Cobblestone Farm Historic District

Cobblestone Farm Historic District

            2781 Packard Road (Benajah Ticknor Farm; Cobblestone Farm)

            This farmhouse is an example of an unusual building style that began in the 1830s in western New York and moved westward with the frontier.  Erected in 1844 for Dr. Benajah Ticknor, the house was built by mason by Stephen Mills and combines the restrained elegance of the Federal style and the extravagant façade of herringbone-rowed cobblestones.

          An original, smaller house on the site is probably located in the wing section that today contains the dining room and maid’s chambers.  Herman Ticknor bought the small house and farm from Charles Maynard in 1835.  Herman had purchased the home for his brother, Navy surgeon Benajah Ticknor.  After years at sea of South America and in the Far East, Dr. Ticknor wanted land in Michigan as in investment for a retirement house.

            In 1840, Benajah and his wife, Bessie, made their first visit to Ann Arbor.  The sight of his brother, sister-in-law, and seven nieces and nephews crowded into a small dwelling may have prompted Dr. Ticknor to build the larger stone house for both families.

            In 1860, Ticknor’s widow sold the house to Horace Booth, who passed it to his son, Nelson.  Nelson enlarged the 183 acres, added barns for thoroughbred racehorses, installed a front-yard fountain, and added an Italianate front porch.

            Ypsilanti merchant William Campbell purchased the farm in 1881.  A Scottish immigrant, Campbell soon achieved renown for his purebred cattle.  The Campbell family kept the house essentially unchanged for 91 years.  After World War II, most of the farm’s acres were absorbed by housing developments and parkland.  In 1972, George and Mary Campbell sold the house and the last 4.5 acres to the City of Ann Arbor to complete Buhr Park.

Back to Ann Arbor


Cobblestone Farm, 2781 Packard