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.