Sterling Heights History





Sterling Heights' Upton House

Built in 1866-1867 by William and Sarah Aldrich Upton, the Upton House is one of a few surviving nineteenth century homes in Sterling Heights. It was the home of this prosperous farmer and merchant until 1891.

The Upton House is a classic example of the Victorian Italianate style of architecture which was popular from 1840 to 1880. The Italianate elements include the wide eaves supported by large brackets, the tall thin first floor windows which are semi-arched with pediments, a low-pitched hipped roof with cupola, and the cubic shape of the two-story section.

Other Victorian elements include the bay window projection on the north face and the spindle trim on the porch, over the bay windows, and on the cupola.

The interior has been extensively renovated and remodeled by previous owners. There once were sliding oak doors to the parlor and front and rear stairways to the second floor. The front stairs led to the family bedrooms and the back stairs to the hired help quarters. These areas were separated by a solid wall.

The exterior brick was originally a natural red color. Sometime during the 1940's or 1950's it was painted white which proved to be hard to remove without damaging the surface. The solution devised by the preservation architect was to re-paint with a color popular in the1870's, shortly after the house was built. A muted shade of brown was chosen, with darker brown trim and deep red accents. Not long ago the house was again repainted, this time using an ivory color with apple green trim chosen by the city.

The Upton farm of 136 acres is now the site of City Hall, the Justice and Library buildings, the Community Center and Stevenson High School. Outbuildings once included barns for horses and cattle; a windmill which provided water for the house and barns; a solid brick outhouse. The orchard was across Utica Road where the park parking lot is now. For additional information on Upton House history Click Here.

The Upton House is listed on the U.S. Register of Historic Places and is a Michigan Historical Landmark.

Historical Collection and Displays

The Sterling Heights Historical Commission solicits and accepts items for the Sterling Heights Historical Collection which depict the growth and change within this municipality since its inception as a township in 1835. Recognizing that today's events will be tomorrow's history, modern items judged to be of permanent value will be considered.

The Commission encourages and will consider items which fall into the following categories, although it will not be limited by these categories:

  • Maps, photographs, and documents relating to personal, business, educational, cultural, and recreational activities.
  • Household accessories and personal artifacts.

Items will be collected for preservation and display at the Upton House, the library, or elsewhere if display cases and security are provided.

The library and the Historical Commission also arrange displays periodically in the Upton House. Tours have been available for residents to enjoy exhibits of antique Christmas ornaments, vintage needlecrafts, and military memorabilia. Residents are encouraged to participate by lending items for display. If you have a display that you would be willing to lend, please contact Tammy Turgeon, Library Director, at 586-446-2640.

Enjoy these pictures from previous displays.


September 1998: Upton House opens
Pictures of historic homes in the city
Farm scenes from the city's early days
Pictures of the Upton and other families
December 1998: Holiday display
Old toys were on display
A miniature Upton House
Holiday treasures from residents
May 1999: Memorial Day display
Hats and other objects from our history
Medals, patches, and old newspapers
Uniforms from times past
August 1999: Needlecraft display
A beautiful handmade quilt
Contains names of WWII soldiers
Signed by the maker
May 2000: Memorial Day display
Glenn Watterworth and his collection
Fred DeNault and his collection
Remember these headlines?
May 2001: Memorial Day display
Fred DeNault, Stephen Kanyusik, Glenn Watterworth
Scouts looking at the display
Uniforms from different branches of the service
July 2001: Sterlingfest display
Remembering the move to SH
Grandmas shared with grandchildren
Historical photos enjoyed by all
December 2001: Holiday display
Residents loaned items for display
Remember these Christmas toys?
Decorations from Christmas past
May 2002: Memorial Day Display
Historical medals and posters
Photographs were on display
Thanks to: Fred DeNault & Glenn Watterworth
August 2002: Sterlingfest
Model airplanes from Cloudbusters
Antique radios from the Wentworths
Remember these old phones?
September 2002: Vietnam Display
Remembering
Uniforms of the era
Thanks to: Fred DeNault & Glenn Watterworth
Edgerton Cemetery

Overview of Edgerton Cemetery


Edgerton Cemetery was established in the 1830s as a family burial ground on approximately 1.84 acres of land. The cemetery is located on a knoll on the southwest corner of Schoenherr and Utica roads, on the site of what was originally the Edgerton family farm. The earliest burial for which there is a tombstone was that of Nancy Curtis, who died on May 16, 1839 at the age of 39.

