Isabelle Moser donated the small building to the City on June 3, 1987. It was moved to the Village that same year.

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the Town Hall Restoration

Many volunteers including boy scouts assisted in the restoration. Because the building resembled Troy’s first Town Hall and Poppleton School had been previously moved to the Village, it was determined to furnish the old school house as Town Hall.

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the Church & Parsonage

The church was built in 1837 by a small group of Episcopalians. It was conveyed to a Methodist Congregation in 1868 and remained their house of worship until 1968 when they built a larger modern church. The ladies of the church oversaw the construction of the parsonage around 1880. Over the years 26 different ministers and their families lived in the house. Between 1968 and 1997 the buildings were owned by an antique dealer.

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the Church Move

The Troy Historical Society and the City of Troy purchased the church and parsonage in 1997. However the buildings were not moved to the Village until August 20, 2003.

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the Church Restoration

The Church was restored to its 1910 appearance, with the original entry, steeple, and historic arrangement of pews and chancel. The Parsonage restorations reflect the same era. Both buildings were restored in ten months were opened to the public on June 27, 2004.

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the Niles' Home

The original 1 ½ story home was built by pioneer Johnson Niles’ family in 1837 on land that is now the southwest corner of Livernois at Square Lake Road. The family added a large 2-story addition within a few years. There is a reference in the 1877 History of Oakland County, plus structural and archeological evidence to support that the enlarged building was probably used as a public house or inn during the pioneer era. Later it became a private residence.

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the Niles Barnard Home

Norman and Harriet Barnard owned the house from 1939 until 2004 when Harriet donated it to the City of Troy on the condition that it was relocated to the Troy Historic Village.  The building was moved on October 2010. It awaits interior restoration.

11-28-15-house at the village

The Troy Historic Village features wide variety of engaging activities aimed at enhancing the appreciation of the history of Troy.

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