This program was
initiated in 2007 for the purpose of identifying older buildings in the
township. Any structure 50 years or older will qualify if it is researched and
documented with an abstract, deeds, maps, court records, tax records, newspaper
articles, family histories, etc. Remember, you are compiling a
"genealogy" of all the people who have owned your building or home. A list of Historic Date Plaque recipients can be found here.
(1) Check the location on old maps for Macomb County; 1859, 1875, 1895, and 1916.
(2) Look online at www.washingtontownship.org under public records and enter your address in the "search" area, or go to the township assessor's office and ask for a "field sheet" for your property. Not all of the information is on the Internet. There may be an approximate date of construction, lot size, photo, and sketch with outbuildings. This is the place to find your "legal description".
(3) While you're at the township hall, stop by the building department and check the file for your property to see if there are any permits for property improvements like additions, garages, plumbing or electrical upgrades, or if the building was ever moved.
(4) Check with the title company that was used when you purchased your home. They would have a property "abstract" or chain of title that has references to deeds, mortgages, wills, etc. Ask about the cost for copies.
(5) References to deeds can be looked up at the Macomb County Register of Deeds on the 2nd floor of the old county building in Mount Clemens.
(6) Go to the Mount Clemens Public Library website at www.libcoop.net/mountclemens/genealog.htm or go to the library in person. They have the best collection of historical information on Macomb County. The website has 5 pages of links to other historic sites and databases.
(7) Get a book on historic architecture like A Field Guide to American Houses by Virginia & Lee McAlester (1986). Such a book will enable you to identify the architectural style of your house and estimate its age and determine if that style is common or rare in this area. There are also books on "kit homes" sold by companies like Sears and Aladdin in the early 20th century.
(8) Ask your neighbors if they know about previous owners or the house history.
(9) Check with the Greater Washington Area Historical Society to see what might be on file at the museum.
(10) Compile all the information, include any photographs, and submit everything to the historical society. The Application for the Historic Data Plaque can be downloaded here. If your application is approved, you will receive a certificate and your name will be placed on a list eligible to purchase a date plaque.