Carder-Remington House

Photo by Alex Forist, April 2006
  • Location: 309 W. Walnut Street, Kalamazoo
  • Survey ID: R-40
  • Designation: Carder-Remington House
  • Date: 1859
  • Style: Italian Revival

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.

Lewis A. Remington brought his wife and his four-year-old daughter Mary to Kalamazoo from New York state in 1859; a son, Fred, was born soon after they arrived. The Remingtons settled in the simple, square Italian Revival house that Edwin Carder, one of Kalamazoo's early merchants, had just completed behind his home on the corner of Walnut and Park. Remington established himself in the dry-goods business, but died in 1861. His wife, Mary Jane, headed the household for the next forty years. When she passed away in 1903, the Gazette praised her for a lifetime of work in the First Methodist Church and called her "a great lover of her home". Shortly before Mrs. Remington's death, Mary resigned her job as an elementary teacher and opened a kindergarten in the Walnut Street house. Frederick had been working for some years at the Post Office. Brother and sister lived on in the house until 1938. Fred L. Stites occupied it from 1939 through World War II. After the War it passed to Charles Venema. In 1946, the Gazette included it in a "Series of Interesting Homes in and Around Kalamazoo," commenting that its exterior had undergone virtually no change and adding that in 1939, "the house had neither gas or electricity and boasted but a black iron sink and two hand pumps in the way of plumbing." 

Comparison with a nineteenth-century photo shows that the house still looks very much as it did a hundred years ago. Shingles have replaced the original narrow wood siding, a little balustrade on the porch roof is gone, and the wooden sidewalks have been replaced. The entranceway, the brackets under the eaves, and the shutters still remain. 

Kalamazoo County Tax Rolls:

1858  Edwin A. Carder lot 14,15, Sills Add. Homestead  800 18.35
          lot on S. side of Walnut 110

1859  Edwin A. Carder 8 rods from W. side of 14 & 15, Sills
          700 12.59
          4 rods front on S. side of Walnut "new house
          commenced"  400  7.10

1860  Arnold Remington 4 rods front on S. side of Walnut

U. S. Population Census Rolls:

1860 Edwin A. Carder, 38, cabinet warehouse, 10000, 15000, b.
         Conn.; Sarah 38 b. Eng.; Myron, 15, Henrietta, 13; George,
         10; Harriet, 7.

1860 name garbled on census roll "Lewis A. Rantigton" (sic), 37

1870 Mary J. Remington, 44, keeping house, 8000, b. NY.; Mary,
         14, b. NY; Fred, 10, b. NY

1880 Mary J. Remington, 53, widow, b. NY; Mary, 23, daughter,
         teaching, b. NY; Frederick, son, 20, clerk in P.O., b. NY. (live
         at 35 Walnut)

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.

Sources

Articles

"Family Home for 80 years is Apartments: Italian Revival House"

  • Kalamazoo Gazette, 30 April 1975, page B6, column 1

Books

Kalamazoo: Nineteenth-Century Homes in a Midwestern Village

  • Schmitt, Peter J.
  • Kalamazoo City Historical Commission, 1976, page 110
  • H 720.9774 S355