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James and Louise Livingston McColl House

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1899, Isaac Erb. 205 S. Main St.

This substantial clapboard Queen Anne house is a landmark in this agricultural center. It was designed by Ontario-born Port Huron architect Erb (1855–1947) for Yale industrialist and banker James McColl and his wife, Louise. The house is a complex variety of shapes: bays project from the walls, shingled gables intersect the hipped roof, and a bell-roofed turret perches on the northeast corner. A large distinctive porch with balustraded railings runs across the front. Extensive leaded art-glass windows and original scroll and spindle woodwork highlight the spacious interior.

James McColl was a partner in the flax industry with fellow native Scotsman James Livingston, whose daughter, Louise, he married in 1889. Though the pair was also involved with banking, McColl's passion was to create a powerful linen industry in the United States, based in Saginaw. His flax factories would then provide the needed, partially processed flax; in the end, however, the more efficient cotton fiber was king. McColl's house is a monument to his otherwise successful life.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert



Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "James and Louise Livingston McColl House", [Yale, 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, 354-354.

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