Isaiah Flagg House

Photo by Sara Keller, April 2010.
  • Location: 305 Stuart Avenue, Kalamazoo
  • Survey ID: R-29
  • Designation: Isaiah Flagg House
  • Date: 1866-67
  • Style: French Mansard

The following material is from the 1973 Initial Inventory of Historic Sites and Buildings in Kalamazoo and was made available for use here by the Historic Preservation Coordinator of the City of Kalamazoo. See Introduction to an Initial Inventory for details about how the survey was conducted.

Isaiah Flagg and a number of relatives settled in Kalamazoo around the middle of the nineteenth century. Flagg and his wife had both been born in Canada shortly after the War of 1812. He and his relatives specialized as carpenters and joiners with the several firms in the village. The 1860 Census-taker recorded him as a carpenter with a modest estate of $2,000. Then, during the 1860's,  Isaiah Flagg joined with Ira Bixby in a commission lumber firm. A rising "lumber merchant" in the years after the Civil War, Flagg bought a lot from Charles Stuart and constructed in 1866-67 a middle-class merchant's home.

He chose the then-fashionable Parisian Renaissance style, and by judicious use of rounded windows, bracketed eves, mansard roof and Renaissance dormer treatments, achieved an elegant formality for what was still a rather small house. The double-doored entry and curving stairway were particularly impressive. In this home, he raised a considerable family, his daughter, Harriet, teaching oil painting in a studio in the home.

In recent years, a fraternity occupied the site, converting it to use as a dormitory-residence. Though it is in design an excellent example of middle-class taste at mid-century, its condition makes continued preservation somewhat difficult. 

Maps:

1861 - nothing

1873 - I. Flagg

Kalamazoo County Tax Rolls:

1866 Non-resident Lot 29, Stuart's, 16 $120 $ 4.80
1867 Isaiah Flagg same   475  10.55
1868 same same   475  10.55
1869 same same    
1870 same same   900 (penciled  1600)  17.70

Kalamazoo City Directory:

Flagg in partnership with Ira Bixby in lumber co.

U. S-Population Census Rolls:

1860 I. Flagg, 46, carpenter & joiner, 1000 real, 1000 personal, b. Canada East; Mary Flagg, 40, milliner, b. Canada East; 3 daughters.

1870 Isaiah Flagg, 43, lumber merchant, 9000 real, b. Canada; Nellie, 39; Fred, 17; William, 10; Hanna, 15; Louise, 14; Ella, 3

1880 Isaiah Flagg, 50, foreman in lumberyard, b. Canada; Eleanor, 46, wife; Harriet, 24, daughter, teaches oil painting; Frederick, 25, son, house painter; Ella, 12, daughter; William, 20, son, unemployed 6 months; Anna Bush, 24, servant,

This report was converted from a typewritten document to a digital text document in September 2004. Other than punctuation and spelling corrections, and the addition of BOLD type site address and names, no changes were made. Minor formatting changes were made for use on this website, but the text was not altered. Original survey dated 1973.

Additional Sources

Books

Kalamazoo: Nineteenth-Century Homes in a Midwestern Village

  • Schmitt, Peter J.
  • Kalamazoo City Historical Commission, 1976, pages 144-147
  • H 720.9774 S355

Articles

"Historic home gutted"

  • Kalamazoo Gazette
  • 10 January 1979, page D4, column 1

"Landlord looks at a challenge"

  • Kalamazoo Gazette
  • 7 February 1980, page A3, column 5

"Kalamazoo preservationists honor seven restoration projects"

  • Kalamazoo Gazette
  • 4 June 2006, page F1, column 1

"The ins & outs of doors"

  • Your Home Southwest Michigan
  • April 2009, pages 10-11, ff.

Files

History Room Subject File: Houses - Kalamazoo - Stuart, 305