Octagon Houses....in iMichigan .. Nationally.... our Mt Clemens Connection...

Real Estate Agent

Where to start on this topic except to tell you about a great Web site I came across while researching Octagon Houses from here in Macomb Co.
While in the NET, came across  Macomb Co.'s Own Renaissance Man -- William Austin Burt.
Back to him in a split second....

In trying to find about Mr. Burt's Octagon Home this web site link appeared:
This site is a treasure trove of information, Photos, maps etc.
The proviso that was noted on the Home / Main page is that if using any information from the site to mention the fact.
So:  thanks to Robert Kline & Ellen Puerzer for the Inventory of Older Octagon, Hexagon, and Round Houses.

Also there is a notice of  a companion book..."the Octagon House Inventory". which you can click on the link from the Main pg.

The  2nd page of this site has the following info.:
....the number of old houses in the inventory in  year 2010 stands at  ---404;
....the number of structures in the inventory in year 2010 stands at  ----988

then a list follows where all 50 States, District of Columbia, Canada & Mystery Houses appear:
the states with zero such houses are: Arkansas, Idaho, New Mexico& Wyoming;
all the remaining states , DofC, Canada are listed a links & the number of such houses per state.
..New York has 171 with Michigan 2nd at 103;
Should you be interested go to the site and click away on your state & any other one that hits your fancy.

William Austin Burt--"Renaissance Man of Macomb County":
...accomplishments mostly on the scientific side;
...diverse achievements;
..."in the pioneer days of white men in the Michigan region" see:
...he was a member of the territorial Michigan Legislature 1826-1827;
...a Macomb County Circuit Judge--1833
...one of the first surveyors / explorers of the "Michigan Territory" ;
...he was a noted surveyor who worked in other states;
...his work, when resurveyed  is mostly found to be totally accurate;
...he was the inventor of the solar compass;
... he discovered the first iron reserves in Michigan;
...the first American patent for a typewriter was granted to William A. Burt in 1829;
...he was a millwright and designed an Octagon House;
...his Octagon House & his Wedding Cake House still can be found in what was the former
    Village of Mt. Vernon in Washington Twp.--thus the name Mt. Vernon which was named for George Washington's  estate in Virginia. The history of Mt. Vernon can be read at the web site above [history tales]

Because I do not have permission to post a photo of the Octagon Home here--that also can be found along with a photo  ofWilliam A. Burt on that web site.

However, because of Wikipedia's Commons permission, I can offer you the photo from there of the "Wedding Cake House"  which was built next to the Octagon House. It was built for his sons.


Thanks to author: Alan D. Naldrett  ea. 2000

Both the Wedding Cake House & the Octagon House are privately owned:
I was thinking about taking my own photos of same, but on second thought decided that even with permission from the 'now' owners--were it me, I would probably not want an updated photo  posted on line. 
That the web sites listed above DO include such photos is one thing--for me to take others just seemed wrong.

William Austin Burt--born June 13, 1792 & died August 18, 1858
He left Mt. Vernon around 1856 and moved to Detroit where he spent the rest of his years.
He, his wife & sons are all buried in the same tomb in Detroit's Elmwood Cemetery.     

The website for the Macomb Co. Historical-Tales that is listed above has all the pertinent photos for this
"Trip through the Local History Tales of Macomb County" .

I will be referencing many more "Trips" using the information & hopefully personal photos of "Public Markers" around this fun County.

You are invited to join in the "Trips" to come.

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Live, Learn, Love, & always remember to Laugh!

a Keyless start....a Forward Looking VIEW from the DASH; Join the RIDE 

Barb & Sal


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Jeff&Grace Safrin
F.C.Tucker 1st Team Real Estate - Valparaiso, IN

Very Interesting Barb & Sal - Have seen few octagon homes in NWI- great blog post!



Jan 08, 2011 10:10 AM #1
Barb & Sal Dragotta
Macomb, MI
Macomb County Michigan

Grace & Jeff...yes, according to the web site mentioned -- www.octagon.bobanna.com/ lists Indiana as having 34; how many are still standing can be found by clicking on your state.  It is an interesting search.
Thanks for your comment. Hope your weekend is a great one.

Jan 08, 2011 01:29 PM #2
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Barb & Sal Dragotta

Macomb County Michigan
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