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Developer offers $10,000 incentive for moving historic Kalamazoo farmhouse

Developer offers $10,000 incentive for moving historic Loring-McMartain Farmhouse. (WWMT/Cyrus Raymond)

A local developer is asking for help to preserve a piece of Kalamazoo history and they are willing to pay $10,000 to make it happen.

The Loring-McMartin Farmhouse has sat at the southeast corner of Stadium Drive and South Drake Road, just north of Asylum Lake, possibly since 1847 after the railway came into the area.

Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Coordinator Sharon Ferraro said, “So much has changed about Kalamazoo since 1847 that there's probably fewer than half a dozen houses of this age left anywhere in the city and all of them, except one, are brick just like this one is. It's just the fact that it survived more than anything else. It's one last reminder of the time period where everybody made their livings by farming.

When Rodolphus Loring bought the land from the government in 1839, and it was actively farmed by after Daniel McMartin bought the farm in 1865. The corner has turned into prime property and in 2017 the descendants of the McMartin family that owned the land for generations decided to sell it.

Miller Johnson, the developer, is preparing to clear the property, but the company and local historians hope someone will step up to move the 700-square foot home to keep its history intact.

Miller Johnson is offering $10,000, which is what it would cost to demolish the home, to anyone willing to move it.

Anyone interested in the 1848 panted brick, Greek Revival 1.5 story farmhouse, can contact Matthew B. Van Dyk at vandykm@millerjohnson.com with proposals.

Ferraro can answer questions about the history of the house and can be reached at (269) 337-8804 or ferraros@kalamazoocity.org.

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