Tour of the Ford-Bacon House
Welcome. To the fort bacon home at the corner of Biddle Avenue and Vine, Wood Street in Wyandotte Michigan. This. Structure is listed on both the national and state Register. Of Historic, Places, the. Queen Anne style mansion, has many of the atmospheric, trappings, of a baronial, manor it. Was built by the Ford family who made their fortune, in the plate-glass industry. And came. To Wyandotte to establish, the Michigan alkali, Company which, continues, today as, BASF. Wyandotte. Built. In. 1897. Ninety-eight on four city Lots, the, house has eight bed bedrooms, six, bathrooms, two. Parlors. Pantries. A, library. And a billiard room and seems. A living at, abdication. From, that board game Clue. Designed. By detroit architectural. Firm of malkinson. And Higginbotham. The. House has 27. Rooms 11. Fireplaces, and. 5,000. Square feet on each of its four levels. The. Tip typical, of the point and style, the, building has an asymmetrical. Facade, wraparound. Porch. Dentals. Classical. Columns bay. Windows. Leaded. Windows, monumental. Chimneys, and, originally. A slate roof the. Stately structure, is graced with oak panel rooms, built-in. Bookcases. Imposing. Fireplaces, in. A stained glass window, there. Is a dank cellar with a cistern, that has not seen the lay of days since anyone can remember a number. Of cobweb, nokton, nooks and crannies, that are seldom disturbed. The. Upper regions include a tower ascending, to a fourth level an enormous. Addict, with rafters, vaulting, so high it's difficult, to see the peak, the. Roof displays, a gothic, landscape, of Gables dormers, finial, lightning rods soaring, skyward, skyward. To, life. Like owls, perched, like gargoyles. Peering. Down from the heights all. Of these features sparks, speculation. That the is haunted, but. Other than a few creaks, and groans the. Old house keeps his secrets to itself. Let's. Take a tour of the fort bacon, home and see these and many other features in discover how. A wealthy, family lived, in Wyandotte at the turn of the 20th century, well. Welcome to the board bacon home since. 1942. This has been the public library, in Wyandotte. Originally. Built by, the Ford, family and. One. Of the four daughters was, Mary Ford who, married mark, bacon, and this house was given to her. As a wedding present in. 1905. The Bacon's moved into the house and, it's the name for bacon house you. Can see the elevator over here this was added in the year. 2007. And. So. It was one of the newer things that, this. Was a small garment in the earlier days and.
To. My left here it was which. Is now the more. Modern additions of the library, used to be their backyard. We're. Standing on what was the, back porch to, the mansion. And let's, go into, the house and take. The tour. We're. In green Holloway first floor in the vacant house. Mr.. Bacon always. Arranged. For fresh flowers, to be up in this hallway and it was a coach over here and. On this little side hallway, which will uber in here I want to point out this piece of furniture this little display cabinet, this, is the only piece of furniture left, from, the bacon, family, in the. Entire house when they moved to California they. Took their own furniture. With them and. This, side, door here. On. The outside there used to be a, caring, of brick, arch. Carriage. Port so, that the carriage or later the car moved. Under. A. Partition. There the projected, amount of the rain they, would step up the steps and into the house and like. Most families the, family usually use, the side entrance rather than the main door. And. That will go into the, next room which was the library, of the house we're. In the library now. And as, you see one of the nice features is, are letting leaded, glass full cases, that buying both sides of the room a, built. In a letter, writing desk and, if. You will, see from the picture