Restless Nights in the Victorian Mansion
As I've explored the old house, I've found bits of my history and ancestry. The stories of the ghosts that have always lived here with us have come to light. The house was built in 1871 by Archibald P. Newton who in 1876 was elected first president of the village of Cheboygan. He built the stately house, with its cupalo top as a wedding gift to his bride Cornelia Allaire, who was his second wife. We call Cornelia Allaire Aunt Newton. Mr. Newton came to Cheboygan from St. Helena Island where he and a brother Carl in 1853 bought the island and where they built a good dock and large store. In Cheboygan, he entered into business of processing hemlock for the sap which was an essential in tanning leather. Mr. Newton loved to stand in his glassed in cupola atop his mansion and look out at the boats in the straights. So do I.
Aunt Newton survived her husband after his death. She died in 1916 leaving her entire estate to her only brother, Joseph Allaire who lived on a nearby farm. Joseph Allaire was my grandmother's grandfather. The house passed on to their children Charles and Bert Allaire in 1934 when Joseph Allaire died. Subsequently the house was inherited by Bert Allaire's widow Irene Allaire. She was my great-grandmother who we all called Nonnie. The house is now in the hands of my mother and her 2 cousins and sister.
I hope it will stay with us and it well re-awake into the living, breathing house I remember it to be when I was child. Now it sleeps, but everything that sleeps can be awakened.