vintage ~~ historic home tour in marshall

A couple of weeks ago a really good friend and I decided to head over to Marshall, Michigan for their 49th Annual Historic Home Tour.  The last time I did this particular tour was in the late 1980s so it was a real joy to be able to do it again…especially in the company of a friend I have known since the 80s.

Since we were coming from different directions we decided to meet up close to Marshall.  I was battling a headache that morning (of course) and realized I had forgotten my sunglasses.  As it was a beautiful sunny day, I knew I wouldn’t last without something shielding my sensitive eyes from the glare.  I wanted the day to be fun and special…not something to just be endured.  So, the first stop was K-Mart.  I don’t even remember the last time I was in a  K-Mart…most of these stores have closed around where I live.  But walking into this one was, again, like revisiting the 1980s–the layout, the smells, all of it reminded of shopping there with my mom as a kid, anxiously waiting to hear where the next blue light special was going to be…praying it wouldn’t be for Traxx sneakers again when I really wanted to wear Adidas.  After snapping out of my reverie,  I found a pair of  Foster Grant’s polarized sunglasses, spent a small eternity in the check out line (do you have any coupons? no….would you like to open an account? no, thank you.…would you like to donate? no, thank you…how about a gift card? no, thank you, but I’ll tell you what I would like..). and was good to go. I was skeptical about these glasses really working well but the minute I put them on, I felt relief (and it didn’t matter that one of the lenses was loose in the frame).  We were ready to hit the trails.

Marshall, Michigan is a gorgeous small town.  When it first came to be, it had high hopes of being the seat of State Government.   That honor went to Lansing instead but some of the grandeur has remained.  If fact, I was told that Marshall is third in the state for having the most homes on the historical record–only Detroit and Lansing beat it out (which means there are many,  many larger towns than Marshall that do not compare).  This prestigious standing makes it the perfect town to have an annual historic home tour.  Click here if you would like to see all the places on the tour.  The following are the places we were able to see:

This house wasn’t on the tour but I was impressed with how their car matched the trim on the house.  Very smart.

I couldn’t figure out how this band knew I was coming.

This house was called a “shotgun house” because you could shoot a gun straight through from the front door to the back.

Hmmmm…this wasn’t on the tour either but I love yellow and green together.

This dude came out of nowhere…I almost missed him with the camera.  He was fast…like the wind.

In the great big house, above, was this little water closet, below.  I am still working through the logistics of this space and how to use it in my mind.

This brick home was built in the 1940s.  The first time we came by to tour it, the line was down the street.  When we came back  a couple of hours later, this is how it looked.

This is their view from the front door:

And this is the view from the back door:

This building/home is the Governor’s Mansion.  Move over Pemberley.

This next one was not on the tour either but I LOVED the yard.

In between touring the homes and landmarks, we had lunch (where I lost my entrance ticket) and visited a few antique shops.  I scored some awesome 1930s dress clips (to be featured in the future),  a strand of faux pearls and an etched mirror to set on my cocktail cabinet:

It was truly a fun day despite not feeling the greatest.  Check out this sky on the ride home:

Isn’t it unreal?  It was such an array of different types of clouds.  I love it when stuff like that happens.

Have a great Monday!


PS  Don’t forget to enter my giveaway!


22 thoughts on “vintage ~~ historic home tour in marshall

  1. I.Want.The.Car

    My imagination is placing me and you in the front seat, driving along with perfectly applied red lipstick and those white silk aviation scarves tied around our hair a la Grace Kelly. We’re laughing and singing old Duran Duran songs as we realize we turned into the old ladies in the YaYa Sisterhood.

    Those old houses speak to me. I’m looking up Marshall stats now. Is there an economic basis to the town?


    • LOL…you had me laughing on the YaYa comment. Economic basis? Not overly familiar but my gut says no. There is a huge new casino near by and a Target warehouse/shipping center–otherwise I have no idea. They are close to Battle Creek (bigger city, somewhat depressed) and not far from Lansing (capital). It is probably one of the prettiest towns to walk around…pride of ownership and history are everywhere along the tree-lined streets.


  2. What a fantastic thing …. can only happen in America, that’s simple so. That tassel guest washroom, how cute ???? If I could chose house .. yellow and green house – that wasn’t in the tour. Fantastic day with a results of gorgeous photos. You didn’t show us your outfit .. ??? How come .. ??? The car is stunning, but no good to me – don’t drive … funny I also use a mirror for my glasses when I have guests, but they are back in the cupboard after being washed. *smile – thanks for taking me there too.


    • No photos taken of me or my friend that day….kind of a bummer, actually. To satisfy your curiosity, I believe I wore a tunic linen shirt in turquoise over a pair of dark skinny pants with sandals and my Baggallini Odyssey bag (in Mushroom). Does that help? : )

      You don’t have historic home tours in Sweden?


      • No …. we don’t have anything like that .. where private homes opens up – if you don’t have a big castle or something – and do for making money. Thank you for the information. We, Swedes like our privacy – don’t think there is any country in Europe that does it – gardens yes, but not houses. Interesting concept – and the French don’t do it for sure. *smile – great post over a great day. Thanks


      • Very interesting. Even our house was on the home tour last year in our community. I didn’t think about holding out for money…; )


      • You know when they have the big castle and mansions they need to .. because they cost to much to run .. same in UK – that parts of their houses opens up. Same with Buckingham Place and the Queen she don’t need any money for sure – still you have to pay.


  3. Wow; really neat pictures! The one of the man on the tricycle is great! Beautiful homes. How far is Marshall from New Buffalo, MI? If it’s not a terrible drive, I’d like to check it out on my next trip to Redamaks!


  4. I do so love older houses; they have so much more character than the modern boxes, though those too can be quite well done if you have the eye. Thanks for the great idea about the etched mirror. I have a serving table that would love to have a mirror like that!


    • Me too…adore old houses. When we were house shopping three years ago we looked at a couple of more modern houses (tried to keep an open mind) but they truly did nothing for me. I hope you find the mirror you need! This one was especially a great find because it is all felted on the back so it won’t scratch. : )


  5. I would have been champing at the bit to tag along with you on this tour. It sounds like a great outing. There’s nothing I like more than seeing inside other people’s houses. What a beautiful little town, it seems idyllic. I cannot leave the house without my sunglasses, even in the depth of winter because wearing contact lenses had made my eyes very reactive to the smallest sunbeam. I squint like someone is trying to blind me with a laser. Very attractive!


    • Bravo to you for wearing sunglasses all the time! As one should. I worked in ophthalmology for years–trust me, it is the wise course.

      Touring homes is always fun…a couple of the guides got a little too wordy about the peoples’ “things” rather than facts about the structure but otherwise it was all very interesting.


  6. A great visit. is a beautiful city. I love this kind of American households, single-family and garden. In Europe, in Spain, mostly live in apartment houses and watch your cities we wonder. I love Michigan, is a great state, I would not mind living there. You always make beautiful excursions, congratulations on your lifestyle.


    • Michigan is a great state…very pretty–the lakes, the woodlands, the dunes, waterfalls, mountains, etc. It kind of has a little bit of everything. But then, there are SO many gorgeous places on this Earth. You live in one too.


  7. Pingback: vintage chic ~~ ballet flats, dress clips and a bordeaux handbag | vintage french chic

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