on top there, President. Clinton, sitting. At that desk when. He visited the library in. 1996. He. Stayed here for three hours in. His speech out front to a few thousand, people and. It was quite an experience to, to. Witness. The. Preparations. And the visit. One. Of the more notable days. In the history of the library and another. Feature that can't be missed is the fireplace. You'll. See that. Of. All the eleven fireplaces, in the house they they have a completely, different look as far as the mere that fire, the mantles and. This, was used mostly, by mark bacon, a place, to read, or study after, dinner that will go into the, dining. Room of the home most, of the wood, in the first floor of the house is oak however, this room is mahogany, it, would it was featuring, with a silver trim back when the family lived here there's. A nice, built-in. Buffet and. Mirror, and. More. Leaded, glass, bookcases. And even, the windows over there are. Upon. Leaded. Glass. And. That one feature here you can see that this is this is a working, building now not a museum, we. Have. Activities. In this room craft, building, activities. Projects. Going on here all the time and. So you will see that it's not designed to, look. The. Way that it did when the family, lived here but rather the. Needs of the 21st, century. This. Is the butler's pantry it. Connects the kitchen to, the dining room, one. Picture I wanted to show it is I passed through this door slides up and. Someone, in the kitchen slide, food. Or dishes. Through, to. The, servant. Who is going to present. The food to the. And, here, we, have a. Cabinet. Which it has a little special, feature you note you may note that the, shells. Are, metal and underneath. Is a radiator, this. Would be a plate warmer, or a food warmer. To. Keep. Things in preparation, before bringing them out to the table a. Small. Pantry, off, the kitchen is, the. Location. Of the icebox, this. It goes all the way back to the wall there so you have two large. Panels. On either side and, in the middle a smaller. Door this. Door was a size of. An ice block, the. Ice. Would, be cut on the Detroit River stored. In a warehouse near. Oak. Street and an. Ice man or some Dougy Ice Man would deliver. It to the outside of, the, bacon house there was a metal, stairway. That the ice men would mount and, a. Similar. Where, door in the outer wall, he. Would slip the ice, into. That this container, here, and. That's, delivering, the ice without having to come into the home and in. Here, the compartments, very thick doors. To keep the cool in, this. Is no electricity. Back. In the 1897. And. A. Large compartment. With. Playstyles. To. Store the food. We're, going to kitchen and the. Synth. The cupboards are all fairly. New it's, a matter of functionality. The old ones were needed. Replacing, to operate, as a as a library, and. But, I want to point out where the minor still, is we. Have a picture of. How. Things looked in the early 1950s. With. The old stoat suit still, seen, in the background and if you look, up you can see where the plate. Is high, of a high on the wall where the stovepipe used. To exit. And. Over here in a corner, there. There's, a faint outline of. A door that, would be a utility door, where. The deliveries. And to take the trash out of the house, that's. Long, gone when, they built the new addition. In the backyard, in 1962. This, is the parlor, and the front parlor of a home. Essentially. A living, room, and. One. Feature I invited to play out of the three windows bay, window type of area. Not. Only does, the wall curb but each piece of glass is curved glass to, the. Family, the, Ford family was part of the, plate. Glass industry, and they. Owned their own glass, company, so they could afford to buy custom. Made glass. And. Have it himself. This. Room was and then this used to be the Reference Room in, 1940s.
