Q. Every day I pass an old, boarded-up building on the northeast corner of Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. and Wagner Rd. Do you know its history?
A. Known as the McCollum-Schmitt House, it was built around 1850 by Stephen Mills, who also built Cobblestone Farm on Packard and the cobblestone Orrin White House on Fuller. This house, which he built for his aunt, is constructed of adobe bricks covered with stucco (at the time, commercial brick was not available west of Ypsilanti). The mud for the adobe was dug on site, pounded into wooden forms, and dried in the sun.
The current owner, who asked not to be named, bought the house twenty years ago as a part of a larger parcel. “If you are 5′ 8″ you are too tall to walk in it–it is a doll house, really,” says the owner. The house has been boarded up since 1967, and without a well, septic system, or heating system, “it would cost a fortune” to renovate.
Got a question? Email email@example.com.