Trowbridge House

Site Name:

Trowbridge House

WSUMA Accession Nos.:


Site No.:


Excavated By:

Gordon Grosscup and Arnold Pilling

Excavation Year(s):

1980, 1981, 1982

Site Description:

The land which Trowbridge House sits on, also known as Mullett Farm, was a part of a French land grant to Charles Chauvin. Previously, there may have been sporadic prehistoric use of the land as evidenced by lithic scatter. The land may also have been used during the Ottawa occupation in the 1700's. The land was deeded to Chauvin's son Noel in 1771. He later sold the land to Moran, who sold off parcels to his sons. Charles Trowbrige bought lot 4 of Mullett Farm in 1882 from Louis Moran Jr.

The house at 494 Jefferson Street was built in 1826 and has undergone several changes. Most noteably, the east side of the house was removed by two of Trowbridge's daughters in 1899 – 1900. This removal made room for 496 Jefferson to be built. The original house had a stable behind it, which now sits behind 496 Jefferson. A small brick structure also may be seen on maps between the house and the stable.

Charles C. Trowbridge and his family lived in the house until 1913 and was retained in the family until 1942. The house was later owned by James Dresbach and his wife. After Dresbach's death the house was sold to the Dumouchelles Auction House. Dumouchelles sold the house to Francis Rogers, owner of Pinkey's Restaurant, who then sold the house to the current owners, the law firm Grandelot, Stoepker, and Dickson.

The house was put on the National Register of Historic Places on May 28, 1976 , and was designated a historic district by the city of Detroit in early 1982.

Excavations took place in 1980, 1981, and perhaps 1982, and were conducted by G. Grosscup and A. Pilling. There was a surface collection conducted as well as formalized excavations. The excavations took place in two sections. The first was conducted in the back yard behind the house. The second, according to Grosscup was in the side yard on the west side of the house. The back yard excavations were done on a grod with the units assigned a letter designation from east to west and an accompanying number running from south to north. The side yard excavation units were named in a similar manner although there is no information about the exact location of the units. The owners, Grandelot, Stoepker, and Dickson, subsequently had made plans to install a driveway here. At this point much of the area was bulldozed and some additional artifacts were salvaged.


  • Ceramics:

    • Redware
    • Creamware
    • Transfer prints (blue and black) and handpainted transfer prints (blue)
    • Feather edged creamware
    • Handpainted polychrome
    • Annularware, lustreware
    • Fiesta ware (orange)
    • Rockinghamware
    • Yellow ware
    • Stoneware
    • Spatterware (blue)
    • Decals
    • Royal Doulton;
    • Russsel Wright Steubenville
  • Glass:

    • Cut glass
    • Pressed glass (amber, clear, cobalt blue, and green)
    • Bottles
    • Window glass
    • Safety glass
    • Frosted glass
    • Milk glass
    • Cosmetics and toiletry vessels
  • Metal:

    • kitchen utensils
    • sterling silver
    • nails
    • hinges
    • screws
    • aluminum foil
    • cosmetics and toiletry containers
    • bottle caps
    • lighting fixtures
  • Faunal Remains

    • Bos taurus
    • Felis domesticus
    • butchered bone
    • burned bone
  • Construction Materials:

    • mortar
    • marble
    • electrical wires
    • shingles
    • slate
    • coal
    • tiles
    • bricks
    • drainage tiles
  • Misc.:

    • wood posts
    • plastic flowers
    • plastic sheeting

Catalogue Nos.:

1W394201-1W394400, 1W394800-1W395000, 1W395275-1W395348, 1W395501-1W395671, 1W396001-1W396104, 1W399536-1W399766, 1W400002-1W400090, 1W411342-1W411822, 1W423063-1W423100, 1W423101-1W423199, 1W424011-1W424764, 1W425001-1W425537, 1W426001-1W426899, 1W427470-1W427517, 1W427831-1W427833, 1W429502-1W430085, 1W430095-1W430601, 1W432028-1W432500, 1W432801-1W433310, 1W433351-1W433422, 1W434006-1W434150, 1W434301-1W434500, 1W435001-1W435200, 1W435512-1W435672, 1W442701-1W443000, 1W443201-1W443240, 1W492308-1W492733, 1W492740-1W492940, 1W492941-1W493240, 1W493241-1W493543, 1W493544-1W493745, 1W493745-1W493945, 1W493946-1W494000, 1W494001-1W494101, 1W494102-1W494200

*As of March 1, 2005 Trowbridge House is still being catalogued.


  • Clohset , Virginia C. (1972) “ State Register Places Inventory – Nomination Form 1972” [WSUMA #11W262]


  • Photographs include pictures of the excavation site, excavation of features, and the front and back of the house
  • 10W1138-1142, 10W1149-10W1160, 10W1161-10W1172


This site is also known as Private Claim 7 & 182

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