The 1840 Van Hoosen Farmhouse replaced the log cabin built by the Taylor family when they first arrived and settled Stoney Creek Village in 1823. In approximately 1860, Joshua Van Hoosen added a west wing to the farmhouse, adding a cooking kitchen, water pump, and outhouse to the building. This wing was removed when the Van Hoosen women relocated the house in the 1920s.
In the early 1920s the Van Hoosen family decided to move and enlarge their farmhouse, creating their long-awaited dream home.
By 1923, the farmhouse was moved back two hundred feet from the road and the horse barn and a number of outbuildings were taken down. The large timbers from the horse barn, once located where the garage wing is today, were placed throughout the interior of the renovated farmhouse, while brick from the smokehouse found a new purpose in the house's three fireplaces. During this renovation process, which lasted from 1923-1926, Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen, Alice Van Hoosen Jones, and Dr. Sarah Van Hoosen Jones traveled the world. This trip allowed Sarah to "round out her education," it allowed Bertha to teach medical classes and learn surgical techniques, and it allowed the whole family to purchase souvenirs to furnish their new home.
Throughout the Van Hoosen Farmhouse, you will find furnishings from five generations of the Taylor and Van Hoosen families, including dressers that came on the Erie Canal with the original settlers as well as a Medici tapestry and candelabras that were brought home from Italy. Urns, vases, lamps, and other household accessories purchased in China, Japan, Belgium, and Greece round out the Taylor-Van Hoosen collection.
The Van Hoosen Farmhouse has never been sold. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, each generation of the family carefully preserved it for the next. Dr. Sarah Van Hoosen Jones, the last family resident, donated it to Michigan State University upon her death in 1972. Seven years later, Michigan State University donated the house and three acres to the City of Rochester Hills to be used as a local history Museum.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Van Hoosen Farmhouse allows you to experience the glory of our past with a fascinating trip back in time.
Guided tours of this fascinating building are available on Fridays and Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. Other times are available by appointment.