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How a House, became a Home Again - From Wall Street to Main Street


The need for a permanent site was first expressed in 1874 by William Gregory of Saline. In 1930, Dr. Carl Guthe, president of the Society, stated that "the development and fostering of community memory is the function of the WHS" and "the Society is making definite plans for securing an adequate home for the county's memory." Many locations were considered over the years. The final chapter in our search began in the late 1980s when the University decided to demolish a home at 1015 Wall St. for a parking lot. When current board member Susan Wineberg heard about it, she wrote a letter to the university planner, Fred Mayer, explaining the significance of the house and asking if they would consider moving it.

The original lot on Wall Street was sold to Thomas Peatt by Anson Brown's widow and subsequently sold to Dan Kellogg and Ethan Warden. The rear section of the house was built in 1835 by Dorr, Dwight and Dan Kellogg. The front section was added in 1839 when Charles and his wife came from New York State.

The university offered the house to the city which accepted, then decided six months later that they had no use for it. At that time, Thelma Graves, a board member, suggested to the society president, Karen O'Neal, that the Society try to acquire the house from the University. Through Karen O'Neal's determination, the support of the university, the city's agreement to lease the land, the project became a reality. The 185 year old house is actually the largest artifact in our collection. It is surrounded by gardens that bloom from Spring through the Fall.

On Sunday, June 10, 1990, the Society's first home, the Museum on Main Street, rolled across the Broadway bridge and was set on cribbing, 133 years after John Geddes called for the formation of a society. This house came a long way. Click here to read more about that Wall Street Journey.

The Museum on Main Street

500 N. Main Street, Ann Arbor, MI  48104

At the corners of N. Main, E. Kingsley & Beakes Streets

Open Saturdays and Sundays, 12 Noon-4pm. Weekdays by Appointment

734-662-9092 or email

Gardens on the Museum grounds are always a surprise

Year after year, Master Gardener Lillie Ferguson turns the Museum on Main Street into a kingdom of colors, textures, shapes and scents. There is a garden bench where you can relax and enjoy what Nature bears throughout the year, Fall - Winter - Spring and Summer.. You can also see the 20233 photo gallery below.

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