“My family has been in Mount Clemens since my great-great grandma owned a hat shop in the Olympia Building,” says Hope Cole. “I grew up here and never thought I would move back until I learned this house was being sold by the bank. I thought back to when it was canary yellow in the 90s—every day on my way to elementary school I would look at it, and I never would’ve imagined I’d live in it someday.”
The house, located on Lincoln Street, was built in 1905 by Hubarth & Schott for John W. Jarchow, a coal and lumber dealer who immigrated to the United States in 1870 and later served on the Mount Clemens Common Council as alderman for the Second Ward. An elaborate Queen Anne house, Mr. Jarchow’s eldest son, John C. Jarchow, moved into the home in the early 1940s. The younger Mr. Jarchow owned a paint and wallpaper store at 79 Macomb Street since 1910 and was a prominent local merchant.
Members of the Jarchow family lived in the home until 1983. After this point, the house was sold several times, ending up as a commercial property divided into small offices. When the Coles bought the home a little over six years ago, the process of restoring it to its former glory was begun.
“We did a lot of detective work,” says Ian Cole, Hope’s husband, “figuring out what was original and what was not. All the work we've done has been to either restore or maintain the essence of the house, including restoring 46 original windows, replicating crown molding, restoring original flooring, and more.” While doing demo in the house, Ian found an piece of original wallpaper. “We can only assume it was from Jarchow’s wallpaper shop,” he says. “I had it framed and it is hanging in our house.”
Both Ian and Hope have their personal favorite parts of the house. For Ian, it is the front porch. Although local historians believe it is original to the house, the Coles believe, after examining the foundation, that it was a later addition—possibly built by the younger John Jarchow. Says Ian, “[The porch] was nearly falling down when we bought it. It was also transformed into an ADA ramp, since it was a business, and it was an eyesore. We have since rebuilt it and made a beautiful outdoor space.” In addition to his fondness for the porch, Ian also loves the turret on the third floor with its charming domed ceiling.
For Hope, she loves the way the house’s gingerbread windows “flood the house with warm light in winter. We forbade that the house would lose this feature and it set us on a four-year journey of working to restore them—all 46. We finally hung the last three freshly glazed windows last month… It was a labor of love (and war sometimes). We laugh now about coming home from the hospital with our first baby to a house boarded up with plywood.”
Hope is happy to be back in Mount Clemens. “Living on a bustling corner of downtown in fun,” she says, “especially in the summer. Every day, come rain or shine, Ian walks to his office on Macomb—it’s quaint. I received a good pair of binoculars last Christmas so I could watch the peregrine falcons nesting in their corner of the Old Country Building. And that building, from the vantage point of our house, always anchors the end of a rainbow after a sunny rain.” Adds Ian, who joined Hope’s family’s financial advising business downtown, “We fell in love with the community here. We have strong bonds with neighbors. We bought our first home and started a family here in the Clem.