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Walks & Tours

Follow one of our many self-guided tours including our Historic Homes Walk, Downtown Walk, Capitol Hill Walk, River Walk, Cemetery Walk, Brooks Nature Area, Grever’s Nature Center and Float the Kzoo River.

Historic Homes Walk (3 miles)

Follow the green sidewalk markings around Fountain Circle and north on Kalamazoo Avenue and enjoy Marshall’s historic homes.

The primary walk (1.5 miles) features over 100 structures. It is marked with green dots and continues east on Prospect, south on N. Marshall, west on Mansion and back to the circle. The walk can be extended 1.5 miles by following the green diamonds north on Kalamazoo Ave., Eagle St. and Madison St. Look for the different architectural styles, State Historical Markers, trees and landscaped yards.

The National Park Service calls Marshall “the best virtual textbook of 19th Century American architecture in the country.” There are over 800 structures in the National Historic Landmark District. Explore other streets off the marked walks. Listed below are the addresses of structures along the primary (1.5 mile) walk. The * indicates a State Historic Marker at that location. Also noted are the common names, style, date built and significant trees.

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Historic Homes Primary Route
(Green dots)

  • 305 W. Mich, First Baptist Church (oldest church bldg in city), Religious Gothic, 1851
  • 307 W. Mich, Bailey & Church Drug Store, Italianate, 1866
  • 309 W. Mich, Church-Marshall House, Italianate, 1873
  • 323* W. Mich, Old Stone Barn (Town Hall), Greek Revival, 1857
  • 411* W. Mich, Crary School 1923-72 (Condos), Beaux Arts, 1923
  • 102* S. Parkview, National House Inn, Greek Revival, 1835, Black Locust
  • 416 W. Mich, Sibley House, Federal ca 1840
  • 424 W. Mich, Queen Anne, ca 1900
  • 107* N. Kalamazoo, Abner Pratt House (Honolulu House), Italian Villa & Gothic Details, 1860, Weeping Mulberry & Sousa Dogwood
  • 107* N. Park, Crary-Frink House (Bank), Italianate, 1847
  • 108 N. Park, Greek Revival, 1834, Isaac Crary’s Servants Quarters
  • 302 W. Mich, Service Station, Vernacula, 1925, Sycamore & Magnolia

North Kalamazoo Route

  • 404 W. Mansion, Benedict-Haskell-Perrett House, Federal, 1855, Blue Spruce
  • 318 W Mansion, Baker House, Gothic Revival, 1853, Carriage House
  • 210 N Kalamazoo, Cain House, Princess Anne, 1907
  • 211 N Kalamazoo, Perrett House, Greek Revival, 1850
  • 214 N Kalamazoo, Colonial Revival, ca 1900
  • 218 N Kalamazoo, Carpenter Gothic, ca 1870
  • 219 N Kalamazoo, Tudor Revival, 1928
  • 223 N Kalamazoo, Townsend House, Queen Anne, 1897 224 N Kalamazoo, Joy House, Italianate, 1844
  • 303 N Kalamazoo, Hays-Brooks House, Greek Revival, 1837, Carriage House
  • 310* N Kalamazoo, Fitch-Gorham-Brooks House, Greek Revival, 1840, Carriage House

