Where’s There: Barnavelt House

The residence at 100 High Street in New Zebedee, Michigan is the home of Jonathan Barnavelt and his nephew, Lewis, who moves to the house in the summer of 1948 [The House with a Clock in its Walls; 3].



Much has been said about this three-story house – dubbed "Barnavelt's Folly" by its eccentric owner – and Lewis’ continual exploration of its every nook and cranny. It has a little bit of everything: ornate rooms of antique furniture, stained glass windows showing strange scenes, a hidden passage way – and, oh yes, how can we forget ... the ticking and tocking of some crazy clock.

Based somewhat on the impressive Jeremiah Cronin, Jr. House in John’s hometown of Marshall, Michigan, it’s a house that definitely catches the eye of residents and visitors alike. Built a century before John used it in his story, fans from far and wide have come to Marshall since John put the house on the map to see it first-hand, to have his or her picture take in front of it, and on even rarer occasion take a tour inside. To borrow a phrase, if you build it they will come. And they have.

We are pleased to have a number of photos and reflections of the Cronin House online: Polaroid snapshots from inside the house during the late 1970s as well as contemporary interior photographs for comparison, and comments from a fan seeing the house in person.


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