William Upton House

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William Upton House
William Upton House is located in Michigan
William Upton House
Location 40433 Utica Rd., Sterling Heights, Michigan
Coordinates 42°35′29″N 83°0′42″W / 42.59139°N 83.01167°W / 42.59139; -83.01167Coordinates: 42°35′29″N 83°0′42″W / 42.59139°N 83.01167°W / 42.59139; -83.01167
Built 1867
Architectural style Italianate
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 86002113[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP July 31, 1986
Designated MSHS October 27, 1983[2]

The William Upton House was built as a private residence located at 40433 Utica Road in Sterling Heights, Michigan. It is the oldest house in the city, and now houses public offices.[2] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985[1] and designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1983.[2]



William Upton was born in 1835 in Leicestershire, England, and immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1841.[2] The Uptons first settled in Detroit, then moved to Sterling Township in 1845. In 1861, William Upton married Sarah Jeanette Aldrich, and in 1866-67 he built this house on his farm. Upton was a successful and prosperous farmer, and also sold fish caught in the Clinton River, and by 1891 the farm spread out over 138 acres.[2] William and Sarah Upton lived in this house until 1891, when they moved to Utica and purchased a three-story commercial building.[2]

William Upton ran a successful mercantile and real estate business in the Utica building until 1897, when he sold the business (but not the building).[2] In 1897, Upton became general manager of the local Salvation Army.[3] Upton's building was destroyed by fire in 1904, and he was seriously injured trying to protect it.[3] Soon afterward, the Uptons moved to Rochester, where William Upton died in 1923[2] and Sarah Upton died in 1925.[3]

In 1891, the Uptons sold the house to Frederick Ahren, who lived there until 1913.[3] In 1913, the farm was purchased by Fred and Augusta Heldt, who lived there from 1913 to 1927.[3] In 1922, Heldt conveyed part of the farm to the state of Michigan to create Dodge Park.[3] Stella Boylan purchased the house in 1927, and afterward a number of owners and renters lived there. Although the exterior of the house was originally natural brick, at some point in the 1940s or 50s it was painted.[4] In 1964, the house was purchased by the Macomb Child Guidance Center, and later the city of Sterling Heights bought the building for use by the Parks and Recreation Department.[3] The Upton House was restored in 1981-82, at which time the interior was converted to house public offices.[2]


The Upton House is a two-story Italianate-style house constructed of brick with a hipped roof and tall cupola.[2] The brick construction indicates the relative affluence of the builder. The exterior is painted and heavy brackets support the eaves. Windows are tall, double-hung, four-over-four lights; the ones on the front facade feature ornate stone hoods while windows on the other sides have brick hoods. A 1-1/2 story, gable-roofed addition is located on one side, and a flat-roofed, single-story addition is on another. The cupola, porches, chimneys, and bay window balustrade were reconstructed during the 1981-82 renovation.[2]


  1. ^ a b Staff (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Upton, William, House". Michigan State Housing Development Authority: Historic Sites Online. Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Sterling Township, 1875-1968, Arcadia Publishing, 2005, pp. 20, 22, 25, 58, ISBN 0-7385-3975-9 
  4. ^ "STERLING HEIGHTS UPTON HOUSE". Sterling Heights Public Library. September 3, 2011.