Exciting things are happening in the Canton community and we ask that you check back frequently to see what progress is being made on these community projects, which include the Preservation Park project, as well as the Cherry Hill Village Square and the Village Arts Factory.
500 N. Ridge Road
History of Bartlett-Travis House
The early version of this house was a story and a half "Greek Revival" cottage, typical of "2nd generation houses" built in Canton in the 1840's, and was first owned by Thomas and Maria Bartlett. This house was located at the corner of Warren and Canton Center Roads. In this house, they raised eight children. In 1861, the call for recruits for the Michigan infantry came, and two Bartlett boys, John and James answered, along with two sons-in-law. James died from his wounds after one of the bloodiest battles of the war, the Battle of the Wilderness. Bartlett boys also participated in the battle of Gettysburg.
Son George bought the family home in 1867. He updated and modernized it, by raising it a full two stories, adding the Italianate details found with the paired brackets under the eaves, and added the frilly porch on the front; as well as adding the kitchen wall on the back.
In 1908 William and Martha Travis bought the house. They and their descendants owned this sprawling house until the 1930's. The Travis family added the modern "Colonial Revival" wrap around porch onto the house around 1919. Following the sale in the 1950's, the house changed hands several times over the years, and was last owned by Ken Dividock, a local realtor, who donated the house to the Canton Historic District Commission. The house was moved to this site in 1988. Renovation and restoration began in 1994 by local carpenter, Rex Harvey. In 2002 the house was completed and opened to the public.
Today, the house occasionally hosts tours. At this time the Bartlett-Travis house is not available to rent.
Bartlett Travis House Quick Facts
- Original owner was Darius Blackman and the home and property may have been given as a gift to his daughter Maria when she married Thomas Bartlett.
- In 1867 George Bartlett bought the property from his parents.
- William and Martha Travis purchased the Bartlett farm in 1908, their daughter Ella Rowe, inherited the house (and adjoining property) about 1924. She continued ownership until about 1954.
- By 1959, Thomas Myers owned the house. In 1961 Mrs. Thomas Myers owned it and operated
- John Darakijan bought the house in 1975.
- In 1988, Ken Dividock, a local realtor, donated the house to Canton Township.
- The home was moved to its present site at 500 N. Ridge Road in 1989, where it was placed on a new foundation, a new roof and chimneys added.
- Rex Harvey, a local carpenter who specializes in the restoration of historic houses, was hired to restore the house. Restoration began in 1994 and completed in the Fall of 2002.
At this time the Bartlett-Travis House in not available for rent. Please contact the rental central coordinator for other rental opportunities at 734/394-5140 or email leisure.canton-mi.org.
Cherry Hill School
50440 Cherry Hill Road
History of Cherry Hill School
Cherry Hill School was originally located on the west side of Ridge Road, south of Cherry Hill Road, across from the Cherry Hill Church. It was built in the 1830's and was originally a log building. It had a long low stove which provided heat. The building was 21 feet by 24 feet in size. Around the sides were two rows of slabs held up by pegs. The lower row of slabs were seats and the upper row was the desks. Slates were used instead of text books. The small children sat up front, the older children in the back.
In winter the temperature varied and it was often as cold as 40 degrees. Country schools educated the first through eighth grades plus kindergarten in one room. The older children helped the younger children with their studies. Children brought books from home to read, usually a Bible or an almanac, or the used the famous "McGuffy Reader." The school teacher usually lived with several families throughout the school year, the room and board being part of the salary they were paid.
Each of the one room schools were a district unto themselves. Cherry Hill School was "Fractional District 1, Canton and Superior" ‐ which means the district included children within a two‐mile radius of the school, including Cherry Hill Village, and some students in Superior Township. Community activity was centered around the school, hosting spelling and writing bees, dramas and sing‐along's. Church services were held in the building when the temperature outside was too cold. In the summer, the school grounds were often used for community picnics. The present building was built in 1876 ‐ to replace the old log cabin school, at the present location of 50545 Cherry Hill Road. It is an "Italianate" style building, indicated by the decorative brackets under the eaves and the arched window frames. The school is built of "soft fired" bricks, made from the clay soils in Canton, and fired in a nearby "brick kiln" at a local farm. The school is surrounded by old Maple trees, which were planted to celebrate the country's centennial anniversary.
In 1942, Henry Ford and the Edison Institute took over Cherry Hill School. Ford was active in the area with the Ford Farm on Gotfredson Road, and his latest "Village Industry" at the corner of Cherry Hill and Ridge Roads. Ford made $20,000 worth of improvements to the school which added another room, indoor plumbing, a new roof, central heating and a basement. He brought specialized teachers in to teach industrial arts, home economics and music. The children were given medical and dental services through Henry Ford Hospital, and were taken regularly to Greenfield Village. When Henry Ford died in 1945, the school was returned to the local district authority; however, the Edison Institute continued to hold an interest in the property legally.
In 1955, the Cherry Hill School Board voted to "annex" Cherry Hill to the Plymouth School District. The school was to remain open, but by the early 1960's the school was closed, and children were bused to more "modern" schools in the district.
Cherry Hill had several users over the next 20 years before it finally became "dead storage" for the school district. It remained closed and in deteriorating condition until the mid 1980's when Canton Township bought the school back from the Plymouth‐Canton School District, and began renovations. A complete overhaul was done on the building, and in 1988 it was re‐opened to the public for community use. Since then, it has housed many events and meetings and has become once again a focal point in the community.
Cady-Boyer Barn 2021 Update:
On Sunday, May 30, 2021, fire destroyed the Cady-Boyer Barn, located at 500 N. Ridge Road in Preservation Park. Firefighters battled the blaze, which engulfed the wooden building quickly, for over an hour but the entire structure was lost.
500 N. Ridge Road
History of Cady-Boyer Barn
Aruna Cady, son of one of Canton's first Township supervisors, David Cady, built the barn in the late 1800's. However, it is apparent that a large portion of the material in the barn came from another barn built in the early 1800's. Close inspection of the timber posts shows that they were cut prior to the Civil War in saw mills operated by water wheels where the blade traveled up and down, leaving parallel tracks in the wood. Timber cut after the war was sawn on mills powered by steam engines that used circular blades and left curved tracks. The barn still retains much of the original old‐growth virgin timber.
Originally built before the Civil War, this barn was enlarged and remodeled in 1908 by Aruna Cady, son of one of Canton's first pioneering families. The barn was eventually sold to the Plymouth‐Canton School District, and was used as the Rotary School Farm from 1970‐1981. The farm atmosphere taught children about farm animals and the typical life of the ancestors who probably made a livelihood out of farming.
This barn has been moved from its original location at McClumpha and Joy Roads to its present site at 500 N. Ridge Road in 2006 thanks to a generous donation from Bob Boyer, a local businessman and community supporter. Amish craftsmen were hired to dismantle the barn and rebuild it on this site utilizing old craftsmanship and skill.
It was originally thought that Hugh Clyde built and lived in this small white house, which is located on the grounds of Preservation Park. However, Mr. Clyde died in 1831 and the house was not built until around 1845.
Hugh Clyde had received the original land grant for the property opposite the Bartlett/Travis house where the Clyde/Corwin house originally sat.
Because of this newly discovered information, the Canton Historic District Commission renamed the house the Clyde/Corwin house, since Stillman Corwin had lived in the house for over 50 years.