Click for Ann Arbor, Michigan Forecast
Monday February 20, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

Family Secret

 

continued

In 2006, when he was twenty-eight, McCauley and his girlfriend, Andrea Kinney, purchased an old Greek Revival home on Pontiac Trail. They set to work restoring the small dwelling-and McCauley spent hundreds of hours reconstructing the house's history.

A former history major at the U-M, McCauley was, he admits, "obsessive." He sifted through deeds, wills, maps, and census data, trying to establish when it was built. And when he still couldn't pinpoint an exact date, this past January ¬McCauley went into his basement and carefully removed several pieces of subfloor that showed bark edges. He then sent the wood to a University of Tennessee lab that does "dendrochronology"-a process that analyzes tree rings and compares them to trees of the same species, from the same area, whose history is known. The white oak in McCauley's subfloor was compared to a venerable oak from Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills. Four samples in the $500 analysis agreed: 1845.

McCauley wanted to know not only when the house was built but who lived there-so he searched websites for the histories and genealogies of the former residents. "I'm a housepainter," he explains. "This is what I do for brain stimulation." And that's how he uncovered the story of George Spathelf Jr.'s secret family.

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3 l 4  ·  next page
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

Subscribe to the Ann Arbor Observer Subscribe to the Ann Arbor Observer
Map of Community Services - Senior Services Map of Community Services - Senior Services
Today's Events Today's Events
Calendar This Week - Networking & Career Development Calendar This Week - Networking & Career Development
Tropical Smoothies on the East Side - Smoothies... Tropical Smoothies on the East Side - Smoothies...
Crime Map Crime Map
Athleisure at Lole - Arbor Hills doubles down o... Athleisure at Lole - Arbor Hills doubles down o...
That 1 Guy - Magic fingers That 1 Guy - Magic fingers
Map of Restaurants with Senior Discounts Map of Restaurants with Senior Discounts
Magic Pond Magic Pond
spark
custom blinds and window treatments, flooring, and furniture
top of the lamp. All your in home lighting needs.
Holiday Inn Ann Arbor. Comfortable Hotel, a home away from home.
Become of Fan of the Ann Arbor Observer on Facebook
Victors For Art February 18th through June 11th
A visitor's guide to Ann Arbor