Saturday, November 20, 2010

At Home in Rochester: The Burton McCafferty Residence

Not long after the interurban line came to Rochester at the turn of the twentieth century, so did a Macomb County man named Burton "Bert" McCafferty. McCafferty had been born nearby in Bruce Township in 1867, and was in business in Marine City before he relocated to Rochester to operate a saloon and cigar stand on Main Street.

Business must have been good, because in the summer of 1906, the Pontiac Press Gazette reported that Bert McCafferty was building a new house in Rochester. On October 23, 1906, the Press Gazette said, "Bert McCafferty and family are moving into their fine new residence on West Fourth Street." Although it was not mentioned in the newspaper account, local tradition says that like the C.G. Griffey house, the McCafferty house is one of several buildings in the area constructed with brick reclaimed from the demolition of the Detroit Sugar Company mill, which happened during 1906.

The McCafferty family stayed only a few years in their new house on West Fourth. By 1920, Bert McCafferty had moved his business interests to Wayne County. The Dobat family lived in the house after the McCaffertys, and by 1930, it was the residence of local businessman and owner of the Rochester Elevator, Lewis Cass Crissman.

Today, the McCafferty house is a beautifully restored private residence, and it celebrates its 104th birthday this year.

This photo, from a 1907 publication promoting Rochester, shows the McCafferty residence as it looked just after it was built.

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