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This brick variant of the Greek Revival style was built by Albert Terry, a pioneer resident of Avon Township (now Rochester Hills). The foundation is coursed cobblestone at the front, with random granite fieldstone in the rear. The house has a rectangular plan with a one-story rear ell, and features two front gables with a recessed porch between them. The porch has square columns and a bracketed architrave, frieze and cornice. The house is an excellent local example of Greek Revival domestic architecture and has ties to a prominent pioneer farmer and civic leader. The Albert Terry property is a designated historic district in the City of Rochester Hills.


  • Albert Terry House, north elevation, 2011
  • Albert Terry House, north elevation, 2020
  • Albert Terry House, north elevation, 1877
  • Albert Terry, 1877

Albert Terry came to Oakland County, Michigan in April 1839 and purchased the northeast quarter of section 33 in Avon Township. He added 132 acres to his first purchase and in 1877 had a 192-acre farm that Durant's History of Oakland County described as one of the best in the township. Terry was a prosperous farmer and was active in civic life, serving as Supervisor of Avon Township from 1862 to 1876.

Terry was born September 10, 1817 in New York state and died August 30, 1880 at his home in Avon Township, Oakland County, Michigan. Upon his death, the Rochester Era carried the following obituary:

[begin quote]

The intelligence of the death of Albert Terry of Avon which occurred, of dropsy of the heart, last Monday morning, was not unlooked for, as his condition had been critical for some time past, yet it was none the less sorrowful to a host of friends all thru the county and throughout the State.

. . .

Mr. Terry was born in Lima, Livingston Co., New York, September 10th, 1817. He would therefore have been 63 years old had he lived until next week Friday. He first came to Michigan in October, 1838, with limited means, and after spending three months in Macomb Co., returned to New York State and during the month of April following (1839) with his father's family came back to Michigan and purchased the farm upon which he lived at the time of his demise.

In October of the same year he married Delia Lathrop, and began his connubial life in earnest in his new western home.

After awhile he added quite a tract to his first purchase thus making it one of the largest farms in the township, as it is at the present time also, one of the finest and most valuable. His wife, after bearing him seven children, died during the year 1850. In 1860, Mr. Terry married his second wife, Lucinda Richardson, formerly of Pontiac. This wife and the seven children by the former wife, four sons and three daughters, still survive him.

Mr. Terry was a staunch Democrat, taking quite a prominent part in political matters. As a proof of his popularity, it might be stated that he was elected Supervisor fourteen years in succession.

In his social relations Mr. Terry was genial and courteous, always surrounding himself with hosts of friends who loved and respected him. In his domestic relations he was kind and affectionate, an indulgent father and husband whose aim in life was to make his home pleasant and attractive for his family—a home in very deed—from which he will be sorely missed.

He will be buried today (Thursday) in Rochester Cemetery, the services being held at his late residence, and conducted by the Rev. C. W. Knickerbocker.

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The Terry property was purchased by neighboring farmer Samuel Durrant in 1886, after Albert Terry's estate was settled. Ferdinand and Georgianna Kersting bought it in 1928 and Georgianna Kersting owned it until 1981.

John F. Hamlin and Laura Hamlin his wife, and Elijah Hamlin and Marana Hamlin his wife to Hiram Terry and Albert Terry, 30 April 1839, northeast quarter of section 33, Township of Avon, Oakland County Record of Deeds, liber 17, p.127.

Edwin R. Terry, son of Albert Terry, deceased, to Samuel Durrant, 3 December 1886, northeast quarter of section 33, Township of Avon, Oakland County Record of Deeds, liber 153, p.261.

"United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MF8K-RD1 : 4 April 2020), Albert Terry, Avon, Oakland, Michigan, United States; citing family 787, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

"United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MWDK-PXQ : 19 March 2020), Albert Terry, 1860.

"United States Census, 1870", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHCC-SVZ : 19 March 2020), Albert Terry, 1870.

"United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MW3Q-MLZ : 22 August 2017), Albert Terry, Avon, Oakland, Michigan, United States; citing enumeration district ED 248, sheet 19B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,254,598.

"United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XQ1V-P8X : accessed 29 June 2020), Ferdinand Kerstin, Avon, Oakland, Michigan, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 5, sheet 12B, line 87, family 267, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 1016; FHL microfilm 2,340,751. 

"United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K4GB-CVH : 29 February 2020), Ferdinand Kersting, Avon Township, Oakland, Michigan, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 63-6B, sheet 7A, line 16, family 130, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 - 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 1798.

Durant, Samuel W. History of Oakland County, Michigan, p. 152, plate opposite p. 138; 2.

1081 W. Auburn Rd., Rochester/Rochester Hills Historical Homes/Sites, Box 1, Rochester Hills Museum Archives

Michigan. Department of Treasury, RG 72-76. Rural Property Inventories for 03N 11E (Avon Township, Oakland County) 33, Page 7.

Michigan. State Historic Preservation Office. Intensive Level Survey, Rochester Hills Historic Districts Survey [prepared for the City of Rochester Hills by Jane C. Busch], 2002, p.126.

"Death of Albert Terry," Rochester Era, September 2, 1880, p.2.

"Historic Avon Home in Sympathetic Hands," Rochester Clarion, September 19, 1974, p.1.

"Terry House and Longtime Resident Share Colorful History," Rochester Clarion, August 20, 1992, p.2A.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Deborah Larsen

Deborah Larsen

Durant, Samuel W. History of Oakland County, Michigan, p. 152, plate opposite p. 138; 2 [public domain]

Durant, Samuel W. History of Oakland County, Michigan, p. 152, plate opposite p. 138; 2 [public domain]