The Hackley & Hume Historic site
This site preserves the homes of Muskegon's most famous lumber baron, Charles H. Hackley, and his business partner, Thomas Hume. The Site envelops the visitor in a unique living space, bringing late 19th century craftsmanship to life.
In 1887, Charles H. Hackley purchased the lots on which the Hackley & Hume Historic Site now stands. He immediately sold one and one-half of these lots to Thomas Hume. Charles H. Hackley hired David S. Hopkins of Grand Rapids to design and build the magnificent houses and City Barn. Construction took place between 1887 and 1889. Erie Caughell Hackley Smith inherited the Hackley House after the deaths of Charles and Julia in 1905. Erie and her family lived in the house for a time and then rented it out to boarders. In 1943, she donated the house to the Muskegon chapter of the American Red Cross in memory of Charles H. Hackley. The house served as the local Red Cross Headquarters until 1971 when the Hackley Heritage Association, a volunteer organization, purchased it and began to restore the structure.
Members of the Hume family lived in their home until 1952, when daughter Con Hume sold the house to a not-for-profit children's day care center. In 1971, the Hackley Heritage Association purchased the Hume house and began restoration work.
The Muskegon County Museum obtained ownership of the Site in 1986. The residents of Muskegon County approved a millage to restore and preserve the Hackley & Hume Historic Site and the Museum.
David S. Hopkins designed both houses and the carriage barn in a popular late nineteenth century architectural style called "Queen Anne." The complex polychromatic paint schemes, coupled with varied roof lines, elaborate chimneys, and the variety of materials used by the builders, make the buildings some of the best examples of Queen Anne residential style architecture in the country.
The Hackley House
The Hackley House is truly a unique example of Victorian architecture and of late nineteenth century interior decorative arts. Built as a retirement residence, the house has an exotic feel, complete with Moorish arches, japonesque stenciling details, and majolica tiles. Woodcarvings found throughout the house depict symbolic human faces, animals, fanciful dragons and lions, and flowers. The carvings represent a mix of machine and hand carved works of art. Thirteen master carvers working for the Kelly Brothers Manufacturing Company in Muskegon produced the hand made pieces. Artisans at the Wells Glass Co. in Chicago created the 15 leaded glass windows found in the house. The beautifully carved mantles, made by Chicago's C.J.L. Meyer Co., frame delicate ceramic tile fireplace surrounds. Cut geometric, or encaustic, tiles laid in symmetrical designs, cover the vestibule and foyer floors.
The furnishings in the home are a mixture of those typical of the era and original family pieces. We strive to interpret the house with original furnishings and appropriate reproductions.
The house has been structurally restored to its 1890 appearance based on photographic evidence. Nationally known artisans from Chicago and New York used original samples uncovered during restoration to bring the elaborate interior stenciling and the 13-color exterior paint scheme back to life. Wall-to-wall carpeting was reproduced based on photographic evidence. The same company that produced the original carpet reproduced the carpeting.
The Hume House
The interior design of the Hume House is more open and modern than the Hackley House. Filled with spacious living areas and nine family bedrooms decorated with simple patterns, David S. Hopkins designed the house for comfort and a large family. Machine carved woodwork exhibits a distinct Aesthetic style and adds just enough decoration to accent the rooms. The family expanded the house after the turn of the century creating a beautiful library, a large dining room with geometric tile flooring, and a sleeping porch off of daughter Helen's room with a terne metal floor. The exterior of the Hume House exhibits its original 14 tone restored color scheme.
Eventually, the interior of the Hume House will be restored to its 1915 appearance. Once this is completed, the Hackley & Hume Site will offer a historical experience covering stylistic and social changes over a 25-year period.
The City Barn
The families shared the massive City Barn located between the houses. The barn housed horses, equipment, and two coachmen, who each had living quarters on the second floor. The City Barn serves as an architectural bridge between the two houses, incorporating elements from both in its exterior appearance, such as the onion dome, which reflects the Moorish influence of the Hackley House, and the turret, which matches the turret on the Hume House. The interior 1st floor of the Hackley side of the barn has been restored to its original 1890 appearance as a horse barn. The second floor features exhibit and classroom areas. The Hume side was rehabilitated for use as a theatre, volunteer lounge, Museum Store, public restrooms, and office space.
The Hackley and Hume Historic Site is located at
484 W. Webster Ave. Muskegon, MI 49440.