Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pioneer Farmsteads: Albert Terry Farm

Near the southwest corner of Auburn & Livernois roads stands a beautiful brick farmhouse that dates from the Rochester area's pioneer era.  The Greek Revival residence was built by settler Albert Terry about 1840 when the land on which it stands was still wilderness, and it has survived 173 years of development swirling around it.

Albert Terry was born in Livingston County, New York in 1817, the year in which the village of Rochester was founded. He was the eldest of a family of fourteen children. Terry taught school for a time as a youth, and then made a visit to Michigan in 1838. He decided to move permanently to Michigan and returned the following year, when he purchased the northeast quarter of section 33 of Avon Township and thereafter built his home. In the fall of 1839 he returned to New York to claim his bride, Delia Lathrop, and brought her back to his new home in Michigan.  The Terrys  had seven children.  Delia Terry died in 1859, and the following year Terry married Lucina Richardson, the daughter of Isaac Richardson of Pontiac.
The Terry house as it looked in 1877

The farm was prosperous, and Terry added more acreage until he had a farm of 192 acres, one of the largest in the township. He grew fruit and won several agricultural awards for his apples and pears. Albert Terry was a leader in local politics and was elected to the office of Supervisor of Avon Township for 14 years, from 1862 to 1876.

Terry died in 1880; his farm was subsequently owned by Samuel Durrant and later by Georgiana Kersting.

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