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Peler Fletcher built Ihe hOlJse pictured above 01

leU on We51 Droyton In Ferndale In 1925. KOlhy


lodd (Iell), 0 ,esidenl of Ihe upper 110101 Ihe house,
odmhes some of Its special omenille5. including
buill-in shetves wl1h leodedglo.ss doors. 0 wIWng
desk and 0 leaded-glass window. Above IS an
ornate lignl IIxlure In Ihe house.
Photos by
CRAIG GAFFIELD
STONE HOUSES
, , MONUMENTS ,TO CRAFTSMANSHIP ' .. '
By Rober! S. 8011
Sioff WfI1er
FERNDALE - OtlTnc was Peter FleLc-her.
He was 3 mnson who LmilL
ror e. living, was remembered by a Iormer
nl:!:ighbor 0$ Inan who enjoyed the company o(
women and cntel't.ainplt ncighbcn wH.h his
F.olories and jokes.
He buill a couple or too. Neither look&
li""e a mausoleum.
FleL:h.er w39 of a number or slone:
nmsons who lett their marks on homes in Soulh
Oakland neighborhoods. Each une is probably
worill its own sLory
Fletcher I>uill his first home al Wes(. Drayton
and I Iyland. h.. Qn the edge of Fernda.le's
nQrihwesl s\de, within 3, few reet. o( the 6ty's
boundaries with Oak Parle: and Pleasanl Ridge.
A$sessmenl records 8ho\y 6toneCaced
home wa9 "'reeled in 1925.
Fleu-.ber built his garage fil'1'il and moved into
il while he finished lhe hoose.
Unlike the case with a few l(ls-s imposing
in the are!! - one!) located wIthin a rtw
feel of the of the lol - he went on to
Onlsh the hOllsc as well as the gar,1ge.
Neighbor Josephine Oastedo moved inlo the
next dour in 1936. Her re(olle<:lions give
<J. personal gUmpse of lhe builder. l'hc house
lells a. few thing9 on its own. loa.
Fleldl(lr didn't sLOp with t.he slone work. The
interior is sl.udded with Individual touches.
The living room ls enl<!rl::d (fOOl Ul rront
door through leaded-gb.ss French doo.-s.
Belween the living foom anc1 dining room are
lwo dividers, one conLalning a built-in bookl'a.se
wi! h Ii!aded -glass doors, the other with a built
in wriling desk.
This hQu$e on Hyland was bulU In 1925.
gri1l5 :ue pallerned in he;lvygauge
fnpfler.
Al I.he lop or the chning room wollii is a
wide cove with n noral The nowers
brighlly painted one lime, The paint is
(arted, b\lt none of the rour owners who
followed Fletcher has dared lo paint lhe tOve or
lhC! pallcrn repeaLeU in :l.l'ound (he
dining room ceiling fixture.
111 the kitchen. wmdow s,ills are liIed. Curre-Ill
owncr Tom believes they're PC!wOlbic
tile. l>eaullrully gr... works or
craf\smanship were popular during lhe Art
period.
Bastedo r:ecalls thllt Flelcher put n liled roof
on his house. U:s gone now, ha\"'ing beell
replaced when the- roof leaked and 01l9." or the:
own'E'rs wu unable La rind suitahly malC'hing
material.
Dnst.edo says Fletcher slone for
hi!'! She rC'\:i\II.'J lh;'lt he owned B "big
fla.lbed (ruck" and drove !o Virginijn. for t.he
slC'ne.
had IllS homt:! ror when lhe
Dut>te<bs IlU)ved in. 'rile)' paid $fi.Ollt) ((:1' ,I.l'
nexl door. Fletcl1er, HasLedo was
asking $8,000. and WOI\(ler('d ;'lrtCI' lhE" r:Ulllllf'fJ
bC1'.3me acqu4\lnLed ...... hy they hlllln'l hnllghl. hlR
house or Lhe Qlle next door-.
The housE' was buill wJlh three hedt'Ooms
upsla.irs and three dOWll, Daslel!o !jays. T11f>
second made an aportmcnl- on thl:!
&eCond lloor.
Fletcher hild bUIlt allolher stone hO\lse on 8L
Louis, lhRl Otle rlesiglled 119 a duplex.
says Fleicher moved from Draylon inlo the
upper nal
The former Ilcighb()r. married lo hiii
wi(e when he firsl moved lo Ferndale,
ma.inl,.,.ined hiii rrieudship wfth the young
al't.er he moveU and aner his wire i1icll
Her husba....d. George, FlCLt'her 10
I,he woman who became his lI11rtl wife.
M1I(y daughter born in HI>1t,"
Oastedo "Wh\te 1 was prE"gnnt'l., WflS
SO lonely he'd corne over 10 kill linu;! lie )
to be ill the Dritish Army or N:wy, ;"Ind they
were all l.<:loughl 10 kniL. knew n10re
knilting tha.n I did.
.. ( told mj' husband he was driVing me CI';)2Y,
:tnd he introduced Pete lo a pel'SOn he knew.
They \.l,cre married in IEt55 Ihan a year.
"But the He could ten and
1 bel he eQuid lell slories for an hour
withoul repeating himself
.. And he could grow anything! Wile,," he did
the dishes tor his wife. he Look the disllw",lcr
and I.hrew it 'he renCi,> and the (hive,
ami if there were ton1:.lo in the wo.Lpr.
Continued On Page 4A (
ent
J .
/ Continued from Page 3A
they would grow. If he put a peach pit
\ in, in two years he was picking peaches."
I Stewart, the current owner, found arti
facts he believes date from that conversion.
He was remodeling the downstairs bath
room and had torn out the ceiling.
"I came across four old tin beer cans:
three Buds and one Goebel 22, a can opener'
and crumpled up Lucky Strikes. Someone
took a b ~ e r break when they put in the
upstairs."
Bastedo says Fletcher eventually moved
to Bay City and began building cemetety
monuments instead of mausoleums. That's
the last she heard of him.
Fletcher's creations aren't the only stone
houses in Ferndale. One of them, a few
homes away at the dead-end of Hyland,
appears to have a different history_
Mary Schusterbauer has lived in the
house for 10 years. Neighbors have told
her it was built by a foreman of a stone
mason crew working on the Fisher Building
in Detroit's New Center area in the 1920s.
"While they were building it, enough
stone showed up in the neighborhood,"
Schusterbauer says.
It too has leaded-glass windows anJ
a fireplace in a similar stone. Like tl
house down the' street, the fireplace ha-1
been painted over.
"I'm anxious to strip it," Schusterbauer
says.
An employee in the Royal Oak Youtlh
Assistance office, she says Jiving in th<e.
house is like .being U a part of oral history
Neighbors made SUre I knew I was palt
of it by moving into the area."