Michigan Roadside Attractions: Honolulu House Museum in Marshall
Michigan Roadside Attractions is a periodic feature on Travel the Mitten that will explore the many interesting things that can be found on the highways, byways and back roads of Michigan, ranging from the interesting to unusual.
The city of Marshall in Calhoun County is full of historic homes and buildings, but one stands out as the most unique – the Honolulu House at 107 N. Kalamazoo Ave. It is open as a museum managed by the Marshall Historical Society, with a 45 minute tour available for a small fee. More details on hours for the fall can be found at http://www.marshallhistoricalsociety.org/attractions/1. The house is located in the heart of Marshall’s historic district, so be sure to check out a few more of the historic homes and buildings in the area while you’re in town. A Michigan historical marker in front of the house details all the information you need to know:
Abner Pratt settled in Marshall in 1839 and in the 1850s became Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court. In 1857-59 he was United States Consul to the Sandwich (Hawaiian) Islands. Returning home, he built this house in 1860 to recreate the island atmosphere. Teak and ebony were used and murals on the wall depicted tropical plants and animals. In 1887 the interior was changed but the opulent style of the exterior, unique in the Midwest, has survived.