VINTAGE POINT: Our Lady of Sorrows

In 1927, when the top photo was taken, Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church (23815 Power Road, at left) had just started celebrating Mass in the newly built, 125-seat “Little White Church on the Hill.” The Ely farmhouse next door (at right), overlooking Shiawassee Park, was used as a rectory until being torn down in early March 1961, after which the new church was dedicated.

Here’s a close-up look at the Ely house, back when it was used as a home:

Imogene Ely (Bicking), pictured below, lived in the house in the early 1900s.

From the second floor, you could see the whole valley spread out in front of you. Perhaps that’s where she wrote her poem “The Old Mill” in 1908:

Historic photo from the archives of Our Lady of Sorrows. Contemporary photo by Brian Sosnoski. Photos of Ely house, Imogene Ely (at left), and poem are scanned from Farmington: A Pictorial History by Lee S. Peel (pg 40, 139).

VINTAGE POINT is Preservation Farmington’s photo column, featuring an exclusive focus on Farmington history: a look at our city through the lens of time. Look for Vintage Point every other week in the Farmington Observer and Farmington Voice and on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We’ll also keep an archive of all past issues on our website under the Vintage Point tab.

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VINTAGE POINT: Old Band House

A note on this photo from the Heritage Room archives tells us this 1870s Mansard house, once located at Grand River and School Street, was called the “Old Band House.” It stood at the northeast corner of Grand River and School Street, at what is now the park in front of Farmington Place.

Historic photo from the Farmington Community Library Heritage Room. Contemporary photo by Maria Taylor.

VINTAGE POINT is Preservation Farmington’s photo column, featuring an exclusive focus on Farmington history: a look at our city through the lens of time. Look for Vintage Point every other week in the Farmington Observer and Farmington Voice and on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We’ll also keep an archive of all past issues on our website under the Vintage Point tab.

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VINTAGE POINT: Grace Hotel

Grace Hotel in downtown Farmington stood on the north side of Grand River from 1915 until 1965. Grace Insurance Agency, located on that site today, reflects the family name.

Historic photo from the Farmington Community Library Heritage Room. Contemporary photo by Maria Taylor.

VINTAGE POINT is Preservation Farmington’s photo column, featuring an exclusive focus on Farmington history: a look at our city through the lens of time. Look for Vintage Point every other week in the Farmington Observer and Farmington Voice and on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We’ll also keep an archive of all past issues on our website under the Vintage Point tab.

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VINTAGE POINT: Victorian house on Shiawassee

A note on this photo from the Heritage Room archives tells us this Victorian house, once located just west of the Baptist church on Shiawassee, was built in the 1870s by Fred Staman and demolished in the early ‘60s.

Historic photo from the Farmington Community Library Heritage Room. Contemporary photo by Maria Taylor.

VINTAGE POINT is Preservation Farmington’s photo column, featuring an exclusive focus on Farmington history: a look at our city through the lens of time. Look for Vintage Point every other week in the Farmington Observer and Farmington Voice and on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We’ll also keep an archive of all past issues on our website under the Vintage Point tab.

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VINTAGE POINT: Grand River orphanage

This three-story brick building once stood outside downtown Farmington at 34700 Grand River, just west of Oakwood Cemetery and the Hitachi drainage pond. It was built in 1922 by the Methodist Children’s Home Society and was directed by a Miss Francis Knight. The current building dates from the 1980s, although it was built on the same site and faces the same angle.

Historic photo from the Methodist Children’s Home Society. Contemporary photo by Maria Taylor.

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For those of us who get really excited about old maps and photos, here are some “bonus” views. Below, the building shows up on a 1926 Sanborn fire insurance map:

And in an 1930 aerial shot of the town:

Here is the area in 1940 (photo from Oakland County Property Gateway). You can see that the building is still standing:

In 1963:

Another aerial shot from the 1960s:

1980. Looks like it’s gone now:

1990. Now the current building shows up:

And today, as Google Maps shows us:

There—now you know!

VINTAGE POINT is Preservation Farmington’s photo column, featuring an exclusive focus on Farmington history: a look at our city through the lens of time. Look for Vintage Point every other week in the Farmington Observer and Farmington Voice and on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We also keep an archive of all past issues on our website under the Vintage Point tab.

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VINTAGE POINT: Lumber yard

Some hundred years ago, you could buy lumber and coal at the Amos Otis lumber yard, located at the site of what is now Bellacino’s on the north side of Grand River.

See the then-and-now slider here.

Historic photo from the Farmington Community Library Heritage Room. Contemporary photo by Maria Taylor.

VINTAGE POINT is Preservation Farmington’s photo column, featuring an exclusive focus on Farmington history: a look at our city through the lens of time. Look for Vintage Point every other week in the Farmington Observer and Farmington Voice and on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We also keep an archive of all past issues on our website under the Vintage Point tab.

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VINTAGE POINT: Grand River, south side

This downtown Farmington postcard was taken in 1948 and mailed in 1951. The brick building with double front windows, still standing at the east side of The Village Mall on Grand River, was Mac’s Five and Dime. The little white barber shop, just to the right, is now Bead Bohemia. The Kroger, at left, is now The Rocking Horse embroidery shop.

See the then-and-now slider here.

Historic photo from the collections of Les Newcomer. Contemporary photo by Les Newcomer.

VINTAGE POINT is Preservation Farmington’s photo column, featuring an exclusive focus on Farmington history: a look at our city through the lens of time. Look for Vintage Point every other week in the Farmington Observer and Farmington Voice and on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We also keep an archive of all past issues on our website under the Vintage Point tab.

 

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VINTAGE POINT: Grand River residential

This historic house stands at 33712 Grand River, just west of Cass in downtown Farmington. It was built in 1920.

Historic photo from the Farmington Community Library Heritage Room. Contemporary photo by Maria Taylor.

VINTAGE POINT is Preservation Farmington’s photo column, featuring an exclusive focus on Farmington history: a look at our city through the lens of time. Look for Vintage Point every other week in the Farmington Observer and Farmington Voice and on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We also keep an archive of all past issues on our website under the Vintage Point tab.

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VINTAGE POINT: Grand River & Grove

In the early 1900s, residential houses occupied much of what is now retail space in downtown Farmington–like Dress Barn at Grand River and Grove.

Historic photo from the Farmington Community Library Heritage Room. Contemporary photo by Maria Taylor.

VINTAGE POINT is Preservation Farmington’s photo column, featuring an exclusive focus on Farmington history: a look at our city through the lens of time. Look for Vintage Point every other week in the Farmington Observer and Farmington Voice and on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We also keep an archive of all past issues on our website under the Vintage Point tab.

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VINTAGE POINT: Botsford Inn

Farmington Hills’ historic Botsford Inn was built in 1836. Henry Ford bought it in 1924 and moved it back from the road, where it still stands today, surrounded by the Beaumont Hospital complex at Grand River and Eight Mile.

Historic photo from the Farmington Community Library Heritage Room. Contemporary photo by Maria Taylor.

VINTAGE POINT is Preservation Farmington’s photo column, featuring an exclusive focus on Farmington history: a look at our city through the lens of time. Look for Vintage Point every other week in the Farmington Observer and Farmington Voice and on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We also keep an archive of all past issues on our website under the Vintage Point tab.

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