1876 Octagon – Elwell, MI

Added to OHD on 7/22/19   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   17 Comments
SOLD / Archived Post
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4223 Bliss Rd, Elwell, MI 48832

Map: Aerial

  • $32,500
  • 4 Bed
  • 1 Bath
  • 1600 Sq Ft
  • 3 Ac.
COME SAVE ME! CASH SALE ONLY, home is not financeable in its current state. Here is your chance to own a piece of history. Lots of charm here. Sitting on 3 acres on a beautiful lot with Walnut trees and Lilacs, this awaits your new home or the opportunity to take this home back to greatness. This Octagon home has a lot of history dating back to the 1870's when William Anderson built it. Octagon homes were believed to promote health by means of superior cross ventilation. Restoring it could be a big job, but the home's remarkable style and storied history are surely worth the effort.
Contact Information
Justin Wohlfert, Kolar & Co.
(989) 463-5778
Links, Photos & Additional Info

State: | Region: | Associated Styles or Type:
Period & Associated Styles: ,
Features: , | Misc: ,

17 Comments on 1876 Octagon – Elwell, MI

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  1. PlattachePlattache says: 4 comments
    2012 Apartment
    Hopkins, MN

    Perfect rehab project. Even room for goats,poultry,and garden. Love this old one!

    8
  2. TGrantTGrant says: 884 comments
    OHD Supporter

    New Orleans, LA

    What marvelous possibilities this has! Plus a layout that gives you plenty of square rooms.

    10
  3. TXJewelTXJewel says: 354 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1920 Thurber Brick 4 Square
    Strawn, TX

    Kudos to the realtor for doing a great job of presenting this house in its entirety (except the kitchen), and letting people know exactly what the restoration would entail. Also for not suggesting that it could be torn down. It certainly is fun, charming and quirky! Love all the lilac bushes, they must smell heavenly!

    29
  4. ToddTodd says: 12 comments
    Cincinnati, OH

    That failed wall is sadly scaring people. A good mason and excavator could make short work of it.

    16
  5. JimHJimH says: 5109 comments
    OHD Supporter

    The realtor has it right – “Restoring it could be a big job, but the home’s remarkable style and storied history are surely worth the effort.”

    From the owner’s 1884 bio – William Anderson (1832-1917):
    Slowly but surely has he supplanted a densely timbered tract with a fertile and rich farm, and he has now 50 acres of productive land, with large barns, and a beautiful brick cottage, octagonal in shape, built a few years since at a cost of $4,000. This is among the best residences in the township.

    https://archive.org/details/portraitbio00chic/page/672

    18
  6. CharlestonJohnCharlestonJohn says: 1094 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Charleston, SC

    What a cool application of Italianate styling to an Octagon house. This would have been built fifteen or twenty years after the height of popularity of Octagon plans in the 1850’s making it unique and certainly worth a good restoration.

    7
  7. BethanyBethany says: 3432 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1983 White elephant
    Escondido, CA

    Wow, the stuff my dreams are made of. If only it could be me to restore this lovely lady and live in the middle of meadows and fields.

    6
  8. RossRoss says: 2411 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS

    I have never understood why so many octagon houses make most of the rooms normal, either squares or rectangles.

    That is what was so wonderful about the octagon Kelly posted last week. The rooms were all oddly shaped. Fabulously oddly!

    12
  9. KrystaKrysta says: 42 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1912 Adobe Craftsman
    Fort Davis, TX

    Let me take my ShopVac, some Murphy’s Oil Soap and get started on this lovely home. How magnificent it could be! Brick, a sturdy foundation, cross-ventilation AND three acres, with LILACS?! Thanks to OHD, I’m really beginning to think people in the 1800s were way smarter and more appreciative of the simpler, finer things, than we can ever be. What a wonderful home.

    17
  10. jillieDjillieD says: 96 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1952 Ojai, CA

    Sadly, not a lot seems to be happening in Elwell, MI. What’s a girl to do, besides work on the house?

    2
  11. woeismewoeisme says: 151 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1990 suburban
    Vacaville, CA

    Do you think the Art Nuevo panels are included?

    2
  12. HallHall says: 11 comments
    NY

    Do you think that new build piece can be easily removed? Any idea why it was added?

    1
  13. JRJR says: 1 comments
    1972 Not old!
    NY

    Beautiful! Needs a young couple with lots of energy!

  14. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 5358 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1897 Queen Anne Colonial
    Cadiz, OH

    Definitely a fixer upper here and priced accordingly. The first order of business is to do restoration “triage”: usually, the roof is priority one but from the drone photo, it seems to be relatively sound. The next priority is taking care of the foundation and by extension, the brick walls it supports. I suspect the river rock looking foundation may have been bonded with soft lime mortar which deteriorates over time in most cases. The defects seen in the masonry walls appear to be from sagging supports which then allow cracks to appear in the courses of bricks. Simply filling in the gaps with more mortar won’t fix the problem. A closer examination to figure our what allowed the cracks to form in the first place will then lead to deciding what steps need to be taken to fix the problem. A structural engineer knowledgeable about period structures and masonry restoration should be consulted. In most cases, the state historic preservation office can recommend qualified people for this kind of work. https://www.michigan.gov/mshda/0,4641,7-141-54317-53069–,00.html Because Victorian era Octagons are rare there might be assistance programs of some sort that could also be of help. Once the foundation and walls are stabilized, then the fun work can begin. I’ve seen several Octagons of this type with porches that go all the way around the structure. I’m not sure if that’s the case here but older photos or illustrations might be of some help. 1876 was fairly late in the Octagon fad but I know of a Minnesota example dating from 1883 and there could be an example or two from even later but primarily the Octagon was a short lived architectural fad of the 1850-1870 era. Post restoration, I’m sure this smaller Octagon house would be a knockout. Early Octagons stand out for their simplicity but late examples like this one can be relatively ornate and borrow design elements from the Italianate style. This rare house really deserves to be meticulously restored but it will take a fair amount of money and effort to bring it back.

    10
  15. ScottScott says: 340 comments
    1951 Grants Pass, OR

    I haven’t seen a damper control like that in many years.

    1

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