For decades, the cemetery was maintained by relatives and descendants. As these individuals either died or moved away, the cemetery went into decline.

The City of Sterling Heights assumed responsibility for the care and maintenance of the cemetery in 1989. Previously, various community groups including the Cultural Commission, Historical Commission, and Boy Scouts sponsored intermittent clean-ups of the cemetery. A local business donated fencing in 1976 as a bicentennial project.

Unfortunately, cemetery records were destroyed in a fire in the 1948. The earliest burials in the cemetery are in the 1830s with the last burial occurring in 1964. There are approximately 150 burials, with about 100 of them dating to the nineteenth century.

Edgerton Cemetery is an important local historic site as it is the resting place for area pioneer families, many of them members of the Sterling Township's German farming community.

Interesting Facts about Edgerton Cemetery


3 Civil War Veterans are buried here:

  • Milton Drake - May 9, 1832 - April 22, 1864
  • George Drake - June 21, 1841 - August 20, 1864
  • Charles Scribner - 1830- February 28, 1865

The first burial was in 1839. Nancy Curtis, March 29, 1800-May 16, 1839.

The last burial was in 1964. Alice L. Rice, September 29,1866-October 5, 1964.

The average life expectancy was: male, 42 years and female, 43.5 years.

Other interesting burials:

  • Eleazer Edgerton 1806-1891. Justice of the Peace 1836-1856. Sterling Treasurer 1838 & 1856.
  • Nancy Edgerton 1812-1893. Wife of Eleazer Edgerton. Mother of nine children.
  • Lewis Drake 1801-1888. Pioneer farmer. Active in the Macomb County Agricultural Society.
  • Joseph Priehs 1841-1915. Pioneer of Sterling Township. Lived on the same farm for 30 years.

Pictures from Edgerton Cemetery


The Drake marker.
The Edgerton marker.
The new sign at the Cemetery, donated by Wally & Ruth Doebler.
Some of the old tombstones at Edgerton.
The Rice marker.

