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Sheldon Inn
44134Michigan Avenue, Canton Township - Wayne County
Property Type frame building
Historic Use COMMERCE/TRADE/restaurant
DOMESTIC/hotel
DOMESTIC/single dwelling
GOVERNMENT/post office
Current Use DOMESTIC/multiple dwelling
Style Greek Revival
Narrative Description Today, what was once Sheldon Inn, a settlers inn and stagecoach stop on the old Chicago Road, is a two-family apartment building. A two-story, side-gable Greek Revival structure, it sits on a quarter-acre site a few feet back from its original location. Several old trees on the property help to give a feel of the former site. It is located in a community zoned area between a modern church on the west and two small businesses on the east. The building, though altered through time, still exhibits Greek Revival architecture. It is a two-story, side-gabld building with cornice return detail. A full-width front porch with slightly splayed piers on wooden supports was added in the 1930s. On the east end of the facade is a one-story wing, built in the 1830s for the owner's unmarried sister. The wing is also in the Greek Revival style with return cornice detail and a modern porch covered with a metal awning. To the rear is a one-story wing with roofline perpendicular to the core block. On the east elevation of the rear wing is a shed roof addition.
Statement of Significance Built circa 1825, the Sheldon Inn is of outstanding historical importance as one of the earliest inns established on the state's pre-eminent early highway. When it was built, there was virtually nothing west of it all the way to the Indiana line and Chicago. Situated on Michigan Avenue just to the east of the junction of that highway with Sheldon Road and Geddes Road, the former South Territorial Road, it became the focal building of Sheldon Corners, a crossroads hamlet which grew up around it. The inn was originally the home of Timothy and Rachel Sheldon, immigrants form New York State. They chose to settle near their overnight campsite along the Chicago Road, on land which was apparently to their liking. The original land patent sold to Timothy Sheldon, dated June 6, 1825, was for 160 acres (the western half of the northeast quarter and the eastern half of the northwestern quarter of Section 34). The Sheldon's built their home on this parcel. Almost immediately it became an inn, serving the rapidly-growing number of travelers on this important early road at what soon became an important intersection. Six years later, Rachel Sheldon purchased an additional 80 acres (the eastern half of the northeast quarter).
Period of Significance 1825-1848
Significant Date(s) 1825, 1848
Registry Type(s) 06/02/2000 National Register listed
Site ID# P39131