Before Ulysses S. Grant won the Civil War or ascended to the presidency, he was a young army officer stationed in Detroit. He moved here in 1849 and was gone for good by 1851, but he was the only president to bother living in Detroit, so we've clung his old house ever since. Originally located in what is now Lafayette Park, the Grant House has been mouldering in the State Fairgrounds for quite some time. According to the Freep, the Grant House will soon embark on another road trip to a location closer to its original spot.
Although it's not certain, the proposed spot for the Grant house is Detroit Edison Academy in the Eastern Market area, just over a mile from its original location. If all goes according to plan, the $222K move will happen this summer.
Built in 1837, Grant's house is one of the oldest structures in Detroit. It needs work today, but was apparently quite pleasant when Grant lived there with his wife, Julia. The memoirs of Colonel James E. Pitman—Grant's friend and fellow officer while in Detroit—describe the city as "unpaved straggling, and all full of mischief...In those days Detroit was a frontier town and all used whiskey freely." Pitman also admired the Grant House, which was relatively new at the time:
He and his wife were newlyweds and were living out on Fort Street, a little frame house, covered with wild grapes. It always looked homey and cozy to me, a comfortable place for two young people just married. The cottage he lived in was considered very good. Most of the officers lived in the hotel, all of the unmarried ones in fact, but Grant and his wife had their own little home.[The house at the State Fairgrounds/Virtual Motor City]
· President Grant's Detroit home will be on the move [Freep]