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Beal House, 1860s

Beal House, 1860s image

Publisher, school board member, and later UM regent Junius Beal lived with his family in this fifteen-room mansion, built by his father in the 1860s on the northeast corner of South Fifth Avenue and William Street. Beal was an avid bicycle enthusiast. His many civic and business connections brought a wide variety of people to his home, described as "the center of true social life and hospitality." A guest in Beal's home in the 1890s would have been surrounded by books, pictures, bric-a-brac, tasseled draperies, ornate furniture, and one of the first home telephones in town. Large rooms were illuminated by floor-to-ceiling lace-curtained windows during the day or kerosene lamps and overhead gas chandeliers in the evening. The house was demolished in 1957 to make way for the public library.

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