Prospect Street Route

  • 313 W Prospect, Cottage, 1952
  • 311 N Grand, Church-Frink House, Gothic Revival, 1855, Barn, Copper Beach
  • 225 N Grand, Greek Revival, 1839
  • 224 N Grand, Queen Anne, ca 1890, Barn, American Hemlock
  • 224* W Prospect, Taylor-Schuyler House, Gothic Revival, 1843
  • 215 W Prospect, Italianate, ca 1870
  • 213 W Prospect, Clark House, Colonial Revival, ca 1900
  • 207-209 W Prospect, Vernacular, ca 1965
  • 208 W Prospect, Charles D. Brewer House, Colonial Revival, 1899, Copper Beach, note arch branch
  • 410 N. Eagle, Oakhill
  • 223 N Eagle, Butler-Porter House, Italianate & Greek, 1844
  • 222 N Eagle, Greek Revival, ca 1850
  • 130 W Prospect, Queen Anne, ca 1880
  • 127 W Prospect, Vernacular Cottage, 1920
  • 126 W Prospect, Starr-Church House, Queen Anne, Barn,1898, Hinoki Cypress 125 W Prospect, Vernacular Cottage, 1870
  • 124 W Prospect, Col. H. Cook House, Colonial Revival, 1889, Carriage House, White Birch
  • 123 W Prospect, Clark House, Gothic Revival, 1877 119 W Prospect, Queen Anne, 1890
  • 116 W Prospect, Queen Anne, ca 1880
  • 115 W Prospect, Italianate, 1870
  • 221 Division, Buck-Gesner House, Tuscan Villa, 1858, Barn
  • 216 Division, Kirby House, Queen Anne, 1886, Carriage House 220 Division, Brooks House, Colonial Revival, 1914
  • 224 Division, Myers-Lepper House, Gothic Revival, 1856
  • 301 Division, Classical Revival, 1935
  • 306 Division, J. Dobbins House, Queen Anne, 1895, Mountain Ash
  • 114 E Prospect, Colonial Revival, 1920
  • 115 E Prospect, 2015 (Replaced 1890 home that burned)
  • 116 E Prospect, Bungalow, 1935
  • 121 E Prospect, J. L. Dobbins House, Italianate, 1881
  • 227 N Madison, Queen Anne, ca 1910
  • 302 N Madison, Gothic Revival, 1854
  • 329 E Prospect, Brown House, Queen Anne, ca 1880
  • 225 High, Classical Revival, 1856
  • 219 High, Chastian Mann House, Gothic Revival, 1861, Barn
  • 224 High, Storr House, Italianate, ca 1860
  • 302 High, Gothic Revival, ca1860
  • 410 E Prospect, Queen Anne, ca 1890

N. Marshall Ave. Route

  • 303 N Marshall, Bosley House, Queen Anne, 1887, Ginkgo
  • 302 N Marshall, Tingay House, Queen Anne, ca1880
  • 223 N Marshall, Gothic Revival, 1874, Tulip Poplar (2)
  • 222 N Marshall, Montgomery House, Federal, 1850, Black Walnut
  • 220 N Marshall, Udell House, Queen Anne, 1897
  • 215 N Marshall, Coleman House, Queen Anne, ca1890, American Red Bud
  • 555 E Mansion, Pierce School 1911-73, Beaux Arts, 1911, Sycamore

Mansion St. Route

  • 116 N Marshall, West-Adams House, Gothic Revival, 1865
  • 123 N Marshall, Colonial Revival, 1900
  • 413 E Mansion, Wilmarth House, Italianate, 1857, Native American Beach
  • 410 E Mansion, Queen Anne, ca1880
  • 409 E Mansion, Colonial Revival, 1923
  • 405 E Mansion, A. B. Cook House, Gothic Revival, ca1850
  • 401 E Mansion, Clinton T. Cook House, Queen Anne, 1886
  • 122 High, Pratt-Wright-Brooks, Greek Revival-Cottage Temple, 1841, Sour Cherry 311 E Mansion, Philo Dibble House, Federal, 1856
  • 214 E Mansion, Franke Center, Akron School of Church Design, 1923
  • 200 N Madison, Oaklawn Hospital, “Wolf and Bear” Trees (long gone)
  • 111 E Mansion, Am Museum of Magic Library, Prairie School, 1915, Crabapple
  • 103 E Mansion, Tudor Revival, ca1930120 N Jefferson, AT&T, Greek Revival, 1930
  • 109-111 N Jefferson, Rose Bldg, Vernacular, ca1950
  • 101* E Mansion, Trinity Episcopal Church, Religious Gothic, 1861 (completed 1864) 112 W Mansion, Ranch, 1955
  • 116 W Mansion, Italianate, ca1860
  • 120 W Mansion, Colonial Revival, ca1900
  • 128 W Mansion, Colonial Revival, 1930
  • 135 W Mansion, Queen Anne, ca1880
  • 136 W Mansion, Gothic Revival, ca1860
  • 138 W Mansion, Colonial Revival, ca1915
  • 139* W Mansion, Dodge-Hill House, Greek Revival, ca1845
  • 148 W Mansion, Reed House, Italianate, 1857
  • 200 W Mansion, Presbyterian Church, Religious Gothic, 1872 (the second building)
  • 209 W Mansion, G. Powell House, Queen Anne, 1885, Norway Spruce
  • 210* W Mansion, Gothic Revival, ca1875
  • 213 W Mansion, Hart House, Greek Revival, 1885, Carriage House, River Birch
  • 216 W Mansion, Edgar G. Brewer House, Romanesque Revival, 1880, Ginkgo
  • 222 W Mansion, Wheeler-Casper House, Romanesque Revival, 1893
  • 223 W Mansion, Van Horn-Perrett House, Gothic Revival, 1860
  • 119 N Grand, Vernacular, 1967
  • 302 W Mansion, Allcott-Ingersoll House, Gothic Revival, 1838
  • 310 W Mansion, Queen Anne, ca1906
  • 314* W Mansion, Manlius Mann House, Italianate, 1842
    Back to Fountain Circle