50s And, early 60s. We're. In the billiard room now and. In. The early days they had a billiard table in here later, I this was the children's room this room. Was. For, many years the children's, room it if anyone came to the library in, the 1940s. 50 60 s one. Feature will just kind of unique to this is the built. In book racks which, are more. Than that there is a space for the cues to, fit in here you can see the circular. Part at. The bottom and where. The key would stand up and finish up here at the top. There. Is a fireplace, the, only fighter place which is no longer in view is behind this bookcase. We'll. Be seeing we, singing, and we'll be seeing some other fireplaces. Throughout the tour. All. Of these books. In this room which is about a couple thousand, were donated, by Mack Schwartz, max. Was a, history. Buff he was a veteran a Navy veteran and he. Gave us all these books which featured military, history. Americana. American, crafts like kin smithing, and muzzle welding a sort, of thing and, he also delegated, real, Civil, War artifacts, to us as you can see in the display case there a couple. Of Union hats a bayonet. Some. Bullets, and, Powderhorn. And some other some. Other items are all genuine, from. The 1860s. And. Now. We'll move on to the next spot in our tour the. Main entrance, to the home on, Biddle, Avenue. You. See it's a heavy oak door with, leaded. Glass on either side, and. If, we open it up and look at the vestibule. You'll see that there's, mosaic. Tiles. We're on the front porch of the house and. On. My left is federal Avenue. A seating, area which, the although. That's not original furniture. The family, use, this area for the same purpose and, for. Some years it was a screened-in, porch, on this section the. Cork to actually wraps around on, the middle, bioethanol. Site in, those. Some misses. This. Room across. From the front parlor is. Called the reception, them mark. Bacon was a lawyer and a, politician, and. This. Is where his clients, would wait for him if. You can see there's a yet, another bay window, configuration. Here you'll see others throughout the house as, we go along and over. Here in the fireplace, this, is the largest fireplace, in. The house it's. Really quite a mammoth, and. A, window seat in the corner kind. Of a nifty feature about faces, that has storage, in it so. Something. That I'm sure that the, kids. Would play with the bacons have two young stones. In. This house you're. Gonna see this a very, grandma. Main, staircase. How. The. Banisters. Spiral. At, the bottom. And. At least up to a. Landing. With a beautiful. Stained-glass window, we're. On the second floor now this, is the top. Of the main staircase and of. Course the beautiful stained-glass window. That. Had to be sent out for renovation, about 20 years ago but. It's holding up nicely now and, if, you notice the light fixtures, on the walls here. You'll. See the electric, light bulbs. To them but, at the top something that looks like a candle, that's actually a gas jet, when, they built the house 1897. Electricity. Was fairly, well established by, them but they chose to keep the older, lighting. Method of gas, whether. That was for. Nostalgia. Or. Convenience. Or as a backup to. Electricity. Which was maybe not quite as reliable, back then we, don't know that. They. Had the two systems together, we're. In one, of the six bedrooms, on the second floor this. Would be the bedroom that, a house guests, would stay in it. Was decorated, with for, invasion family. Heirlooms, and photographs, you. Can see a very pretty image of the fireplace.
That Exists, in this room very cozy, and over, here on the wall, is. A. Button, that could, be pressed and a, servant, would know, to. Come to this room and see, what the, person wanted, the. Servants. Call box was in the kitchen and. It. Had a little dial something, like a combination. Doorbell, servants, call box it. Would ring and it would say North Chamber and the servant would know to go to that room. This. Is yet, another. Bedroom. On the second floor in. The early days East may have been the. Family's. Master. Bedroom, and. Later they moved to the back of the house you. Have to consider that even in the early days before automobiles, were popular, but. Allowed many who carried a lot of horses. And wagons, which were quite noisy and, even. The trolley lines, the. Grand on middle, Avenue were very noisy and, it. Was probably a. Lot, of smell, from all that traffic to. This. Room now as used as a meeting room and it displays a lot of the Ford and they can fend the history including. Genealogies. Pictures. Of. Mark. And Mary bacon, and. Other. People. Including, Eloise, Fagan who was the aunt. Heloise. Faden. Moved. To, California never. Really lived in this house but visited, often she, moved to California and. Had. A mansion, there near the Pacific and. Today. Oprah, Winfrey. That, mansion. The. Bacons themselves. Eventually. Didn't move mark, died in 1942. And. Mary. Moved. Permanently, to California, about that time and donated, the building the. Whining had public schools to. Be used as a public, library, and, we. Were connected, this library was connected, to the schools until, about. 