Our residents were recently treated to a sneak preview of a fantastic development happening in our neighborhood. Just a five minute walk from our campus stands a piece of land that was once owned and farmed by a local Kalamazoo family. The Drake House still stands, and has been acquired by the Oshtemo Township in Kalamazoo. The even greater news is that the farmland surrounding the house has now also been added to the acquisition, and the Drake House and Drake Farmstead have both been named to the National Register of Historic Places.
For our residents, the news gets even better as they were informed in a presentation on June 14 that the land will be preserved for rural agriculture and education, and a long-range plan has been developed to create wooded walking trails, an educational pavilion, and a living history museum to be maintained by the Oshtemo Historical society. Many of our residents share the history of the Drake House and are thrilled at the prospect of having this museum, along with beautiful walking trails and a wood forest just outside their door.
Today a group visited the Drake House and saw the beginnings of a restoration project that will bring the 1800s feel back to tip-top shape. We were amazed at the size of the house, the number of rooms, and the number of period piece donations that are already beginning to fill these rooms. Many of our residents have already donated items to the historical society for display in the soon-to-be museum, and they look forward to making more contributions, as well as partnering to preserve this wonderful piece of local history.