MI Dream Home: Ypsilanti home has 18th-century tavern in basement

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

An Ypsilanti house with part of an 18th-century tavern in its basement is up for sale.

Located at 220 S. Huron St. and blocks from Michigan Avenue in Ypsilanti, the two-story brick house sits on a more than a quarter of an acre lot in the city's historic district.

Built in the 1870s, the house has six bedrooms with six bathrooms and nearly 4,000 square feet of space. The asking price is $675,000.

Adam Hess, who owns the home with his wife, Natalie, said the home is truly unique. 

“There's nothing like it,” he said. “It is one of a kind. Every where you walk in the house, you're always finding something new and fascinating.”

He points to the painstaking craftsmanship and the way the house was built to last as evidence. "It was built in the 1870s, but it'll be here long after you and I are gone," he said. "And you just don't see that anymore."

The house was built by Samuel Barnes, the vice president of a paper company, according to the city's historical records. Charles Newton, the chief buyer for Greenfield Village, owned the home in the 1930s and 1940s and oversaw extensive remodeling.  

Hold more weddings in the private courtyard or continue to operate this successful Bed & Breakfast and Air BNB travel destination.

Unlike most other houses, the home is zoned as both commercial and residential, Hess said. At one time, a bed-and-breakfast operated in the home. 

The home maintains its regal, historic look in its exterior and interior. 

"It has been well taken care of," Hess said.

It also has been updated with stainless steel kitchen appliances, a revamped boiler and new water heater. Its upgraded electrical system even has a charger for an electric vehicle in the two-car garage.

It has a private courtyard with a patio and pergola and enclosed by a brick fence. Hess said he and his wife even held their wedding in the home's courtyard.

There's also a covered veranda that faces south, overlooking the yard.

But one of its most memorable conversation starters has to be the Wild Turkey Tavern from the 1700s in the basement. The watering hole comes complete with a bar, fireplace and cash register.

A 1700's era Wild Turkey Tavern hidden in the basement.

Hess said Newton paid to have part of the tavern's barroom moved from Connecticut to Ypsilanti and installed in his house's basement.

"It's the hidden gem in this gem of a house," Hess said.

The home is perfect for anyone who likes to entertain or is thinking about starting a bed-and-breakfast. "It's move-in ready and it's business ready," he said. "It can transform with your imagination."

See the listing here:

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Twitter: @CharlesERamirez