Charles Christopher Trowbridge, the mayor of Detroit in 1833, built the oldest building Detroit in 1826 on a site that was previously known as Mullett Farm. It wasn't until 1976 that the house was put on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally, the abode was built in a Greek Revival style, but was transformed over the years with Victorian elements. In c. 1899, Trobridge's daughters also removed the east side of the house to make room for the property located at 496 East Jefferson Avenue, reported Wayne State University. After Trowbridge died in 1883, the house was converted to a rooming house in 1936 and then converted back into a single-family residence in 1942. From 1980 to 1982, Wayne State University excavated the site and found a myriad of items, including kitchen utensils, cosmetics, and ceramics. With these findings, Wayne State University believes that the Ottawa Indians may have used the land during the 1700s. Currently, the Trowbridge Law Firm, Trowbridge Realty, Dickson & Associates, and RBD Creative utilize the property for office space, according to the Detroit Historical Society.
Trowbridge was born in Albany, New York in December 29, 1800 and later migrated to Detroit after apprenticing with a local businessman to become a merchant. According to a website called Detroit: The History and Future of the Motor City, Trowbridge was a major proponent of Michigan's admittance into the Union as a state in 1836 and later devoted himself to banking and the funding of Michigan railroads. Before this, Trowbridge served as mayor of Detroit in 1833 and later unsuccessfully ran for governor of Michigan in c. 1835. Trowbridge also served as an assistant in the federal government's Indian Department due to his fluency in Cherokee and interest in the Indians who lived in Michigan. With his work, numerous treaties were negotiated with the Winnebago and Menominee tribes.
To read more about the Trowbridge House, read the below preview of the AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture:
· Trowbridge House [Detroit Historical Society]
· Trowbridge House [Wayne State University]
· Charles Trowbridge House [Detroit: The History and Future of the Motor City]
· Hill, Eric J., and John Gallagher. AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 2003. 232. Print.