Saturday, March 30, 2013

At Home in Rochester: Lewis Ward Curtis House

If you've ever visited the Victorian Rose at 118 West Third Street, chances are you've sipped tea in Lewis and Madelin Curtis's living room. Dr. Lewis Ward Curtis and his wife, Madelin Hipp Curtis, built this prairie box style house in 1912; Dr. Curtis had purchased the lot in 1911.

Lewis Ward Curtis was born in Macomb County in 1879, but he grew up in Rochester where his father, James Ewell Curtis, operated the grist mill at the south end of Main Street. (Known for many years as the Curtis Mill, this structure was later known as the Barkham Mill.)  The young Curtis attended Rochester High School and was graduated with the class of 1897. He then enrolled at the University of Michigan College of Dental Surgery and, according to his college yearbook, served as president of his class. After receiving his D.D.S. degree from the University of Michigan in 1902, Curtis returned to his home town to establish a professional practice. He built a brick business block at 307 S. Main in 1907 and later bought property up the street at 315-317 S. Main (where Arizona Saddlery is located today).

Lewis W. Curtis practiced dentistry in Rochester until 1929. He was also very active in community affairs and served as president of the Rochester Board of Education. He died in 1976.  The former Curtis house at 118 W. Third has served as the home of the Victorian Rose Tea Room in recent years; before that it was the home of the offices of Buckerfield Engineering.

No comments:

Post a Comment