Plymouth’s Historic Lower Town (Old Village)

Wilcox HouseIn the year 1825 the first settlers put down roots in present day Plymouth. Those original settlers bear a familiar name that was given to one of Plymouth’s main thoroughfares  – Starkweather. In March of 1825 William Starkweather purchased 240 acres of land from the United States Government. The Starkweather’s home was built at 557 North Mill Street in the heart of Historic Old Village after their only surviving son, George Anson Starkweather, bought what was then called ‘North Village’ in 1831. Plymouth’s Old Village has been known by many names over the years; today it’s also fondly referred to as Lower Town.

Plymouth was settled in 1825, was incorporated in 1867, and became a city in 1932.  George Starkweather was responsible for bringing the railroad through Plymouth to drive more commercial traffic to his dry goods store located at the corner of Liberty and Oak (now Starkweather). Although the store does not remain, the Starkweather Legacy will continue.

Starkweather School

In modern-day Lower Town there is history all around the business district and residential sections. Some of the area’s most iconic buildings line Liberty Street. Here you’ll find Liberty Street Brewing, Hermann’s Olde Town Grille, Urban Roots Salon & more in older, historic brick buildings. Some of the oldest residential structures in Plymouth exist in Lower Town as well.

A large part of Plymouth’s history involves the Daisy Manufacturing Company which produced the Daisy Air Rifle. Clarence Hamilton established the Plymouth Iron Windmill Factory in 1882 which in time began to sell more Daisy Air Rifles than windmills. One such windmill still exists today and is located next to an old, antique barn in Lower Town at the corner of Hardenburg and Holbrook, just South of Wilcox Lake.

Old Village

It seems every street and house has a long standing history in Plymouth’s Old Village. To learn more about Plymouth’s long and interesting history, visit the Plymouth Historical Museum’s website or the Margaret Dunning Memorial Building which currently houses the Plymouth Historical Museum located at 155 S. Main Street in Downtown Plymouth.

The attitude in Lower Town when it comes to residential homes is unlike other areas of Plymouth – preservation & rehabilitation. The craftsmanship of the early 1900s was detailed and thorough and some of it remains in homes that are selling today. Modernization that remains true to the home’s original character merge the old world with the new in such a pleasing way; original window casements and trim, wide & welcoming front porches, and refinished original hardwood floors are just some ways the residents of Lower Town are rehabilitating their century-old dwellings to appeal to today’s homebuyers. Some recent sales indicating values are rising include:

643 Starkweather Street – This home features 1,530 sq. ft. with 4 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. It also has a detached 2-car garage and refinished original hardwood floors and staircase. The detailed woodwork in this home epitomizes the benefits of rehabilitating these older homes. Sold for $302,000 (listed at $289,000 and received multiple offers).

184 Caster Avenue – This home features 2,144 sq. ft. with 5 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms. There is a detached 3-car garage with a carriage house apartment. The wood trim and floors throughout take you back to 1907 when the home was originally built in the heart of Old Village. Sold for $360,000.

Stephanie Brown, REALTOR