Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Wilcox House of Downtown Plymouth

Wilcox House in Plymouth, MI

Anyone who has visited Plymouth and taken a tour through the downtown sector knows about the Wilcox House.  It's a larger building trimmed in white and set on the southeast corner of Penniman Avenue and Deer Street.

The home has sat vacant for years and the Plymouth community governing officials have not figured out what they are going to do with it.  Priced at just over $4M dollars, you can look through any list of Plymouth homes for sale and it will become quickly apparent that this house is easily the highest priced property in the area.

Whoever buys it is going to have to be extremely careful.  It's a historical piece and the City of Plymouth is not going to let it get damaged in the renovation process in any way.

The house itself was built way back in 1903 by a guy named William Markham.  He's the guy that originally invented the BB gun.  Apparently, it was a place for him to house his mistress.  Not a bad deal for her I guess

It wasn't named the "Markham" house though.  William eventually sold it to George and Harriet Wilcox.  These two raised their brood of three little ankle biters (Katherine, Julia, and Johnston a.k.a. "Jack") here.  The home is named after them and not it's original owner.

Once upon a time there was a reflecting pool in the side of the yard.  A fountain stood adjacent to it and flowed year-round into the pond.  There was a pergola, gazebo, and some statues stationed intermittently around the grounds as well.  The Wilcox family was fond of different flora and fauna which led them to put in lots of different exotic plants too.

Jack Wilcox was born in this home and lived there for most of his life.  As the guy lived to be 83 years old, that was a fairly long time.  Worried about what would happen in the future to the large stained glass window that was in the first-floor solarium once-upon-a-time, Mr. Wilcox donated it to the Plymouth Historical Museum where it can be seen in the entryway.

Before he died, Jack Wilcox sold the home in hopes that a condo development would be created around it which would shelter it from being torn down and allow it to remain a center piece of the Downtown Plymouth landscape.

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