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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Joan & Ellen's February Walking Tour

Greek revival pediment

We had a problem. Ellen called and said that she had hurt her neck and couldn't go skiing or snowshoeing for a couple more weeks. For her to not be able to ski is like if I can't hike. She lives and breathes to ski. We thought we might have to just have a big pity party.

Just hiking is problematic right now because there is enough snow and ice to make trails difficult. What were we to do? We agreed to just walk around the closest village to her for a while. It's a quiet burg in the winter and we could just walk the streets. Well, she rummaged around and found a flyer for a self-guided walking tour of many homes and buildings. Who-hoo! We were in business!

The detail above is from a Greek Revival style home, built in 1858. It is on the oldest, continuously occupied house in the town. Hey, this is the midwest... nothing REALLY old here.

Queen Anne style house

This was built in 1869 in the Queen Anne style by a Michigan state senator.

Victorian house

This is a classic Victorian home. West Michigan is littered with them because the harvesting of the white pine thrust many men into great wealth, and of course the lumber was cheap. You should have seen this house about 10 years ago. It was a wreck, but a couple have made a valiant effort to restore it. So many of these big homes have just fallen into complete disrepair because it takes so much money to save them.

Victorian pediment This Victorian detail is from another, smaller home from the same era (1890-1910). For those readers not so familiar with American architecture, Victorian style has lots of gingerbread (fancy) trim, towers, and big wrap-around porches.

Stone porch pillarsThis is a local interpretation where a house built around 1890 had this porch added in 1928. The owner hand picked stones from the Lake Michigan beach and spent the next year building these pillars by hand.

In addition to these examples, we also saw lots of "Michigan farmhouses," "Lake Cottages," and two homes that were built from kits ordered from the Sears Catalog in 1929! So we walked around the village (Maggie too), for an hour and a half, and had a great time! I thought I knew this town pretty well, but I really learned a lot!


As I mentioned a couple of days ago, we ended up at Ellen's house. She is part of a group that is quilting a quilt to be auctioned for Hospice. So we did a little bit of work on that (just so I can say that I helped), and then she knit baby booties for a friend, and I worked on Loretta's afghan for a while. No pity in our party at all! So that was our excellent adventure for February.

See for Joan and Ellen's Bowman Lake Excursion
See Walking and Writing Joan and Ellen's December adventure
See Kayaking on November 21 for Joan and Ellen's November adventure


Ratty said...

I really like houses like that. There is a whole little village near me that has houses like that. They turned the whole village into a museum. They do tours on the weekends.

The Oceanside Animals said...

Cool! I miss the architecture from back east -- here everything is in the Spanish style, which is nice enough, but it all looks the same.

rainfield61 said...

I have a few of this type over here. They are now over 100 years old.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful details of the house, and your quilt looks great.

Secondary Roads said...

New England History goes back into the 17th century. It was an interesting experience to leave out beloved and native Michigan to live 19 years in Connecticut. It's good to be home, but interesting the differences between those states. Frankly, I'm glad that Michigan didn't become a state until 1837. The difference is apparent in culture and in infrastructure.

Glynis Peters said...

What a great tour, thanks. The buildings are gorgeous. How lovely that you finish the day quilting together.

Ann said...

Sounds like you had a great time. I love the old victorian houses. There is one near me that was restored a couple years ago and it's beautiful. My dream house :)

spinninglovelydays said...

Sounds like the walking tour was a success. I love going for a stroll to look at houses, especially in the older neighborhoods. It seems like you had a fun and productive day overall. :)

Lin said...

Ooooh, a quilting bee! I LOVE to sit around the frame with the ladies chatting and quilting! I have a huge frame to quilt on, but I don't belong to a bee anymore. :( Maybe you could hike here and come quilt with me.

VanillaSeven said...

Lovely looking house. I love the details of it :)

Sharkbytes said...

Ratty- are you talking about Marshall? That's not really that close to you, but it's beautiful!

Dennis- yeah, flat-roofed adobe haciendas don't speak to me. I'm a girl from the East.

Rainfield- Really?! Built by Europeans, no doubt. I hadn't really thought about that.

Icy- haha! Glad the quilt looks great. It's kind of a joke. Each block is different, and the quilters aren't very experienced. But it was rescued from a garbage can fate by Ellen and will raise some money for Hospice.

Chuck- I love the really old buildings in the East. The midwest always seems young to me.

Glynis- Ellen and I can connect on several levels, so we could rescue a day that couldn't be all outside.

Ann- They are a dream- except to heat!

Ivy- we did have a great time, and that is part of our two-fold goal... other is to get outside together.

Lin- I'm not a great quilter. I don't have the patience for it. You might not want me to participate!

Vanilla- Those were all different houses. But, yes, the details are what fascinate me so much. Pretty soon I'll be able to tell Federal from Georgian without looking it up (I think I've got it now!)

prashant said...

I have a few of this type over here. They are now over 100 years old.

Work from home India

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