2018-01-11 / Front Page

Local resident fighting to save historic home in Flushing

By Sam Tunningley
810-452-2661 • stunningley@mihomepaper.com

The house set for demolition is located at 7305 Gillette Rd. in Flushing Township. The house set for demolition is located at 7305 Gillette Rd. in Flushing Township. Flushing Township is set to demolish a long-vacant home in the spring using their Community Block Development Grant money, but one local resident is fighting to sway the board in another direction.

Jeremy Schuck, 33, said the house located on Gillette Rd. is unique in its historical significance and architecture. Schuck and his wife Casey bought their own Victorian-style fixer-upper on Stanley Rd. and soon discovered it was listed on the National Register for Historic Places. Jeremy, after conducting extensive research of his own accord at the Flint Public Library and elsewhere, found the property was owned by a James Mears.

The house acquired by the township on December 31 through back taxes was home to George Mears around the same time – James’ brother.

The Mears family were celebrated English settlers in the community, evidenced in their obituaries and the unique architecture of both homes, which Jeremy said were likely built by the brothers due to their background in masonry and close proximity to each other. The family came to Flushing in the 1860s.

Schuck also deduced the house was built with sandstone from the Flushing River, with material from a stone quarry a short distance away. In the 19th century, sandstone was used most commonly to build churches, such as the still-standing St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Flint. According to Schuck, the kind of sandstone work on the house is not often seen these days.

Jeremy has been exploring possible avenues to save the house, but he said his inquiries are often met with either indifference from local historical societies or a defeatist outlook from preservationists. He has contacted representatives from the Michigan Historic Preservation Network and Flushing Township Supervisor Frederick Thorsby to discuss the issue.

“It needs a buyer,” said Schuck. “That’s the thing that could save this property.”

Thorsby, he said, has been helpful, and the two have a tentative date scheduled to look inside the house. Still, Thorsby is unsure the property can be saved.

The house sits on 12 acres of land and has a sturdy foundation. Schuck said the biggest issue is a collapsed back kitchen not visible from the roadside. Thorsby said the property has been a recurring point of conversation from the time he signed on as supervisor, and he is open to a legitimate offer to counter the board’s plans.

“One thing is the money,” said Thorsby. “Who is going to pay the money to do it?”

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2018-01-11 digital edition