Downtown Walk 1.4 miles
(Red Dots) 1.1 mile / (Red Diamonds) . 3 mile

Follow the red sidewalk markings around Fountain Circle and along Michigan Avenue, the Old Territorial Road. Look for historic buildings, museums, landscaped public areas, State Historic Markers and Michigan Milestone Plaques for 100+ year old businesses, and the Saturday morning Farm Market (May-Oct.). Visit the businesses, shops and restaurants located in historic buildings from the 1800s.

From 1834 to 1838 the first Court House was constructed in West End Park. It was demolished in 1875 when the second court house was built on Green Street. The fountain was a 1930 centennial celebration gift to the City from Harold C. Brooks. It is a replica of the “Temple of Love” in Marie Antoinette’s garden at Versailles, France. Marshall’s section of the Old Territorial Road was named State Street until 1923. That is when the state requested that all towns along US 12 from Detroit to Chicago name their main streets Michigan Avenue. The architectural styles of the downtown buildings include Italianate, Greek Revival, Second Empire, Romanesque, Colonial Revival, and Beaux Art Classicism. In 1860 the unusual and famed Honolulu House was built by Abner Pratt.

Five MUSEUMS along the Downtown Walk

  1. Honolulu House Museum (107 N. Kalamazoo Ave.) The house has a unique combination of Gothic Revival, Italianate and Polynesian influences and was constructed of Marshall Sandstone and faced with vertical boards and battens. The structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Historic American Buildings Survey.
  2. Walters Gasoline Museum (220 W. Michigan Ave.) A fascinating collection of memorabilia related to Midwestern cars, service stations, and the history of Marshall. The museum is housed at the old Marshall Interurban Railway Depot, which was built in 1903. Large exterior wall murals were added in 2010.
  3. American Museum of Magic (107 E. Michigan Ave.) Houdini, Thurstonand Michigan’s own Blackstone are among the hundreds of magicians whose treasures are showcased in this amazing museum. Explore the largest collection of magic artifacts on public display anywhere in the world. The museum also operates a research center in the former Marshall library open to magic historians and researchers.
  4. United States Postal Service Museum (202 E. Michigan Ave.) The largest collection of U.S. Postal memorabilia outside of Washington’s Smithsonian Institution, the Postal Service Museum houses thousands of items spanning the entire history of U.S. mail delivery. Among the highlights are an 1890s storefront post office, a horse-drawn mail buggy, and an original 1931 Model A mail truck that was driven in the inauguration parade of President George H. W. Bush.
  5. Marshall Historical Museum at GAR Hall (402 E. Michigan Ave.) The Grand Army of the Republic Hall was built in 1902 to honor Marshall-area veterans of the Civil War and as a meeting place for its veterans and their sons. It features artifacts from the Civil War, Spanish-American War and the World Wars. The focus of the museum also highlights goods made in Marshall such as the Hinkle Automatic Theater, a marionette and puppet stage created and constructed locally.

Capitol Hill Walk
(Orange dots) .35 miles

The State Constitution of 1835 fixed the capital at Detroit until 1847. In the late 1830s and early 1840s it was understood that along the Old Territorial Road Ann Arbor was to get the university, Jackson the prison, and Marshall the capital. A large area was financed locally and set aside for a Capitol Hill. The Capitol was to face Marshall Avenue where the B. E. Henry Building now stands. A “Governor’s Mansion” was erected in 1839. Lots around the Capitol Square were sold for fantastic prices.

In 1847 the House considered selecting a permanent capital. Twelve towns were voted on and the top six were Lyons (30), Marshall (29), and Albion, Byron, Eaton Rapids and Jackson which all received 27 votes. In a subsequent vote Lansing was chosen by the House (35 to 27) and the Senate passed the House Bill by a vote of 12 to 8. Today you can visit the hill that almost became the Michigan Capitol Complex. In 1971 and 1972 State Historic Markers were installed by the Mary Marshall Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution at each of the 3 historic sites around the square.

