THE PLASTER CEILING IN THE GREAT ROOM at the Gould House in Owosso as it appeared (right) on Tuesday, Oct. 9. Two years ago, the visible ceiling lattice shrank and the plaster collapsed. Also visible in the back is the historic medallion and light fixture along with the plaster trim. The Owosso Historical Commission wants to restore all of it.

  The great room is located on the east side of the house and original owner Amos Gould was extremely pleased with the room, which he renovated in 1873, and fond of showing it to visitors. The cost to restore the ceiling is set at $15,000.

   Proceeds from the Owosso Historic Commission (OHC) “Crisis Intervention” fundraising event on Friday, Oct. 19 will go to repairing the ceiling. 

(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)

 

by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor

Owosso has some stunning historic structures that most residents are quite familiar with, though arguably there is one that might be referenced as the cornerstone of all of those structures, based on location, historical significance and architectural style – and that is the Amos Gould House. Perched on the corner of N. Washington and Oliver streets, the Gould House is located at a crossroads directly overlooking the downtown area, and a large portion of the local population probably passes the building at least once a day.

Built in 1860, just one year after Amos Gould was elected Owosso’s first mayor, the Gould House was constructed slightly south of Gould’s first 1843 frame house. The 1860 structure would become the Gould family home for close to 90 years. For the past 158 years, the house has stood as an intrinsic landmark for all of Owosso. However, time has not been overly friendly, and the Amos Gould House now needs the community to help with restoration and renovation – to ensure the building will remain for decades to come.

The Owosso Historical Commission is inviting the public to a “Crisis Intervention” at the Gould House on Friday, Oct. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. The cost is $25 per person with these funds going to repair the plaster ceiling in the great room. That ceiling collapsed two years ago and the cost for restoration is $15,000. The estimated overall cost to restore/renovate the house is $1.5 million. Members of both the Owosso Historical Commission and Parks and Recreation will be in attendance to help answer questions. Advance questions may be referred to OHC Executive Director Robert Doran-Brockway at (989) 720-HIST (4478). Tickets for the event will also be available at the door. The event is being sponsored by Oxford Bank in The Armory.

There is a plan underway. OHC includes four museums: The Amos Gould House, Curwood Castle, Comstock Pioneer Cabin and the Woodard Paymaster Building. The vision being proposed by the commission is to see the Gould House fully become a museum and cultural center to highlight both history and heritage, and also become a draw for future generations. In 2019, OHC plans to have renderings done by expert architects that will allow the group to formulate a complete restoration/renovation process.

“Our first primary goal is to fix the ceiling,” shared Doran-Brockway, explaining that the ceiling lattice shrank causing the plaster collapse in the great room. “Right now, the shape the house is in, it needs a new roof, it needs new gutters, it needs to have the three porches rebuilt, all new electric, all new HVAC and all new plumbing.” He continued by reiterating, “We want to save this house. Not many communities have four museums and we have this great treasure here.”

For those less informed on local history, Amos Gould held numerous titles. Not only was he the first mayor, he was a judge, attorney, senator, banker, explorer – quite the entrepreneurial spirit. The Gould family had come to Owosso from New York, with Amos actually coming after the rest of the family. His brother, Ebenezer, had arrived earlier. More on Gould is available at www.owossohistory.org. The OHC is actually quite lucky to have numerous Gould artifacts in the collection that they plan to include in rotating exhibits at the Gould House.

The Amos Gould House Needs Your Help was last modified: October 15th, 2018 by Karen Elford