Picture of 90 North Main Street

Walking Tour-90 North Main Street-Walking Tour
(East Side of Street)

The current Independence Township Hall and former Library building.

In 1840 Nelson Washington Clark built a large two story wooden building on this site for use as a private academy. He lined the front walk with trees. Clark sold the property to Professor Isaac C. Cochran who ran a "select school" here until it was sold to the public in 1862.

In 1910 the wooden building was dismantled and a new two story brick building with a domed belvedere, which was later removed, was constructed. By the time a new school building was constructed in 1934 this building housed grades K through 12. In 1938 bids were taken from the public for the property. Clarkston doctor, Harry B. Yoh bid with the hope of making it his home & a hospital. F. J. Stine planned to convert the building to apartments if his bid was accepted. Mr. F. E. Webb wanted to convert it to his residence. Former Independence Township Supervisor Washington Irish purchased the property in 1938 with the hope of converting it to apartments. At the time "Wash" was living in the home at 71 N. Main where he had lived since retiring from his Independence Township farm. He & daughter, Fanny moved into the small building, built in 1925, which stood to the south of the school building. He died a year later.

The building was sold to Henry Ford who opened a apprentice school here. The building at the rear was constructed to house the power generator. Ford had also purchased the Clarkston mills property and built a small factory on that site with the hope of running the plant with the water power provided by the Millpond dam.

In 1950 the building was purchased by the citizens for use as a Community Center, later becoming the Township Hall.

The small building on the south part of the lot was the residence of Washington Irish & daughter, Fanny, after he purchased the property with the hope of converting the large two story building, formerly a school, to apartment use. He died in 1939 with out accomplishing this plan.

In 1955 this building, built in 1925 became a library, with a collection of 500 books. Mrs. Esther Smith was the librarian with 3,000 books by 1957. At one time this building had a stucco finish.

Official Property Description:

Significant Property History:

[A Synopsis Of Property Transfers Derived From Abstracts
(when available) And Periodic Changes In Ownership Or
Assessed Value Derived From Township Tax Records]

Site Conceived By And Grant Funding Obtained By
Mollie Lynch, Library Director 1991-2005
Researched And Written By Susan K. Basinger
Web Pages Designed And Built By Bill And Susan Basinger
Contents 2000 Independence Township Library
All Rights Reserved