Three MUSEUMS along Capitol Hill Walk

  1. Governor’s Mansion (612 S. Marshall Ave.) The Greek Revival dwelling never housed a governor, but the man who built it did serve as Michigan’s third governor. The signature Doric columns were constructed in Detroit and hauled by oxcart to Marshall. Since 1966 the house has been owned and restored by the DAR. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in the Historic American Buildings Survey.
  2. Capitol Hill School (602 Washington St.) The Capitol Hill School is a slice of bygone Americana showcasing education in the days before computers and magnet schools. Located near the anticipated site of the Michigan state capitol, it was built in 1860 and served as a school for 100 years. The Marshall Historical Society- owned museum hosts hundreds of area schoolchildren each year for hands-on demonstrations of the classrooms of yesteryear.
  3. Calhoun County Fairgrounds (720 Fair St.) Michigan’s oldest fair, the Calhoun County Fair, began in 1839. Floral Hall, built in 1860, is the oldest fair building in the state and underwent extensive restoration in 2011. The Old Maple Grove Church was built south of Marshall on L Drive South in 1901 and moved to the Fairgrounds in 2006. Houston (how-stun) School dates to 1836 and was moved to the fairgrounds in 2006. A collection of fair related artifacts is included in the Calhoun County Fair Museum.

River Walk
(Blue dots) .85 mile

Kalamazoo River & Rice Creek

The 0.85 mile self-guided River Walk features five pedestrian bridges, boat and canoe launches, scenic overlooks and wildlife. A great deal of Marshall’s early history was lived along the Kalamazoo River and its tributary Rice Creek. The walk is wheelchair accessible. Visitors are encouraged to practice responsible stewardship of this valuable resource.

Marshall’s River Walk is part of the Calhoun County Linear Trailway System and the North Country National Scenic Trail, which runs through seven states from New York State to North Dakota. Mileages noted are measured from the east entrance at Stuart’s Landing and do not include the side attractions. Numbers below correspond to points of interest shown on the birds eye view guide map.

  1. Stuart’s Landing (0 start) This site was used by Alfred Stuart to launch .his fishing boat. He and Win Schuler loved to fish together. In earlier times, Marshall residents enjoyed swimming, ice skating, and fishing on the mill pond. Frances Stevens Stuart created Stuart’s Landing as a memorial to her husband, a longtime Marshall attorney, judge and sportsman. Today the park features a band shell, restrooms, parking, picnic pavilion, grills, benches, fishing dock and boat/canoe/kayak ramp.
  2. Mill Pond Over ow/Dam (.05 mile) In the spring this area can turn into a raging river race. In 1853 the first brewery in Marshall was located to the south with a cellar carved in the sandstone for storage. In the 1880s a “Barrel House” was maintained in the original cellar by the Eagle Brewery which was located west of S. Marshall Ave.
  3. Ketchum’s Mill (.13 mile) A large axle from the “First Stone Flour Mill” (built 1837 by town founder Sidney Ketchum) can still be seen on the river bank below S. Marshall Ave at the waterfall and dam. The mill was rebuilt following three major fires in the 1850s and finally torn down in 1881. Celebrated escaped slave Adam Crosswhite, who was rescued by more than 100 Marshall residents in 1847, was said to have hidden in this mill before escaping to Canada.
  4. Power House (.22 mile) In1893, the City of Marshall purchased the hydroelectric plant from the Perrin Estate for $17,000. The City built a new dam and added two waterwheel generators and two streetlight arc machines. The current facility produces both hydro and diesel electric power. The last turbine generator was installed in 1928. Diesel power was first generated in 1922. Although none of the original equipment remains, much of the powerhouse and wheel-pit are still in existence. It is claimed that this is the second oldest operating hydroelectric utility plant under original ownership in the United States.
  5. Pagoda/Canoes/Brewery (.3 mile) A beautiful cultural icon was added to the Riverwalk in 2001 when local residents Jay and Karen Larson arranged for an authentic pagoda to be constructed in China and shipped to Marshall. As you stand at the canoe launch, look across the river and see evidence of the Eagle Brewery in the form of a deteriorated cavern and sandstone quarry. Some 10,000 barrels were claimed to have been produced in 1895. A paved pedestrian, bike and rollerblade path extends to the west parallel to the Riverwalk from this point. The City Public Service Building (PSB) to the north has restrooms available.
  6. Perrinville (.4 mile) During the early 1800s, Marshall industrialist Horace Perrin controlled so much of the industry and commerce in this area that it became known as Perrinville. By 1860, Perrin had built machine shops, a distillery, foundry, and flour mill here. In the late 1800s, the Rock River Paper Company was located at this site. Rubble from the industrial past is still visible. The City’s PSB facility now occupies the site.
  7.  “Bums Alley” (.6 mile) The walk extension along Rice Creek under the RR bridge takes you through “Bums Alley.” During the Great Depression, men who rode the rails looking for work regularly stopped here to beg for money at nearby houses. When these travelers would find a free meal they would leave a mark on the curb to indicate to others that a meal had been given out at that location. The large rock “Territorial Road Monument” located in Carver Park was moved from “Bums Alley.”
  8. Ketchum’s Vision at Rice Creek (.65 mile) “What a town I could build here!” Marshall’s founder, Sidney Ketchum, is said to have stated in 1830 while standing at the confluence of the Kalamazoo River and Rice Creek. At this location in 1831 Ketchum built a sawmill and a gristmill the next year. The Pearl St. access area with parking and picnic tables is located just west of Rice Creek.
  9. Sausage Factory (.8 mile) In 1923, C.M. Walters built a sausage factory at this location. From 1924 to 1959 the Sentz and Son Meat Packing Company operated just east of the demolished sausage factory. The steps lead to a pub on Pearl St. and a brewery to the north.
  10. S. Kalamazoo Ave Bridge (.85) West Riverwalk entrance.

