Friday, June 17, 2011

Michigan's Halstead House

The Halstead House today is a cheery yellow, Italianate home with central cupola and white trim.  It was built sometime in the 1870s by Lorenzo D. Halstead, of New York.  Halstead came to the Coldwater area in 1836 with nothing more than a thimble and one dollar to his name.  Over time, he managed to amass a fortune, first by trading and buying furs from the Native American tribes, and then by starting his own sewing business.

In April of 1843, he married Laura Lake, and not long after, began a home building business in town.  The town of Coldwater, which had been founded in 1837, gained city status in the early 1860s after the railroads came through the area.  The presence of the railroad led to a population boom, and thus, Halstead's home building business served the new wealthy citizens of this area of Michigan.

When Halstead passed away in April of 1906, he was credited not only with being the area's oldest living pioneer, but also one of the wealthiest citizens in town, owning more homes and properties than any other.
However, the Halstead House, as it has come to be called, is perhaps the most haunted.  Visitors tell tales of seeing the apparitions of two children.  The children are seen only on the top of the maid's staircase, sitting quietly.  In the 1980s, two antique dealers purchased the home, and spent 8 months, plus $8,000 restoring the cupola, and giving the home a shiny new coat of yellow paint....they were careful, however, not to disturb the ghostly children who made their home there.

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