William and Lena Lewis built this charming period Tudor house in 1932. William worked at Michigan Ladder Company. In the late 1940s Marie Goodnow became the house’s second owner. She married Thomas Burns in 1953 and by 1956 was a widow. After her death in 1965, Robert and Rosemary Bailey bought the house. Their son, local attorney John Bailey, purchased it after his mother’s death in 1996. “I’ve lived here my whole life except when I was in college,” says Bailey.
The house is very well built, which is typical of pre-World War II construction. Any latter-day Hansel and Gretel would appreciate the delightful exterior brickwork. Dark clinker bricks pop out everywhere. When John and his brother were young they used to climb all over the outside of the house on those bricks. A curved raised-eyebrow dormer over a window on the east front roof eave is a questioning wink at anyone who is coming up the walk to call.
Rosemary Bailey had a wonderful eye, according to her son, and was a collector of many things. In the 1970s she worked at the Treasure Mart in Ann Arbor. She also inherited terrific antique pieces from her Illinois father, “who claimed to be the biggest hog farmer in the country,” says John. “I have my mom’s whole lifetime collection of everything,” he laughs.
Bailey has been restoring the interior of the house, including refinishing door hardware and painting all of the rooms. Several years ago he updated the kitchen. Tourgoers will appreciate the spit and polish he has lavished on this house that he loves so well and they will also enjoy seeing his mother’s treasures.