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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

The Home at 461 East Fulton Street


One of Grand Rapids’ true pioneers, Sarell Wood, lived at what was then 415 E. Fulton at least as early as 1859.  Wood was a manufacturer of plaster and stucco and died in 1869.  His widow moved soon after and started a millinery business with partner, Maria H. Keyes.  The next known occupant of the property was John Hughart in 1900, who may have built a new home on the site.  Hughart, president of the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railway, is credited with opening much of Michigan to settlement because of his advancement of the railway in this state.  Hughart died of a fall in 1917 and later that year, his home came into the ownership of Robert Irwin.  

461 e fulton sanborn map circled

Irwin was one of the most prominent figures in Grand Rapids furniture history, having launched several furniture companies, and played a leading role in trade associations and the banking community.  Later in life, Irwin was on the board of the Furniture Museum, his neighbor on E. Fulton.  Irwin died in 1953 and his widow lived in the home for three more years.  The home, by then 461 East Fulton, was destroyed by fire in 1960 and has not been replaced with another building.

The 1912 Sanborn Insurance Map shows the Wood - Irwin house, sixth from the left, circled.

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