The Historic Hyne House

Shirley Barton,
Plank Road Questers #236

In 1840, Godfrey and Mary Hyne emigrated from Germany to Brighton, Michigan. Along with their three children, the Hynes maintained 160 acres of orchard and timber land. One of their children, Charles, assumed and expanded the family business which provided prosperity and economic development to the Brighton community.

As the business grew, so also grew the Hynes’ fortunes. Eventually, his son, Frederick, (18501934) assumed the reins of the family business and began to amass a large amount of wealth and influence. Their business annually shipped wheat, farm produce, plaster, and wool, making the Hynes extremely affluent and consequently the owners of a very lavish home. Married in 1875, Frederick and Sara Hyne built a roomy Gothic Victorian house on Main Street, Brighton, where they lived with their children until 1913, when a fire completely destroyed their ornate wooden home. This tragedy turn to opportunity, giving Frederick and Sara Hyne the chance to rebuild. Built in 1914, the Hyne House, which is pictured below, was designed in the classic Greek Revival style. Sarah Hyne insisted the house be constructed with many large windows which flooded the interior with natural sunlight. The numerous rooms in the house had oversized full glass windows to both bring in the natural light from every direction and give a quick, easy exit in case of another fire. The Hyne descendants kept the family home until 1950, selling it to the first of many owners and renovators. As the years and owners continued, the once stately Hyne House began to fall into disrepair along with partial and incomplete ‘renovations.’ Eleven different owners, from 19702000, added personal decorating styles and structural changes not reflective of the architectural character or historic design. From 20002013, an extensive historically accurate renovation of the structure and interior began replacing moldings, fixtures and woodwork that had been removed since 1955. Plumbing, electrical, heating, plaster, windows, insulation and roofing was updated while keeping the flavor and original decor of the home. Shirley Barton, Plank Road Questers #236, is the current owner. Shirley bought the Hyne House in 2013 and has continued the restoration and renovation in the true spirit and dignity of the home. Future restoration plans include the rebuilding of the original summer porch. Truly a landmark rife with local history, memories and grandeur, the Hyne House proudly presides on Main Street as a treasure for the Brighton community. (Resources available upon request)

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