15 February 2012

Plymouth: a main street like no other. Part 1

I assisted a group of architecture students and their professors in a design charrette in Plymouth. In their final report with the charrette they said that "Plymouth's main street was like no other, unparalleled in Northern Indiana." I think that they may have been correct. I intend to do a multi-part series on Plymouth's main street, which is named Michigan Street because it is the historic Michigan Road. I hope to highlight some of the best architecture of the street and give you the stories behind the elegant homes that line this graceful tree-lined Hoosier treasure.

The J. C. Capron House (above), constructed in 1900 in the Queen Anne style.
John C. Capron was born in Plymouth in 1871. He graduated from Stanford University in San Francisco in 1893 and started his law practice in 1895. J. C. Capron was captain of Company M, 157th Indiana Volunteers during the Spanish-American War. In 1894 he married Harriet Cullen of Plymouth. Capron was the Marshall County court stenographer for his father, Judge A. C. Capron, during the late 1890s. Capron lived in the home only a short time before it was sold to Clinton and Florence Bondurant. Clinton was born in German Twp., Marshall County, Indiana in 1870. He was engaged in the real estate and loan business and was county sheriff from 1900-1904. He married Florence Field in 1897. The Bondurants lived in the home with their daughters Helen and Dorotha in 1910 and 1920. The couple was still living at this address in 1930.




The former First United Methodist Church parsonage was constructed c. 1889 in a blend of Italianate and Gothic Revival styles. The original owner of the home is unknown but by 1910 it was being used as the parsonage for the United Methodist Church, which, at that time was located at the intersection of West LaPorte and South Center Streets. The congregation constructed a new building in 1914-1915 two blocks south of this home on the same side of Michigan Street. It was used as their parsonage until about 1951. The federal censuses and city directories reveal some of the ministers who had lived here; they include Ernest Wareing (1910), Otto Martin (1920), Robert Ross Shannon (1930), and Richard Blake (1949). Blake was living at the church’s next parsonage near the church in 1953.




In the days ahead we'll continue down the block-stay tuned!

3 comments:

vanilla said...

I very much like this presentation of your home-town architecture. Looking forward to more. Of course, I had to consult a dictionary before I could grasp the initial concept. ;)

Anonymous said...

I think of the tens of thousands of times we walked, ran, biked and drove up and down Michigan Street. Your new series will certainly bring back some great memories. And also make us a little homesick.
Thanks so much!!!!
Pat and Sheri

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful! I hope you are going to have this printed into a book! I remember the parsonage well! Rev. Blake is the minister I especially remember at the old parsonage and at the new parsonage, when it was next door to the First United Methodist Church. Our family new Richard, Ruth, Lynette and Robert very well. What good times I remember back then! Thanks! Marilee (Davis) Johnson