Crankshaw House

250 Capac Road

Dr. D. W. Crankshaw

Crankshaw House
250 Capac Road

This cut stone house was built in 1929 for Dr. D. W. Crankshaw, a physician and surgeon, who practiced out of the home.  Lumber for the construction of the house was stored in a barn in Mayville as it became available and until it was needed.

Verner Crankshaw, cousin of Dr. Crankshaw, was the carpenter that built the frame and did the woodworking for the house.  It is uncertain who the stone mason was that worked with Verner.  However, longtime residents suggest the name of John Bax, Sr. as possibly being the stone mason on the house and having a hand in the work.  John was a muck farmer who lived on Shaw Road and also worked at the foundry.  He did stonework as a hobby.  It is known he worked on the “wall” around the house

The main hall closet and the closets above and below were originally designed to house an elevator.  The window sills were marble and all of the interior doors were solid wood.  The front door was large and at least three inches thick.

The second owner of the house was Grand Trunk Railroad station agent George Oille and his family.  Mr. Oille sold it to Dr. M. C. VanConant.  Dr. VanConant was told that the papers and plans for the house were hidden behind the heart shaped stone in one of the chimneys.  It is not known if this story is a myth or if the original plans were really there.  Blueprints were in the possession of the current owners, the Lambs, and placed in a safe.  Unfortunately they were destroyed by a fire that incinerated everything in the home’s three levels on February 20, 2014.  All but the beautiful stone walls were destroyed in the inferno that ravaged this iconic landmark of craftsmanship and history.  The unattached garage and dental clinic were not affected.

Duane Wesley Crankshaw was born on September 8, 1887 in Rich Township, Lapeer County, and graduated from Mayville high school. He taught school in Huron and Lapeer counties until enrolling in college at Albion.  After a year he transferred to the Medical College at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, receiving his B. S. in 1911 and M. D. in 1913.  After graduation, he moved to Lawrence, VanBuren County, where he practiced medicine until the outbreak of World War I.  He entered the Army Medical Corp with the rank of Lieutenant, and was discharged in 1919 with the rank of Major.

Dr. Crankshaw then opened his practice at Hadley, Lapeer County, later locating at Imlay City on Almont Avenue and then to his new stone house on Capac Road.  He resided there  until the outbreak of World War II, when he returned to the U. S. Army Medical Corp, serving until 1946 when he retired at Chamblee, Georgia.

In 1947 he moved to Lake Placid, Florida where he practiced until retirement, rendering 63 years of service.  He is featured in a mural on the side of the medical building in Lake Placid.  Major Duane Wesley Crankshaw, U. S. Army, M.D. died on March 1, 1977 in Arcadia, Florida and was buried in Lake Placid, Florida.

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