Burials at Edgerton Cemetery


Surname Given Names Dates Age
Beck Anna Marie 7/15/1799 - 8/1/1876 77y,17d
Beck Bernhart L. 10/29/1807 - 4/2/1883 75y,4m,29d
Behm William 3/11/1833 - 2/28/1888 54y,11m,11d
Behm Caroline 2/18/1834 - 8/16/1910 75y,11m,12d
Bitner Sarah 6/15/1831 - 3/13/1860 28y,8m,28d
Bulow Katina 12/30/1870 - 3/9/1892 21y,3m,10d
Bulow Martha 5/30/1888 - 12/25/1888 6m,25d
Buelow Friedrich 4/20/1872 - 1/6/1909 36y,8m,14d
Buelow Maria Sofia 12/25/1840 - 6/4/1885 44y,5m,10d
Buelow Henriette 10/12/1882 - 6/7/1903 21y,1m,22d
Buelow Karl 10/8/1876 - 9/17/1910 33y,11m,9d
Buelow Fred 1848 - 1927 79y
Buelow Sophie 1847 - 5/20/1920 73y
Buelow Auguste Laniom 1/7/1877 - 3/3/1882 5y,1m,27d
Cook Alona M. 1/21/1869 - 3/21/1942 73y,2m
Cook Fred S. 8/27/1866 - 5/7/1939 72y,8m,20d
Cook Bert L. 6/26/1895 - 1/14/1933 37y,6m,12d
Cook Enoch 1829 - 1914 85y
Cook Candace 1832 - 1915 83y
Cook Addie 1858 - 10/15/1890 33y
Cowles Horace 12/5/1836 - 3/24/1923 86y,3m,9d
Cowles Lucy M. 1/12/1842 - 12/31/1928 86y,11m,19d
Cowles Chester B. 2/3/1810 - 9/19/1854 44y,7m,16d
Cowles Elizabeth A. 1810 - betw.1870 and 1880
Cowles Emily L. 11/16/1842 - 11/17/1856 14y,1d
Cowles Sylvester 1833 - 10/22/1854 22y,1m,16d
Cowles William 1831 - after 1860
Curtis Thankful Birdzell 9/11/1782 - 3/22/1849 66y,6m,11d
Curtis Anneliza 1845 - 1850 5y
Curtis Cordilio 2/3/1799 - 10/31/1873 74y,8m,28d
Curtis Nancy 3/29/1800 - 5/16/1839 39y,2m,13d
Curtis Mary 9/14/1814 - 5/18/1852 37y,8m,4d
Curtis Nancy M. 1/16/1837 - 8/27/1865 28y,7m,11d
Curtis Marriette 6/22/1830 - 7/3/1844 14y,11d
Curtis Sarette 12/18/1831 - 5/15/184 9y,4m,27d
Difford Giles 9/20/1815 - 12/23/1878 63y,3m,3d
Difford Jane 6/21/1813 - 2/8/1886 72y,7m,18d
Drake Lewis 1/3/1801 - 10/28/1888 87y,9m,20d
Drake Mary 1805 - 8/6/1845 41y
Drake Charity 1817 - 4/22/1886 69y
Drake Francis 3/24/1844 - 8/13/1844 4m,18d
Drake Lewis 5/18/1830 - 10/28/1850 20y
Drake Bronson 11/10/1826 - 1/14/1862 35y,9m,26d
Drake Milon M. 5/9/1832 - 4/22/1864 31y,11m,17d
Drake George B. 6/21/1841 - 8/20/1864 23y,1m,29d
Drake Helen E. 9/11/1847 - 11/26/1878 31y,2m,15d
Drake Jettora B. 7/16/1854 - 5/31/1887 32y,10m,14d
Drake Meriden T. 1876 - 1906 30y
Drake Louisa A. 7/4/1851 - 8/18/1928 77y,1m,14d
Drake Winfield S. 6/3/1849 - 1/11/1942 92y,7m,8d
Dubois William D. 10/25/1858 - 11/1/1925 67y,7d
Dubois Minnie B. 10/22/1873 - 3/10/1914 40y,4m,18d
Dubois Charles C. 6/24/1826 - 8/12/1896 70y,1m,19d
Dubois Mary H. 6/8/1832 - 6/15/1891 59y,7d
Dubois Elmer J. 1856 - 6/25/1891 35y
Dubois Frank H. 1/1/1871 - 3/22/1882 11y,3m,22d
Edgerton Eleazer 1/16/1806 - 7/16/1891 85y,6m
Edgerton Nancy 10/3/1812 - 9/17/1893 82y,11m,16d
Edgerton Jay R. 1841 - 4/11/1867 26y
Edgerton Lovina 8/18/1837 - 12/21/1863 26y,4m,3d
Edgerton Julia A. 1836 - 4/7/1861 25y
Edgerton Francis E. 3/12/1845 - 4/21/1864 19y,1m,9d
Edgerton James 4/14/1851 - 1/22/1866 14y,9m,8d
Edgerton Lorenzo 3/17/1847 - 3/6/1871 23y,11m,20d
Edgerton Charles 9/25/1855 - 1872 21y
Faulmann Willhelm 6/2/1884 - 10/14/1908 24y,4m,12d
Faulmann Charlotte 10/20/1840 - 1/8/1890 49y,2m,12d
Faulmann Karl 9/13/1872 - 2/9/1892 19y,4m,25d
Foster Sarah 1855 - 1861 4y,10m,3d
Gamper Jacob 1786 - 1/24/1871 85y
Gaude Ottilia 10/6/1882 - 7/21/1887 4y,10m,15d
Hacker Edward 6/5/1827 - 6/16/1899 72y,11d
Hacker Leah 2/26/1828 - 9/13/1884 56y,7m,1d