Cemetery Walk
(Purple dots)

Pick up a self-guided Cemetery Walk brochure at the entry off Homer Road. Parking is next to the Chapel Building or along the drives in the Cemetery. As you explore this historic site, read about Marshall residents who played an important role in settling the area and in shaping important state and national issues. The Marshall Cemetery Co. operated Oakridge until 1852, when it was taken over by the City of Marshall. The cemetery then covered 11 acres and now includes some 65 acres. Oakridge (1839) is one of the oldest continuously operated cemeteries in Michigan. Oakridge is a beautiful site because of the tree plantings made over a 100 years ago.

Brooks Nature Area

Fields, wetlands, forest, and lake shore are all part of the park’s ecosystem. Some of the hardwood trees along Stuart Lake are estimated to be over 300 years old. The diverse ecology includes waterfowl and many types of birds and mammals. Native prairie grasses and wildflowers have been re-introduced to 88 acres of the Nature Area. Miles of groomed trails await visitors. Hiking, birding, biking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, dog walking and jogging are just a few of the activities available. This 180 acre City Park is located southeast of the Cemetery off Homer Road, in the 1100 block of 18 1/2 Mile Road.

There are currently 2.3 miles of maintained trails within the park, with more being established. The park’s terrain is relatively flat with a variety of habitats to enjoy.

  • Trailhead (0.25 Miles) – This stretch of the trail system extends from the trailhead parking area on 18 ½ Mile Rd and connects to the North Prairie Trail. The trail borders a restored native tallgrass prairie with views of StuartLake. This is a good spot to view sandhill cranes, blue heron, Canada geese and numerous duck species.
  • North Prairie Trail (0.7 Miles) – This trail travels along a restored tallgrass prairie, wetland, and wooded areas. Frogs can often been seen along the trail near the wetland area.
  • Woodland Loop (0.4 Miles) – Shady, wooded areas are found along this loop which borders prairie and farmland. Woodland birds such as the pileated woodpecker might be spotted here.
  • South Prairie Trail (0.7 Miles) –  This trail borders tallgrass prairie with views of StuartLake and mature woods. Take notice of the numerous bird houses and their residents along the way.
  • Lakeshore Loop (0.25 Miles) – Three hundred-year old cherry and oak trees can be viewed along this trail through shady, mature woods. A variety of other forest species are also visible from the trail. Outstanding views of StuartLake are another highlight of this loop.

Brooks Nature Area Facebook Page

Grever’s Nature Center

This 90 acre site was donated to the Marshall Public Schools by the Grevers family. Trails have been established throughout the wooded site. Hiking, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, dog walking and nature study are popular uses. Amphibians are found in Mud Lake, an “Inland Open Fresh Marsh,” and in the “Shallow Fresh Marsh” in the north section. Trees include Oak, Hickory, Douglas Fir, White Pine, Scotch Pine, Austrian Pine, Black Locust, Tamarack and Wild Cherry. The access and parking area is on the north side of Verona Rd. just west of 13 Mile Rd. and N Drive N.

Float the Kzoo River
2.5 miles

Explore the beautiful Kalamazoo River and Mill Pond in a boat, kayak, or canoe. Much of the river looks the same as when the town founders first arrived in 1830. Launch at the public landing east of the Street O Maintenance Garage and venture up the river. Or, launch behind the Public Services Building on the Riverwalk and go down the river 2.5 miles to another public landing at 15 Mile Rd.

Link to Marshall Museums

Link to North Country Trail

 

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