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Woodlawn (Patrick and Frances Mouton Marantette House)
In a maple grove atop the high south bank of the St. Joseph River as it bends to the west south of Mendon is Woodlawn. This remarkable Greek Revival house was built on this important water route into the state's interior by Patrick Marantette (1807–1878), a Detroiter who in 1833 began operating an Indian trading post established at this site in 1829 by the Godfroy brothers. (The Godfroys, Marantettes, and Moutons were French Canadian families.) Paneled pilasters mark the corners of the two-story, side-hall-plan, wood-frame house. In the gabled main (south) facade, side and transom lights surround the ceremonial front entrance, which is protected by a porch. The house was obviously approached most frequently from the west, however, for a two-story porch runs across two-thirds of the west flank. Square, paneled piers support the balustraded porch at each level. The house resembles Greek Revival domestic architecture that sometimes employed the French galerie.
With its isolated surroundings, the ambiance of the house's setting as it was in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is palpable. Looking upstream, the spire of the fieldstone Gothic Revival St. Edward's Catholic Church, built in 1908 at State and Lake streets in Mendon to replace the first church of 1872, is visible. Just downstream is the single-span Pratt through-truss Marantette Bridge. The steel bridge was erected by the Massillon Bridge Company in 1873 to carry Buckner Road (Railroad Street) over the St. Joseph River. To the south are thousands of acres of prairie originally owned by Marantette.
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