Hacker Leah L. 12/8/1864 Infant
Hacker Alvin E. 1/9/1823 - 8/19/1856 34y,7m,11d
Hacker Alfred J. 10/1855 - 8/26/1856 11m
Hacker John E. 12/6/1859 - 10/5/1861 1y,10m,12d
Harvey Justin 1812 - 10/12/1855 43y
Herling John 11/9/1816 - 4/18/1881 64y,5m,9d
Herling Christina 1820 - 11/18/1892 72y
Hetsler Frederick 1805 - 12/2/1855 50y
Hetsler Mary M. 1825 - 1904 79y
Koefter Wilhelm 8/7/1832 - 7/4/1890 57y,10m,27d
Koefter Maria G. 12/16/1833 - 12/25/1922 89y,9d
Lucht Fredrick 1816 - 7/2/1891 75y
Mass Friedrich 11/16/1832 - 1/23/1903 70y,2m,7d
Mass Wilhamine 1/9/1832 - 1/10/1898 66y,1d
Ober Eliakin 6/13/1786 - 10/19/1859 73y,4m,6d
Ober Desire 10/8/1782 - 5/10/1851 68y,7m,2d
Ober Hilen 1/1/1806 - 11/26/1876 70y,10m,26d
Ober Sarah M. 1811 - 5/22/1880 69y
Perry Ira S. 1/1794 - 9/2/1878 84y,8m
Perry Mercy E. 7/25/1791 - 3/10/1864 72y,7m,16d
Pinnow Johann 1/7/1842 - 5/11/1890 58y,4m,4d
Pinnow Fritz 1876 - 5/1/1887 11y
Potter Benona 9/1805 - 11/12/1855 50y,2m
Priehs John C. 2/13/1830 - 5/22/1900 70y,3m,9d
Priehs Dorathea 12/25/1831 - 10/17/1899 67y,10m,8d
Priehs Herman 11/6/1876 - 2/2/1895 18y,9m,26d
Priehs Irvin 3/30/1895 - 7/30/1895 3m,21d
Priehs Hilda Ida 10/5/1908 - 12/5/1910 2y,2m
Priehs Joseph 3/26/1841 - 6/3/1915 74y,3m,8d
Priehs Sophia 12/24/1846 - 7/2/1929 82y,6m,9d
Quandt Joachim 12/8/1803 - 8/19/1893 89y,8m,11d
Reeve Henry 1828 - 1/20/1884 56y
Reeve Sarah 1823 - 3/2/1890 67y
Rice Gilbert 1819 - 4/20/1889 70y
Rice Viola 7/24/1853 - 6/12/1855 1y,10m,19d
Rice Harriet 10/5/1820 - 11/22/1855 35y,1m,17d
Rice John 4/2/1799 - 1866 67y
Rice Mary 11/6/1809 - 1/20/1841 31y,2m,14d
Rice June 6/30/1857 - 5/7/1893 35y,10m,7d
Rice Richard 11/1/1852 - 10/4/1943 91y,11m,24d
Rice Lucielle 1/8/1896 - 10/19/1899 3y,9m,11d
Rice H. Donald 9/8/1898 - 1/20/1900 1y,4m,12d
Rice John 5/8/1863 - 5/5/1924 60y,11m,28d
Rice Alice L. 9/29/1866 - 10/5/1964 98y,6d
Rice John T. 5/16/1829 - 11/1858 29y,6m
Rice Elizabeth J. 1/7/1837 - 12/5/1863 25y,10m,29d
Rice Charles W. 6/13/1831 - 7/1882 51y,8m
Rice Mary A. 1/16/1839 - 10/26/1857 18y,9m,10d
Rice C. Adele 11/15/1855 - 11/6/1876 20y,11m,23d
Rice Philena M. 9/15/1826 - 6/2/1895
Rice Eliz. Merta 4/14/1858 - 11/26/1871 13y,7m,12d
Rice Catharine 1819 - 10/5/1860 41y,2m,13d
Scribner John C. 1/28/1827 - 1/25/1862 34y,11m,28d
Scribner Charles W. 1830 - 2/28/1865 36y
Scribner Aaron 1799 - 1854 54y
Scribner Rhoda 1796 - 2/28/1858 62y
Scribner Samuel B. 1842 - 1851 9y
Stead Alfred 1/1/1842 - 3/26/1914 72y,3m,26d
Stead Sarah A. 2/14/1844 - 3/13/1924 81y,27d
Stead Charles W. 7/6/1877 - 7/28/1878 1y,1m,22d
Stead Charles 8/25/1840 - 8/11/1870 29y,11m,17d
Steaver Richard 2/19/1823 - 8/26/1861 38y,6m,7d
Sturges Corene 1/1819 - 6/6/1861 42y,6m
Sturges Susan 8/19/1844 - 12/4/1863 19y,3m,16d
Sylvester Richard 8/13/1808 - 7/4/1891 82y,11m,9d
Trost August 2/14/1866 - 10/25/1898 32y,8m,11d
Trost Julia 10/13/1893 - 7/30/1894 9m,17d
Ube Charles 12/12/1852 - 1/17/1898 45y,1m,5d
Ube Friedrich 5/14/1829 - 1/24/1888 58y,8m,10d
Ube Wilhelmine 10/8/1830 - 9/22/1917 86y,11m
Upton Elizabeth 5/1803 - 12/18/1866 63y,7m
Upton Elmer G. 1864 - 1/16/1890 26y
Upton Gussie M. 8/20/1870 - 1/16/1890 19y,4m,27d
Upton Sarah 6/1838 - 11/1/1858 20y,5m
Upton John 1803 - 1854 52y
VanAntwerp Caroline Augusta 5/3/1845 - 8/21/1846 1y,2m,18d
VanAntwerp Francis 7/1816 - 8/9/1843 27y,1m

