Lot 2, West Liberty Heights

730 South Maple Road


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Benjamin J. Steinman sold Lot 2 (730 St. Maple Road) to George Roessler on May 9,  1929 for $650 cash.  It is difficult to determine when the house was actually built from the Ann Arbor City Directory.  In the 1929 City Directory, Mr. Roessler is listed as living at 1048 West Liberty.  It is not until 1941 that Mr. and Mrs. Roessler are shown as living at 730 S. Maple Road.  However, S. Maple road had a different name earlier (formerly Arbor Glen fr Jackson Av north w of county fair grounds, and Town Line Road on the subdivision plat). 

The Roesslers were both born in Germany, George in Wurttenberg, on July 12, 1892, and Frieda (Haukel or Taukel?) on December 24, 1904.  The Roesslers were married on February 26, 1928; they had no children.  Mr. Roessler was listed as a carpenter in the 1929 City Directory, as a meat cutter for the Home Packing Company in 1936, and as a stockman for the King Seely Company in 1943.  George Roessler passed away on October 17, 1969, and Frieda passed 11 years later, on March, 2, 1981.  Her house was sold to John and Sue Dominy for $60,000 on May 22, 1981.  Click here to see a 1955 photo of Frieda Roessler (provided by Esther Kaercher)

I do not know who built this home, but it is beautiful.  Like my home next door (2509 W. Liberty), this house resembles a Sears Catalog Home, the Barrington.  There is an authentic Barrington at 401 Berkley that I saw at an open house in 2008.  Similarities include the breakfast nook, the back porch with the second-floor deck on top, and the vestibule.  The location of the windows and fireplace are other similarities.  However, the staircase and  and closets are placed differently.  I found another, more similar, plan by Jens Pedersen of St. Paul, MN in the Fifth Edition of Practical Homes, Brown Blodgett Company, St. Paul, MN 1929 (available at www.archive.org). The plan was also reprinted in Jens Pedersen, 90 Houses of the Twenties, with an introduction by Daniel D. Reiff, Dover Publications, 2011.  It is Design No. 16 and is very similar to 730 S. Maple.  This plan has the staircase in the "right" place. 730 S. Maple still has the original kitchen and bathroom (as of 2012).  I love the tile in the bathroom; it's a black and white basket weave ceramic tile pattern that was popular in the 1920's and 1930's.  Contrast the photo above (June 15, 1999) with the 1966 photo, both from the City of Ann Arbor's Assessor's records. 

On December 15, 2008, I was headed east on Jackson Rd. when I thought I saw a house that looked just like 730 S. Maple.  I am always looking for our houses' twins because of the potential for learning who built them.  The almost twin for 730 S. Maple is at 107 Kenwood.   Click here to compare the two houses.   The boxed windows on the front of 107 Kenwood were added; the original windows were like the ones on 730 S. Maple.  The first City Directory listing for 107 Kenwood was in 1929, with Norman A. Kern, a postal carrier, listed as living there.   Mr. Kern purchased the lot from Adolf L. Helber on August 31, 1928.  Norman A. Kern's sister was Tesa M. Kaercher who was married to George Heinrich Kaercher.  George Heinrich Kaercher (who shared a great-grandfather with Ottmar and Reuben) and his wife Tesa M. (Kern) lived in the Cutting Apartments (aka Flats) at 706 Monroe.  George Kaercher is listed as being the janitor there in the 1926 and 1927 City Directories.  George Scott designed the Cutting Flats in 1904.   Is it possible that there is a connection between the Scotts and the Roesslers?  Could the Scotts have designed and/or built 107 Kenwood and 730 S. Maple?

Mr. and Mrs. Dominy sold the house at 730 South Maple to Mary Margaret Heeney and Nancy Grant Plantz on June 4, 1984, for $59,500.  The deed for this sale states, "subject to easements and building and use restrictions of record and further subject to a joint driveway as shown on Roskelly, Jekabson and Associates Survey No. 81-4-99, dated April 30, 1981." [emphasis added]  This is the only reference to the shared driveway that I have found.  Seven years later (June 28, 1991) Mary Heeney and Nancy Plantz sold the house to William C. and Lynn M. Kryska for $95,000.  The Kryskas sold the house four years later (June 16, 1995) to Karen Ingraham for $106,000 and moved to Alder Court.  Karen Ingraham sold the house to Dave Cruse and Megan Mills for $155,300 on August 27, 1999. 

Megan and Dave were there when I moved next door in 2000.  Megan is an Eye-Bank Technician for the Michigan Eye Bank, and her  husband, Dave Cruse, is an Associate Librarian and  Electronic Resources Head Librarian at Adrian College.  I enjoyed having them as neighbors. Henry Mills Cruse was born on October 10, 2002, while they were living here.  Click here to see Dave, Megan, Henry (under the blanket) and Mabel, their dog, shortly after Henry was born.  Like me, Megan liked to garden; she had a beautiful perrenial garden on the south side of her garage.  I felt sad to see Megan and Dave leave on July 15, 2004, but they, like others, wanted to bring their children up where there was less traffic.   Their second child, Freddie, was born after they moved to Adrian.

Megan and Dave sold their house on April 6, 2004.  My newest neighbor is an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan--and another good neighbor.  He found the house in a web listing and was attracted to it by the original details of the interior--lots of wood and the original moldings. The fact that the house was very close to the bus stop was attractive as well.  He has been very busy with his teaching and research since he has been here, but he did find time to plant some spices for pesto in the perennial garden south of the garage. The pesto was excellent.

My neighbor had his house painted in August 2008--a pretty yellow color.

This page was last updated on February 4, 2012.

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