Bonine House in Cass County, Michigan

While on my vacation trip across the border into Michigan, I also stopped to see this old and beautiful house in Cass County, east of Cassopolis. It was built by James E. Bonine, who came to Cass County in the 1840s. The Greek Revival farmhouse began to be built not long after Bonine settled in Cass County. In the 1860s the house was remodeled and the tower with its distinctive mansard roof and double doors was added to the house. The house was enlarged to the north, adding the dining room, kitchen and another parlor on the first floor; and four bedrooms on the second floor. Bonine was a successful farmer and businessman and one of the largest landowners in the county. By the early 1850s, he had more than 1,600 acres. He also built a carriage house across the road, which I also have photos of, and in which there is evidence fugitive slaves were hidden there, meaning James and his wife, Sarah, worked for the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad Society of Cass County is restoring the Greek Revival house and offers tours of it.

Dowagiac and Coloma Trip-6-21-16 015

Bonine house in Cass County, Michigan.


About historynut11

My name is Tim Ashley and I am a newspaper editor/reporter/photographer in Milford, Indiana, and live in nearby Goshen, Indiana. A deeply held and sincere passion of mine is history and learning from the past. I enjoy a wide variety of history topics, but particularly local history, noted American highways (Lincoln Highway and Route 66), railroad history and the Civil War. I believe we can learn much from the past and that past shapes who we are today. I also enjoy visiting museums and historical sites, as well as taking photos of remnants from the past still standing.
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