 

"Civil War Veterans Buried in Edgerton Cemetery" by Historical Commission Jason Channell


A sad but consistent theme in human history is that young people die in large numbers in wartime. Edgerton Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in Sterling Heights, is the final resting place for three Union soldiers from the Civil War.

Charles W. Scribner made the trip from Sterling Township to Utica and enlisted in the 22 Michigan Infantry, Company F.

The father of two boys was 33 at the time of his enlistment. Corporal Scribner never even made it into battle. From Utica, he was shipped to Grand Rapids, and along with many other soldiers, contracted measles at the Union Army camp. Corporal Scribner recovered enough to travel a bit further south, but soon turned ill again and died at the City General Hospital in Indianapolis in February of 1864. Corporal Scribner was among the 4 officers and 306 enlisted men of the 22 Michigan Infantry who died due from disease during the Civil War.

The Drake brothers, 21-year-old George and 30-year-old Milon, fought with Company B of the 22 Michigan Infantry. The soldiers in Company B came primarily from Macomb County. George held the rank of private, while Milon was a corporal.

Company B engaged in numerous fierce battles, including the infamous siege of Atlanta lead by General William T. Sherman. The 22nd also fought several violent skirmishes against roving guerrilla Confederate forces. Unfortunately for these Michigan soldiers, they were all too often on the losing side of the battlefield.

Private George B. Drake met his fate at Chattanooga in August of 1864. Corporal Milon Drake died at the end of the Civil War, in April of 1865. The Drakes were part of the 3 officers and 86 enlisted men killed in action. Initially buried in the National Cemetery in Chattanooga, TN (where they still have memorial markers for both brothers), the Drake family had the bodies sent to Edgerton where they lay in their final resting place.

