This week, Eastern Michigan University graduate students are making an 1883 Victorian house their classroom. The EMU graduate program in historic preservation will conduct its Documenting Collections course at the historic Mann House in Concord.
The students will provide valuable assistance to the Michigan Historical Museum staff as they learn about working with artifact collections in a real-life setting. Students will check inventories and make improvements in storage conditions. They will also research some 30 objects and produce information that will be added to an expanded Mann House webpage at www.michigan.gov/mannhouse.
“The EMU course is part of a new partnership between the university and the state that supports the goals of providing unique educational opportunities for EMU students and enhancing our stewardship and management of the Mann House,” said Sandra Clark, director of the Michigan Historical Center. “After closing the house last summer for repairs and painting, we are looking forward to once again welcoming visitors and to drawing on our EMU partnership to expand our work there.”
Daniel and Ellen Mann built the dwelling in 1883. Ellen and her two daughters, Jessie Ellen and Mary Ida, graduated from EMU, adding an extra point of interest for the preservation students. The late-Victorian building features plaster ceilings, unusual catch-release doorknobs and a marbleized slate fireplace. Eight rooms of period furniture include pieces dating back to the 1840s, when Daniel’s and Ellen’s parents were furnishing their first homes.
The Mann House is one of 11 nationally accredited museums administered by the Michigan Historical Center, an agency within the Department of Natural Resources. It is located at 205 Hanover St. in Concord, about 12 miles west of Jackson. The home provides a unique class setting for the graduate students. Members of the EMU program also staff the site for public hours, Thursdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., through Sept. 1.
Logo courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources