The 1850 Red House

Built in approximately 1850, the Red House sat across the street from the Van Hoosen Farmhouse. Inside the one thousand square foot house, heavy timber framing and balloon construction suggest various construction dates between the mid 1800s and mid 1900s. Outside, the building was painted dark brown, while the design harkened back to the Greek Revival architectural period. It appears that the existing structure, though very small, was built in three different phases, suggesting that the additions accommodated changes in family size.
Dr. Sarah Van Hoosen Jones purchased the home to serve as a tenant farmhouse, allowing her employees to live near the Van Hoosen Farm. In 1955, while traveling in Vermont, Dr. Jones saw a similar-style house painted a bright red color. Upon arriving back home, she had the "brown house" painted bright red. In the late 1950s, Sarah had the house moved across the street, over the existing stonewalls, and placed on a new foundation. It is unclear when the northern lean-to addition was added, but we believed it occurred before the house was moved to accommodate a first floor bathroom and bedroom.

The City of Rochester Hills received the Red House as a gift from Michigan State University in December 1996. Since then, the building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, has had a complete restoration. The Red House is furnished with period furnishings of the late 1800s.

Guided tours of the Red House are available following the 12:30 p.m. Farmhouse tour on Fridays and Saturdays. Other times are available by appointment.

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