The home at 960 E. Tienken Road is featured on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Stoney Creek Village Historic District.

The home at 960 E. Tienken Road is featured on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Stoney Creek Village Historic District.

Photo provided by Real Living Kee Realty


Historical Rochester Hills home looks toward the future

‘At the Sign of the Black and White Cow’ brings history home

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published August 6, 2019

 The current living room — which once served as the dairy store — includes antique items such as the original Rumford stone fireplace.

The current living room — which once served as the dairy store — includes antique items such as the original Rumford stone fireplace.

Photo provided by Real Living Kee Realty

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ROCHESTER HILLS — At 960 E. Tienken Road stands a home featured on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Stoney Creek Village Historic District.

The home, called “At the Sign of the Black and White Cow,” is adjacent to the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm, at the corner of Tienken and Van Hoosen roads.

“The farm was known for selling its black-and-white Holstein cattle. That’s why the name of it was ‘At the Sign of the Black and White Cow,’” Museum Director Pay McKay said. “It’s kind of an unusual name, but the sign still hangs there.”

A portion of the structure originally served as the dairy store for the Van Hoosen Farm, according to McKay.

In 1938, Sarah Van Hoosen Jones opened the farm store, called At the Sign of the Black and White Cow, which sold the farm’s dairy products, chickens, eggs and goods made by local residents.

“On weekends it was very crowded,” McKay said. “People came to get their fresh dairy products for the week at the Sign of the Black and White Cow.”

The east wing of the house, located along Tienken Road, once served as an apartment for families that worked on the farm. The west wing, along Van Hoosen Road, contained the offices Dr. Sarah Van Hoosen Jones, farm manager and herd buyer Morris Place, and farm secretary and bookkeeper Alice Serrell.

The dairy store was in operation until 1952. Soon after, the Van Hoosen family decided to retire, and McKay said they rented out the entire structure as a residential home.

“It was then willed to Michigan State University — like all of the houses in this village were — and Michigan State University sold them all privately. So by the late 1970s, it became privately owned.”

Debbie Corey, an associate real estate broker at Real Living Kee Realty, recently listed the historical home.

McKay said that whoever purchases the historical home will likely be the third owner since the Van Hoosen family held ownership.

“It has not been on the market for close to 30 years,” he said.

Corey said the current owners completely renovated the 3,049-square-foot structure — which includes four bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms — in 1991.

“When the homeowners bought the home in the early ’90s they took it down to the studs, but the room that was the store is totally intact. If you come inside, it’s just so cool,” she said. “On a historic house you can do whatever you want on the inside, but the outside you cannot make changes to.”

Corey said the dairy store — which is currently used as a living room — includes antique items such as a Rumford stone fireplace, the original cooler for the dairy store and an antique wheel light fixture.    

“It will take a certain kind of buyer, but anyone who likes charm and character (will love it),” Corey said.

An open house will be held at the home, which is listed for $479,000, 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 11.

For more information about the historical home, call Debbie Corey at (248) 601-1000.

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