275 N Main Street
The parcel of land on which this home sits was originally bought by Anson Parsons and was part of 160 acres purchased from the United States government for $1 in 1837. Charles Palmer purchased the land from Mr. Parsons and platted the village of Imlay City in 1870.
Mr. John Coope, who was a partner in the Walter Walker & Company grain elevator and a wealthy businessman, built this home in 1892.
The house features an ornate carved fireplace mantel, and carved woodwork of oak and white pine. The dining room features beautiful French doors. Beautifully crafted designs are hand carved into the railing of the staircase and the molding surrounding the windows and doors. Even the door hinges are worth looking at, as each one is graced with its own artistic design. The upstairs bedrooms all have working transoms over the doors which allows air to flow in from the hallway. Two of the rooms feature small washing sinks in the corner.
While sitting in the parlor it is possible to look through the doorways of the sitting room, den and bathroom to the opposite end of the home. Views such as these provide a unique charm to the house, and give it a feeling of great depth.
The structure boasts four dormers, each uniquely designed with a different style window and exterior scroll work. Today the home is still reminiscent of the days when John and Ursala Coope were the owners.
After acquiring the house in 1974, the new homeowners decided to tear out a wall, and in so doing, discovered it had been installed later and was not part of the original design. The only other renovation that has been done on the property was the replacement of the carriage barn in the backyard.
John E. Coope was born in 1851 in Blackinton, Massachusetts and in 1878, at the age of 27, came to Imlay City and embarked in the grain business with Walter Walker.
He was one of Imlay City’s most valued citizens, coming to the town when it was yet in its infancy. Mr. Coope not only acquired a fortune but was instrumental in building up a business that was an important factor in Imlay City’s prosperity.
Mr. Coope served as village trustee, school board trustee, and director of the Lapeer County Bank (Imlay City). He was a delegate to the state Prohibition convention and a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and attended its encampments. He was also a member of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Masons and took his degree at Detroit. He traveled extensively for both business and leisure.
In 1889 Mr. Coope disposed of his interest in the Walker & Coope Elevator due to ill-health, and on March 9 he left to retire in Pasadena, California.
In May of 1890 Mr. Coope and family returned to Imlay City and occupied a rental house.
In February of 1891 he underwent a surgical operation whereby part of his skull was chiseled out and removed. An aperture one-inch square was formed. The inner surface of the skull was found to be in a diseased condition. He suffered a long recovery from the surgery.
In 1896 Mr. Coope lost all of his property through speculation in grain options. In his downfall he also involved Walter Walker for quite a large amount on account of Mr. Walker endorsing notes for him. The amount of loss to Mr. Walker, while of a considerable sum, in no way affected his elevator business, as he was able to meet it and continue his business without interruption. Mr. Coope was also indebted to the Lapeer County Bank but the bank held securities to cover the indebtedness.
The family moved to Detroit and on June 1, 1909 Mrs. Coope gave possession of the house to G. Mate Bowen
275 N Main Street