Anyone who drives through Marshall instantly notices the architecture. Not only the Victorian houses that have been preserved, but also the quirky home designs and centennial farms.
The Home Tour gives you a chance to see behind doors and learn the stories Sept. 9-10. Here is everything you need to know before you visit the City of Hospitality:
Is it about history or is it about design?
The tour is about both! This year’s tour features farmhouses.
Stroll the gardens of the Lazar Home on 15 Mile Road and you might spot a peacock. Meet the animals of the Banfield Home. Linger on the porch of the bright yellow Wirtz Home. Find out the history of Villa on Verona, a home that is now a bed and breakfast. And it wouldn’t be a farmhouse tour without an antique barn, like at the Riggs Home.
There are seven houses, and three of them are Michigan Centennial Farms.
What is a Centennial Farm?
To qualify as a Michigan Centennial Farm, there has to be 10 or more acres that have been used as a working farm and owned by the same family for at least 100 years.
The program is run by the Historical Society of Michigan and thousands of farms have received the designation.
Anything else to see after the houses?
Check out one of Marshall’s many museums: the Honolulu House, the Marshall Historical Museum at the GAR Hall, the Capitol Hill School Museum, the Governor’s Mansion, the U.S. Postal Service Museum and the Walters Gasoline Museum.
There are fun items to find in the museums, such as author John Bellair’s bicycle, a diamond mirror and some of the first stamps.
Artists from all over will congregate on the lawn of the Honolulu House for a juried art show. Nearby will be the Vintage Market, if the tour inspires you to go searching for antiques (you should also check out Amazing Grace Antiques).
Every year, the tour also features a non-home building. This year it’s St. Mary Catholic Parish Church, which is easy to spot with its distinctive red brick.
Can I dance at the Honolulu House Ball?
Yes, anyone can dance at the ball for free. Located in front of the Honolulu House from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, historical reenactors party like it’s 1865. Don’t worry if you left your hoop skirt at home – street clothes are just fine and you’re invited to join in the festivities.
There are some traditional waltz type dances and also lots of square dancing, where you can follow the crowd and the caller tells you what to do. People of all ages and abilities participate. They’ll serve lemonade, water and cookies.
Where should I park?
It’s different this year – there is no shuttle. The houses are spread out, so plan on driving yourself to each site. Driving and parking maps will be included with the ticket.
Your ticket is good for both days, by the way. If you don’t have time to see everything on Saturday, you can come back on Sunday!
Where should I get food and drinks?
If you want to eat in the historic dining room of Schuler’s Restaurant, which has been in service for 100 years, then we recommend calling for a reservation now. Winston’s, the attached pub, is first-come, first-served.
Go back in time with an old-fashioned root beer float at the Hi-Lite Drive-in.
Speaking of ice cream, True North is getting people talking with its unique flavors and alcohol-infused ice cream. It’s all homemade.