House that historians say Ulysses S. Grant lived in during time in Detroit to be moved - again

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DETROIT — A house that historians say Ulysses S. Grant lived in during his time in Detroit is expected to be moved across the city this summer — and it won't be its first move.

The house was built in 1837 and for several decades was open to the public as an attraction during the annual Michigan State Fair, the Detroit Free Press reported (http://on.freep.com/1Gvbnn1 ). The state-sponsored fair in Detroit shut down after 2009 and the fairgrounds are being redeveloped.

Sandra Clark, director of the Michigan Historical Center, which is taking the lead for the state on the home's relocation, said the house will stay in Detroit. An exact location for the house is under discussion, but it could be moved near to Eastern Market.

"Today, we're thinking differently about historical homes and what's the best use for them," Clark said. The idea is to make "them an active educational tool for the school and the public, an interactive way to learn about the history of Detroit. ... We want to put history to work, if you will."

The house originally stood near downtown Detroit, where Lafayette Park currently is located, and when it was threatened by demolition it was moved to the fairgrounds and presented to the state in 1936. It was moved again in 1958, within the fairgrounds.

Grant, who went on to become the Union commander and a U.S. president, was an Army officer when he lived in Detroit. Grant and his wife lived in the house from April 1849 through May 1850, according to Kimberly Johnson, a Michigan Historic Commission member who has researched the Grants' time in Detroit.

Another house that the Grants lived in was demolished.

The state has been in talks about moving the house to the Detroit Edison Public School Academy's campus, but it's not quite a done deal. Representatives of the state, the school and architects on the project met on Wednesday to continue discussions.

A $222,000 grant has been secured to pay for the relocation and stabilization of the house.


Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com

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