Property #: 1515234006
Historic Site Credit: Rochester-Avon Historical Society
Website Administrator: Rochester-Avon Historical Society

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Address
Street:  203 Walnut Street
City:  Rochester
County:  Oakland
ZIP:  48307
Latitude:  42.678355
Longitude:  -83.135512
Current Name:
Historic Name:
Oscar F. Comstock House
 
Evaluations
Contributes to:
NR Eligible:
Contributing:
SHPO Evaluation:
 
Resources on Property Status
Historic Use:
Domestic: Single dwelling
Current Use:
Commerce/Trade: Professional
Owner Type:
Private
Photo
Filename:
203 walnut 2011.jpg
Roll:
 
Frame:  
View:
Credit:
Deborah J. Larsen
Caption:
Oscar F. Comstock House, east and north elevations , 2011
 
Main Building
Foundation:
1. CONCRETE
2. STONE
3.
Wall:
1. METAL
2.
3.
 
Roof:
1. ASPHALT
2.
3.
Other:
1.
2.
3.
 
Period of Significance:  
 
Area of Significance:
1.
2.
3.
Arch/Builder:  Oscar F. Comstock - builder
Date Built:  1874
 
Architectural Classification:
 
Material Notes:
 
Description:
Two story gable-front upright and wing frame residence, converted for use as a dental office in 1954. Wing section was eventually a one-and-a-half story, and was raised to the full two-story height in 1899. 
Other Buildings/Features:
 
Significant Persons:
Comstock, Oscar F.
Morse, Lorenzo D., 1817-1893.
Collins, Arthur E., 1842-1929.
Snook, John J., 1842-1923. 
Statement of Significance:
 
References:
1. "Another building is going up on the corner of Walnut and Second...," Rochester Era, September 17, 1874.
2. Belle Hamlin Burch to Oscar F. Comstock, May 15, 1874, Lot 81 of the Original Plat of the Village of Rochester, Oakland County, Michigan Record of Deeds, Liber 115, p.161.
3. Lorenzo D. Morse to Arthur E. Collins, December 21, 1883, east part of Lot 81 of the Original Plat of the Village of Rochester, Oakland County, Michigan Record of Deeds, Liber 144, p.317.
4. "Reimer and Collins are having a well dug...," Rochester Era, April 19, 1889, p.1.
5. "A. E. Collins is raising the wing of his residence...," Rochester Era, April 21, 1899.
6. "Mrs. Case Gives Background on Terry Office," Rochester Clarion, August 12, 1954, p.3.
7. "Arthur E. Collins has sold his home...," Rochester Era, February 19, 1909.
8. "Dr. Terry Sells Office, Practice," Rochester Clarion, February 14, 1985, p.3. 
Surveyor's Comments:
Foundation under upright section of house appears to have been replaced - possibly during 1954 renovations. 
History:
This house was built by Oscar F. Comstock in 1874 after he purchased Lot 81 of the Original Plat of the Village of Rochester from Belle Hamlin Burch in the spring of that year. The Rochester Era reported on September 17, 1874: "Another building is going up on the corner of Walnut and Second streets. O.F. Comstock, we believe, is the builder." Comstock later sold the property to Lorenzo D. Morse, who owned a number of parcels in town and was also the builder of the 1881 Morse Block on Main Street.

Lorenzo Morse sold the property in 1883 to Arthur E. Collins, a merchant and banker who operated a store in the Morse Block. The local newspaper noted in April 1899 that Collins was raising the wing on the house:
"A. E. Collins is raising the wing of his residence on Walnut street one half story, even with the upright, which when finished will add materially to the appearance of the house."

In February 1909, the Rochester Era reported:
"Arthur F. Collins has sold his homestead, corner Walnut and Second streets, to J.J. Snook, of Overlook. Mr. and Mrs. Snook will come to Rochester to live in their new home."
Snook, a veteran of the Civil War who had served in the 22nd Michigan Volunteer Infantry with Arthur E. Collins, had lived at Overlook Farm at the corner of Avon & Rochester Roads.

The house was sold by Nellie Snook in 1954 to Dr. John S. Terry, a dentist who remodeled the house for his professional offices. Dr. Terry was succeeded in the same location in 1985 by Dr. Walter J. Kubinski, who also has a dental practice there.

An 1889 newspaper article noted that Arthur E. Collins and Joseph Reimer, his neighbor to the north, agreed to dig a well on the property line between their lots, to be used in common:
"Reimer and Collins are having a well dug in company on or near the line dividing their respective lots on Walnut st."