Things To Do In Chelsea, MI – A Walking Tour Part Two

In my previous post, I discussed taking a walking tour as one of the things to do in Chelsea, MI. Since there are so many notable buildings to encounter during your Chelsea walking tour, I decided to make this into a two post series. The first post, which is my most recent one, covered the first half of the buildings. Today in this post, I will go over the second half of the buildings for the walking tour.

(Photo courtesy of Andrew Jameson via Wikimedia)

Heydlauff’s Appliance

Located across Main Street to the southwest of the Mack Building is the Heydlauff’s Appliance building. Back in the old days, the building housed office space for the Glazier Stove Co. This company was responsible for the production of oil stoves in the iconic Clock Tower.

The building that once stood there, was destroyed in 1970. But a new building was erected soon afterwards and has been housing Heydlauff’s Appliance Store ever since.

Chelsea Print and Graphics

This building is located on the southwestern corner of the intersection of Main and Middle Streets. It was built in 1906 or 1907 and once housed the Kempf Commercial Savings Bank. It also once housed a post office, a library, a shop called Groves 5 Cents & 10 Cents, and a Secretary of State office.

The building is notable for its modern white pressed roman brick veneer. It currently houses Chelsea Print and Graphics which is a printing, copying, and retail office supply store.

The Common Grill

Walk on the sidewalk south from Chelsea Print and Graphics and you will arrive at the building that now houses a restaurant called The Common Grill. It was built in 1893 and housed the W. P. Schenk Department Store which was the largest department store in the area at the time. Today, the building is notable for its original 1896 advertisement for Jaxon Soap that is posted on the south wall.

14th District Courthouse

(Photo courtesy of Dwight Burdette via Wikimedia)

Walk a bit further south to the intersection of Main and Park Streets and savor the beauty of the building that now houses the 14th District Courthouse. It was built in 1901 or 1902 to house the Chelsea Savings Bank. Frank Glazier built the building in honor of his father, George, who was Chelsea’s first banker. The building is notable for its Bedford limestone and granite exterior.

Also take note of two solid sandstone columns and terracotta tile roof. A carved stone memorial wreath is also found above the building’s entrance.

Old Chelsea Post Office

Located right across Park Street from the courthouse is the Old Chelsea Post Office. It was built in 1936 or 1937 to house Chelsea’s post office. This was a Depression era federal work project. The post office remained in the building until 2009 when it relocated south of town.

The building is notable for its three stone panels representing a train, a plane, and a ship. These were the three major modes of transportation that was used by the Postal Service at that time.

Chelsea District Library

The Chelsea District Library is across Main Street to the southeast from the old post office. It was built in 1860 as the stately residence for Chelsea’s founder, Elisha Congdon. He lived there until 1867. After Elisha’s death, the building was bought and converted into a hotel and boarding house.

It eventually became the library in 1958. The building underwent a major renovation in 2006. It house pictures of Chelsea’s past on the staircase walls.

Smokehouse 52 BBQ

Smokehouse 52 BBQ is located right across Main Street from the courthouse. The building that houses the bbq restaurant was built in 1889 or 1890. It used to house grocery stores including Schneider’s Grocery. It eventually became home to the bbq restaurant sometime after 2010.

Vogel’s & Foster’s

Walk on the sidewalk north from the bbq restaurant and you will reach a building that currently houses a clothing store called Vogel’s & Foster’s. It was built in 1876 or 1877. When it was first built, it housed Holmes Mercantile which was one of the oldest department stores in the area. The building then housed two separate clothing stores right next to each other.

One of them sold men’s clothings while the other one sold women’s clothings. They eventually combined to become the one clothing store that it is today. Much of the historic character is preserved including the vintage doors and the vintage 1911 water fountain.

Bill Ballagh Building

Just one building to the north of Vogel’s & Foster’s is the Bill Ballagh Building. It is renowned for its exterior features. These include cast iron columns and moldings at the front entrance and curved metal cornices at the roofline. The building was constructed in 1882 and has housed countless merchants over the past century.

These include a millinery, a jewelry store, an eye glass shop, a shoe store, a barber shop, an insurance company, and an accountant. The building’s window contain ever-changing displays of current events in town.

Municipal Building

Located right next door is the Municipal Building. It was built in 1910 or 1911 and for many years, was home to a general/hardware store called Holmes & Walker’s. The building also housed a number of town agencies including the fire and police departments.

The building went through extensive restoration in 2014 including a major recreation of the historic storefront. Today, it houses Moran’s Consigments and Breathe Yoga on the street level.

Chelsea House Victorian Inn

Take a walk to the east along Middle Street and you will arrive at the Chelsea House Victorian Inn. It was built in 1886 or 1887 and is most well known for being the home of US Congressman James Gorman who lived there for thirty years starting in the 1890’s. Today, it is a bed and breakfast inn called the Chelsea House Victorian Inn.

First Congregational Church

The First Congregational Church is located across Middle Street from the bed and breakfast inn. It was built in 1894 and replaced the wooden structure that was destroyed by a fire. The church is noted for its breathtaking stained glass windows. There are 29 of them in total.

That sums up all of the buildings that you will see on your walking tour of this charming small town. So, if you are looking for things to do in Chelsea, MI, I would suggest that you do the walking tour to try and get the most out of your time there. You can go here to view a map with all the buildings dotted on it. Your walking tour will be within the downtown area.

The Hotel

Should you need a place to stay overnight at in Chelsea, I have got you covered here. Here is a hotel I would suggest for you.

Baymont by Wyndham Chelsea

This hotel is only a short distance south of downtown just off Interstate 94. The hotel offers complimentary breakfast. For the hungry, nearby dining options include Thompson’s Pizzeria, Uptown Coney Island, and Arctic Breakaway Restaurant & Bar. The hotel contains an indoor heated swimming pool and fitness center. All of the hotel’s rooms and suites come with WiFi, coffee makers, microwaves, and mini refrigerators.

The average rate for a standard room range from $88 to $160. You can go here to browse your booking options and/or check out some photos.

What are your thoughts? Have you seen any of these buildings in Chelsea? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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