1994. When. It became an independent or. What they call a district, library, in. This room there's some lots, of interesting, photos related. To the library, or the family, here, is a picture of the construction. Of the library, edition in 1962. And you. Can see the back of the mansion, the tower of looking like a. Four-story. Tower should. And a, lot. Of construction, in the backyard, which is being dug up even. Here the. Service. Entrance, to, the kitchen which I mentioned earlier you, can see that from the outside looking, in. And. Looks. Like a, 1959. Or 60 Chevy here, and. Down. Here is the. Vacant. Houses seen, from Biddle Avenue and one thing I want to point out here well, actually a couple of things the. Carriage. Porch that I mentioned, earlier, brick. Structured, that. The car could just come, in and park, underneath and be protected, from the weather, but. Also here, and it might be hard to see but, perching. Above, these. This dormer, on the top floor, are, two gargoyles. Those. Gargoyles, are. No longer there and we don't know what happened but whatever it was it was many, many many decades ago that they, they. Lost track of them, one. More thing a very nice, picture this. Is. The. Chauffeur, of the bacon family. Coming. Out of this Ford vacant house in. A. 19:10, Winston. Automobile. And. In the background the. McNichol. Home which is the, present, home of the. Wyandotte Museum. The. Third bedroom on the second floor, another, unique looking, fireplace. And. This in the early years was. The bedroom, for one of the. Four. Daughters, saying, a two daughters, Mary who married, mark bacon and Luke. Laura who, married, George McNichol. And. For. Her wedding gift Laura, got the McNichol. House which is now the museum and, Mary. Got this house before bacon. All over. Here. Are. A, lot, of old, several, card, catalogs, which some of you may be familiar, with, at. Least in the movies and nothing else. Nowadays. Of course computers. Do the same job but, today. We use these or local, history, if. Your breakfast is especially good if your family, is a longtime why I got family, we. Can look up if their name ever appeared in the newspaper and. A. Lot, of people use this thousand. People every year probably uses, the. Do genealogy. Love in history even. Sometimes, we get, you. Know police. Doing research on various things and. More. Of that year. Thousands. Of tens of thousands, of names and. Since. 1995, instead. Of the, old-fashioned. Card catalogues its, computerized.
And So, those. Names, and events and anything. Note that, we want to record for the history it's. Now looked, up on the computer a, fourth. Bedroom on the second floor and. Again, in the early years one, of the. Four. Daughters had, this as a bedroom now. It's again another, local. History room we, see the two. Microfilm. Microfiche. Reader printers. And. This. Cabinet. Contains. The. Old newspapers, from Wyandotte on microfilm, from. We have them from about 1880. To, the present. Not. Only are the old papers recorded, but even last week's news journal would. Be recorded. Eventually. Microfilm. And available, for research, so. If you ever appeared, in newspapers. You. Might be recorded. Here in our local history remember, and. Over here goes, back to the days when the family was there a beautiful fireplace. And, sitting, area a. Fifth. Bedroom on the second floor and, as you can see by. The desk computer, computers, printers and all the, paraphernalia. Of a working place not. Just an old home Museum. The. This. Is one of the lighter rooms. In the house and, we believe that the family. Uses it as a master, bedroom in the later years and. It. Faces the river. On the on. This side to my left so. That in the, morning it's really a beautiful room. With a Sun streaming, and. This. Is the sixth bedroom on, the second floor and. You. Can see the fireplace, in this room is miniature. This, was a nursery, when. The two bacon, boys were very young, and. Even. Before that though, when. The grandfather of a family came, JB. Ford, he. Was given this room, yes room, he. Was the one who, made the family fortune, and although, he never lived in Wyandotte. When. He came here I'm sure they took good care of it and attached. To his room was. A little sunroom. Over here, which. Has a great, view of the river let's go in here for a minute this. Is the sunroom, attached. To that sixth bedroom and, even, though it's been raining most of the day the Sun is out now they demonstrate, how, bright and cheerful this little, room can be. There. On the third floor now in this room is called a cedar room, because. It's, not. Only are the cabinets. Made of cedar but. So are the walls and, the ceiling so. So autumn, season clothing, would be stored here right. Now of course it's, just used for storage, a lot of library, programs, and seasonal, programs, and. So. It's a little cluttered but. It. Has still, a great view of the river of, that, window and this. Room is directly below, the, open air tower. Sometimes. People refer to our tower as a bell tower no and then nope no Bell has never been there it's, an observational. Power the, family used it to, catch a cool breeze on a hot day and to just, observe the river traffic let's. Go up and have a look. We're. In the tower right, now and, it's essentially. One storey higher than the attic it's. An open air to order by, all four sides are screwed in. We're. In the, third floor one, of the two servants, bedrooms, on this level and. One. Thing I wanted to point out to you here is, to speaking to in the wall so. If, a servant in the kitchen. Wanted. The servant up here to come down and help with something or ask them a question they, would. Move. Right in up to the speaking tube and. Essentially. Shout, out what they wanted and. The. Person, up here we have their ear to this tube so. It's an intercom no electricity, just voice. Traveling, through a tube and, they. Would communicate with each other, we're. In the attic now it's an enormous attic. With, plenty of room mostly, they use it for storage, some. People think this was a ballroom at one point but probably, not, but. There well there is a unique feature to this room and that is here.
