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Quality Homes

Quality Homes and Adams Boulevard  

"The pathway to Happiness leads to the Front Door of Your Own Home"

                                               From the publication: Quality Homes, c. 1929

Quality Homes was printed in the late 1920s by the Saginaw firm of Seeman & Peters and includes photographs and descriptions documenting several local homes and provides a unique window into late 1920s Saginaw housing.

Printed on the cover is a motto proclaiming that “The Pathway to happiness leads to the front door of your home” and the note that booklet was distributed by the Peoples Building and Loan Association.

 

Formed in 1887, Peoples Building and Loan Association was located in the 200 block of S. Jefferson at the time the booklet was published. In 1931 they moved in a building they had constructed on the northeast corner of Federal and S. Jefferson Avenues.

People Building and

Loan Association

Peoples Building and Loan Association – 209 South Jefferson Avenue

At first glance the booklet appears to be a catalog of house plans or a brochure purveying kit homes. The titles given to the various homes and descriptions are quite similar to the style used in the publications of the Bay City Aladdin Home Company. However, current research indicates the published booklet promoted homeownership and the services and products of the local contractors and suppliers who advertised in it. The illustrations are of actual Saginaw houses - many of them located on Adams Boulevard. 

One of the most interesting advertisements in the booklet is for building contractor, Andre G. Lockwood. He is listed as being involved in home construction in the city of Saginaw from 1921 until 1931, when he went out of business. His offices changed many times throughout the decade – his 1921 listing is 1901 Adams Boulevard and in 1931 his address is shown as 1820 Gratiot Avenue. 

Andre G. Lockwood and his family were family was instrumental in the original development of Adams Boulevard. The first listing of his contracting firm is Adams Boulevard and one of the cross streets is named Lockwood. In fact, Mr. Lockwood was named after his grandfather, P.C. Andre, whose numerous activities included developing real estate  and serving as mayor of Saginaw City.  P.C. Andre’s home was located on Court Street, near the Boulevard Plat. In fact, the property on which much of the plat is located was included in his holdings.

In 1915, Andre Lockwood’s father, George S. Lockwood, P.C. Andre’s son-in-law, filed the plan for the eastern part of Adams Boulevard, known as the Boulevard Plat.”  He advertised that it was a “residential section of which the city could be proud.” A sales brochure proclaimed “The entire Boulevard Addition is owned and offered for sale by old residents of Saginaw, who have the best interest of the city at heart and the money derived from the sale of lots will be kept at home not sent to promoters, or others way out to California or Alaska.”  

Advertisement for Boulevard Plat

The western portion of Adams Boulevard – the area beyond Graham – was platted at slightly later date. It has a very different history than the original portion. By 1877, a horse racing track known at the Saginaw City Driving Park was located on this parcel of land. The facility was complete with exhibition buildings that included floral and vegetable hall. The track remained on the site until late in the nineteenth century of early in the 20th century. In the early twentieth century, Caledonia Coal Mine #2 was located under the area roughly bound by Court, Congress, Mackinaw and Trier 

Plat map of Boulevard Plat

Streets.  Other portions – the part developed by the Lockwood family was leased by Consolidated Coal Company, a rival mining company. 

All of the items featured in this article – the booklet: Quality Homes, the sales announcement for the Boulevard Plat, archival material from the Andre and Lockwood families and more are preserved in the collection of the Castle Museum of Saginaw County History. 

View the digital collection here.

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The Castle Museum and History on the Move are supported in part by awards from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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