Visiting the Muskegon area? Be sure to tour the city’s historic waterways, squares, mansions and museums. The City of Muskegon has always been linked to the fresh waters that inspired its growth and have maintained its quality of life. During the lumbering era, pine logs traveled these waters to market, and Muskegon boasted more millionaires than any other town in America.
Lumber partners Hackley and Hume were two of these millionaires that built their fortune in Muskegon. The families built their home side-by-side while sharing a massive City Barn located between the houses. Serving as an architectural bridge between the two houses, the barn housed horses, equipment, and their coachmen, who each had living quarters on the second floor.
Architectural details of barn bridging the two homes
Hume’s coachman’s quarters. Thomas earned $40 a month and Hackley’s coachman making $25 a month. Historians believe the difference may be because Hume had 7 children and therefore his coachman had extra responsibilities.
Built between 1887 – 1889 the Hackley House is a unique example of Victorian architecture and of late nineteenth century interior decorative arts. I have toured many historic homes and each one has something unique to offer. The Hackley House had exquisite examples of ornate Victorian woodworking, stenciled ceilings and a radiator food warmer in the dining room. I’d never seen one of those anywhere! The entryway of the Hackley House has five carved heads, representing the five races of man.
Hackley spared no expense impressing guests with stained glass windows. All are still original to the home.
The entryway of the Hackley House has five carved heads, representing the five races of man. This one represents the Native American.
This radiator-style, cast iron food warmer is not the one in the Hackley dining room, but very similar. It had shelves and allowed courses to stay warm during the meal.
Each of the Hackley fireplaces had ornate tiles fitting to that room.
Carved bat along Hackley staircase
Notice the hand stenciled border and ceiling work. Beautiful
This Hackley fireplace was unique because it was built with split flume in order that he could put a stained glass window above mantle.
The interior design of the Hume House is more open and modern than the Hackley House. Filled with spacious living areas and nine family bedrooms decorated with simple patterns, David S. Hopkins designed the house for comfort and a large family. The Hume family expanded the house after the turn of the century creating a beautiful library, a large dining room with geometric tile flooring, and a sleeping porch off daughter Helen’s room with a terne metal floor.
Hume massive front door and delightful tour guide.
Hume’s windows were less ornate
The Hume house was a typical family home.
Following our tour of the historic homes, we visited the Muskegon Museum of Art to view the North American Indian photography of Edward Curtis. The event celebrates the artistic genius and lasting cultural legacy of Edward Curtis, an early-1900s photographer who followed his dream and sacrificed everything for his art, died in obscurity, but left behind one of the greatest artistic collaborations and photographic achievements in history. In addition to the iconic photographs, the exhibition included all 20 bound volumes of the western Indian tribes, historic objects from Curtis’s life and work, and examples of cultural artifacts represented in the photographs. To view Curtis’ extraordinary body of work, click on the link below: https://edwardcurtis.com/?gclid=CPeax7n5wtQCFYSPswodcvsMZQ
Vacations are never complete without a sightseeing tour! Thank you, Tara, for suggesting these ideas for our outing.