It Is a structure. Built out of wood which, was added a little bit later maybe in the 20s. It's. A photographic, darkroom, one. Of the bacon boys was an amateur photographer, like. To get into developing, his own photos, and, and, behind. This window here is a sink, and. You're. Also, able, to close off the entire area to, create, a darkroom for, this process. Again. In the Attic I want, to point out all of this Hardware, this equipment, there, have air. Handlers, ventilators. And all. Kinds, of stuff it's, amazing how much equipment. They took to create geothermal. Heat and. They. Done about 20 wells. In our side yard, and, they. Went down several hundred feet and they. Dug up many, trenches, in the side yard in, order to, connect. The piping necessary. To bring heat. From from, under the earth into. The library, so that we're not dependent, on natural gas or any other way. Of outside, heating. We're. In the basement now really, it's an unfinished cellar, and kind, of creepy but, here's, one feature I want to point out this, manhole, cover is, the. Entrance, to a cistern, which is a chamber. For catching rainwater. And. It, was diverted, to it's a tank down there and of. Course it would not be used for drinking but it probably, was used for various. Apollo. Washing. Of surfaces, or, maybe. Watering, the, lawn it's, hard to say but, they. Had in sort of a natural a, rain barrel kind of situation, with the system again. In the cellar this. Is the laundry room and. Probably. The most unique, feature here, is, a clothes dryer. 1897. Style, as. You can see it's a large structure, what. Would happen is if this black box on the side, the. Fire would be built with, colpal or coke which is similar to following, a little cleaner and. The. Heat would be child into, this chamber. We. Have. An. Area to hang close and. You see it has many, of these pull outs, which. Are you're, able to hang, clothes over, in fact these. Things extend, out so far that even bed, sheets can be put on these and dried. In the, wintertime or inclement, weather and, over. Here in the corner we, have. A, baler. This big iron, piece, that. Looks, like it's. 100. Years old in fact is over. A hundred years old and the Bing, alert of course if we're not on a farm out here the baler was used as a trash compactor and, it. Was a manual. You can see the large hand crank on the side and. What. Their trash would be eventually taken away but they. Had. The ability to compact, it historic. For a while and. One other feature in, the laundry. Room is a servants, restroom. Of. Course, the servants would not use the same bathroom as. The. Masters, of the house in. The summer in the front room we have a curious, foundation. You can see it's rock as. It moves around in, a semicircle, and, we. Believe that's actually a remnant. From the first, house which was on this location, and that. House was moved, when. This was built in 1897. I'll, feature the outside, of the house I'd like to point out small. Wooden, door here and, it's, the entrance, to, the other side of the wraparound porch. So. Confidence. They. Of course had to search all the grounds, for, any. Hazards. Planted, bombs or any other hazards, two, Secret, Service guys had. To take off their jackets put. Overalls. This. Slimy. Pathway. To make sure that all is clear.