One of the grandest residences in Cheboygan, the Newton house is a two-story red brick Italianate building with a wraparound porch, bracketed hipped roof, and narrow windows with elaborate hood moldings. It is topped by a decorative cupola that affords a view of Lake Huron. It was built by Archibald P. Newton, a prominent merchant, fisherman, and entrepreneur, who served as the village's first elected president in 1870. Newton and his brother bought St. Helena Island in 1853 and developed it as a fuel and supply port for shipping on the Great Lakes. He also established the area's first facility for the extraction of tannia from the bark of hemlock trees, a product used in tanning leather. This industry became important in the development of Cheboygan's economy between the 1870s and the 1920s.
The Italianate style was very popular in Michigan and its formal dignity and picturesque elements were fitting for a family dominant in Cheboygan's business and social life.