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John and Amanda Rorabeck Montgomery House

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1848, John E. Clark; 1960s, 1970s additions. 11900 Plains Rd., 2 miles east of Eaton Rapids
  • (Photograph by Kathryn Bishop Eckert)
  • (Photograph by Kathryn Bishop Eckert)

Designed by Clark for John and Amanda Montgomery, pioneer Yankee settlers in Hamlin Township, this squat one-and-a-half-story, gable-front and side-wing house was constructed of sandstone taken from the banks of the Grand River. The light yellowish-brown stone was sized and squared into blocks, hammer-dressed and chiseled, and hauled by oxcart to this site at the corner of Plains and Waverly roads. First-floor six-over-six windows of the house are symmetrically placed on each elevation. The gable front is capped by a simple entablature with a dentiled frieze and slight cornice returns. An inscription carved in stone over the central entrance notes the architect, the owner, and building date.

Brought from Ireland to upstate New York as an infant, John Montgomery (1804–1891) moved with his wife, Amanda, west to the Michigan Territory in 1831. They arrived in 1832, in Dexter, Washtenaw County, where they lived for five years before purchasing five hundred acres of U.S. government land in Eaton County. A log shanty served as their home in the wilderness until a more substantial house was built. Montgomery possibly took his preference for a stone house, as well as for the Greek Revival style, from his acquaintance with Caleb M. Chapel, who was living in a Greek Revival sandstone house near Parma ( JA17).

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "John and Amanda Rorabeck Montgomery House", [Eaton Rapids, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 302-302.

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