In total, the 22 Michigan Infantry lost 399 men to disease and battle deaths.

Sterling Heights' Historical Homes

The Residential Date Plaque Award Program, established from 1992-1999, has recognized 33 homes of historic value in Sterling Heights as identified by age and architectural significance.

The 1846 home of Edwin Haff.
Chosen for the award in 1993.
43750 Dequindre
The circa 1850 Pioneer home.
Chosen for the award in 1998.
40815 Utica Road
The 1852-1856 home of Chauncey G. Cady.
Chosen for the award in 1995.
35290 Moravian Road
The 1854 home of Frederick & Mary Hetchler.
Chosen for the award in 1996.
14711 Clinton River Road
The 1868-1869 home of John Warrenner.
Chosen for the award in 1992.
34045 Ryan Road
The circa 1870 home of Wilford Rice.
Chosen for the award in 1999.
8224 Clinton River Road
The 1870-1875 home of George Upton (demolished 1998).
Chosen for the award in 1995.
was at 13475 Clinton River Road
The circa 1872 home of Christopher & Paulina Weier.
Chosen for the award in 1999.
11242 Plumbrook Road
The 1873 log cabin of Charles Faust (demolished in 2007).
Chosen for the award in 1993.
was at 12300 19 Mile Road
The 1875 home of John & Philena Rice.
Chosen for the award in 1996.
37840 Utica Road
The circa 1875 home of Albert & Mary Saal.
Chosen for the award in 1997.
41577 Saal
The 1887 home of John & Margaret Ruby.
Chosen for the award in 1998.
42369 Schoenherr
The 1890 home of the Wilson Family.
Chosen for the award in 1994.
5015 15 Mile Road
The 1891 home of Robert & Christine Petts.
Chosen for the award in 1996.
5235 18 1/2 Mile Road
The 1892-1893 home of John Doebler.
Chosen for the award in 1992.
12550 Canal Road
The 1912 home of John Abernathy.
Chosen for the award in 1994.
8750 Clinton River Road
The 1913 home of Charles & Wilhelmina Schuldt.
Chosen for the award in 1998.
12331 Clinton River Road
The 1916 home of August Marotz (demonlished in 2005).
Chosen for the award in 1993.
was at 12151 Clinton River Road
The 1916 home of William & Mary Faulman.
Chosen for the award in 1997.
8330 Clinton River Road
The 1920 home of Ray C. Lunger.
Chosen for the award in 1995.
8291 Clinton River Road
The 1920 home of John & Mary Nieman.
Chosen for the award in 1998.
8250 Clinton River Road
The 1922-1923 home of John Wright.
Chosen for the award in 1994.
8717 Clinton River Road
The 1924 home of Chris Gratopp.
Chosen for the award in 1994.
8630 Plumbrook
The 1924 home of Robert C. & Myrtle Kidd.
Chosen for the award in 1999.
8411 Clinton River Road
The 1924 home of John & Martha Doebler.
Chosen for the award in 1997.
8725 Canal
The 1924-1925 home of Louisa Miller.
Chosen for the award in 1996.
8251 Clinton River Road
The 1925 home of Mathilda & Charles Kiekbusch.
Chosen for the award in 1995.
8320 Canal Road
The 1925 home of William & Laura Malow.
Chosen for the award in 1997.
44849 Malow
The 1929-1930 home of Otto & Beatrice Maas.
Chosen for the award in 1999.
44826 Malow
The 1930 home of William Wagner, Sr.
Chosen for the award in 1994.
7200 19 1/2 Mile Road
The 1930 home of Otto & Ferona Miller.
Chosen for the award in 1996.
44864 Malow
The 1930 home of Fred & Bernice Arft.
Chosen for the award in 1997.
44756 Malow
The 1936 home of Ethel & Royal Hill.
Chosen for the award in 1995.
8215 Clinton River Road