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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

East Lansing in Ingham County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Alice B. Cowles House

 
 
Alice B. Cowles House Marker - Side 1 image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 19, 2017
1. Alice B. Cowles House Marker - Side 1
Inscription.  
Side 1
The Alice B. Cowles House, built in 1857, is the oldest building on the Michigan State University campus. Built as a "Farm Cottage" on Faculty Row from bricks made of clay from the banks of the Red Cedar River, it was originally the official residence of the president of Michigan Agricultural College. After 1874 it was used as faculty housing, as Department of Education offices and as a residence for female students. In 1941 it again became the official home of the president. After World War II, it was remodeled using funds from the estate of alumnus Frederick Cowles Jenison and named for Jenison's mother, Alice B. Cowles. Jenison's grandfather, Albert Cowles, had been a student in the college's first class in 1857 and had helped gather the materials for the building.

Side 2
Cowles House was centrally located on the campus of the nation's oldest land grant institution, Michigan Agricultural College. Constructed in 1857, it was one of four cottages, designed by architect J. J. Scott of Toledo, Ohio, to house college faculty and their families. Joseph R. Williams, president from
Alice B. Cowles House Marker - Side 2 image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 19, 2017
2. Alice B. Cowles House Marker - Side 2
1857 to 1859, was its first resident. In 1874 a new house on the site now occupied by Gilchrist Hall became the president's residence and Professor William James Beal moved into Cowles House with his wife Hannah and daughter Jessie. A pioneer botanist, Beal is credited with the first documented account of hybrid corn experimentation. Due to the many modifications of Cowles House over the years, only the stone foundation and two walls of the original structure remain visible.
 
Erected 1988 by Bureau of History, Department of State. (Marker Number S572.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EducationNotable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the Michigan Historical Commission series list.
 
Location. 42° 44.006′ N, 84° 29.083′ W. Marker is in East Lansing, Michigan, in Ingham County. Marker is on West Circle Drive west of Abbott Road, on the left when traveling west. Marker is on the campus of Michigan State University, on westbound West Circle Drive. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1 Abbott Road, East Lansing MI 48824, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Walter Adams Field (within shouting distance of this marker); Botanical Laboratory (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sleepy Hollow
Alice B. Cowles House and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 19, 2017
3. Alice B. Cowles House and Marker
View looking toward the south from westbound West Circle Drive.
(about 700 feet away); "That a Ladies Course be Organized" (about 800 feet away); Michigan State University (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Rededication of the Beaumont Tower Bells (approx. 0.2 miles away); W.J. Beal Botanical Garden (approx. 0.2 miles away); Women's Building (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in East Lansing.
 
Alice B. Cowles House image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 19, 2017
4. Alice B. Cowles House
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 12, 2017. It was originally submitted on August 12, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 156 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 12, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
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Nov. 28, 2020