918 College Avenu
918 College Avenue, Houghton, MI 49931
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918 College Avenue

Built 1900
Home of the Charleston House Historic Inn 1995
Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity 2005

Despite suffering damage from an electrical fire in 2022, this historic home still remains and is currently in the process of being restored. - In Progress

Allen F. Rees, a self-taught attorney, was recognized as Houghton’s top attorney at the time. His law firm Chadbourne and Rees represented Calumet during the Italian Hall disaster of 1913. This 2 ½ story home was designed by architect Henry Ottenheimer and built in 1900.  The foundation of the 3,500 square foot house was made of red Jacobsville sandstone foundation. Today, the exterior features salmon-colored painted siding, a hipped roof, white trim, and minimal decor except for the cornice and two hooded dormers. One of the most notable features of the house is the two-decked portico held up by ionic columns. Two bay windows protrude on the College Avenue side of the house. Oak and birch trim are featured on the interior as well as leaded Chicago style windows in all of the bedrooms. Additional features include hardwood floors, solid wood doors, ceiling beams, and a grand staircase leading up to the second floor.

The Rees family home was always bustling with entertainment. Mr. Rees was an avid violin player and enjoyed playing musical instruments. After his death, his daughter Miriam Furbeck inherited the house. She frequently hosted parties at the house and adored having guests over. She eventually sold the house to an economics professor at Michigan Technological University by the name of Lawrence Remington for $18,000. 

Ownership of the house changed again in 1995 when it was sold to John and Helen Sullivan for $150,000. The couple had the vision of owning a bed and breakfast, which became the destiny for 918 College Avenue. The inn was named the Charleston House Historic Inn after one of Helen’s favorite towns, Charleston, South Carolina. The couple operated the Charleston House with Helen serving as the innkeeper until 2005 when the house was sold to the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity at Michigan Tech. Sadly, this beautiful home suffered an electrical fire on June 3, 2022. Fortunately, none of the fraternity members were injured, but they continue to work to restore this beautiful historic home.

Sources: Daily Mining Gazette 2022; Michigan History Division (Michigan Department of State) Inventory Form; Kozenka, N. (2003, April 28) Charleston House Historic Inn Bed & Breakfast; Historic Houghton Walking Tour (c. 2000); Image: Vernacular Architecture Forum. (2024). 918 College Ave. North of the Northwoods: From Mines to Motels on Michigan’s Lake Superior (p. 58). photograph.