The Turner-Dodge House has stood in Old Town Lansing for more than 160 years. It was one of the first large homes to be built in Lansing and was home to several generations of an important pioneer family.
The house gets its Turner-Dodge name from the first families to live here. Marion and James Turner built the house in 1858 after moving to Lansing from Mason. James operated a mercantile store and Marion was a school teacher. Later, James would also speculate in real estate and build a foundry.
Abby Turner, Marion and James’ daughter, married Frank Dodge in 1888. The couple bought the house after they married, enlarging and redesigning it to accommodate the expanding family. A renovation that completely changed the house’s appearance.
The Turners and Dodges were more than just wealthy white landowners. They were true pioneers who helped to develop Michigan’s capitol city. They were also progressive, supporting higher education for women, the abolition of slavery, and liquor control.
The family lived in the house until 1958, when it was sold to the Great Lakes Bible College. The city of Lansing purchased the mansion in 1974 and, after substantial renovation, opened it as a historic house museum.
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