Photo provided by the St. Clair Shores Historical Commission

Looking back: Schroeder Farmhouse

St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published January 23, 2018


ST. CLAIR SHORES — Frederick Schroeder and his wife, Sophia, emigrated from Mecklenburg, Germany, in the early 1850s to what was then Erin Township (now St. Clair Shores). In 1865, they purchased 320 acres of property to farm. Their first home was a log house, but around 1870 Schroeder built a new brick home. Accounts vary, but anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 bricks were said to have been used in the three-story Victorian-style building with the current address of 26717 Little Mack Ave.

Frederick Schroeder died in 1895; his wife inherited the house and farm. The Schroeder family lived in the house until the 1920s, when it was rented and then converted into a roadhouse by Renny Tesoriere. Guests could dance to bands, and meals cost 50 or 75 cents. A ballroom was added to the building in 1937. 

Ruth and Danny DiSanti acquired the building in 1953 and once again changed its use. It became E.C. White’s Old House, a furniture store, pictured here. E.C. White was Ruth’s father, who in 1912 had founded the Gardner-White Furniture Co. Some of the surrounding land continued to be farmed in the 1950s.

Sold again in 1986, the building was renamed Victoria Place by its new owners, Ray Domke and Larry Berdasono. The Schroeder house became home to an assortment of shops and a café. Since 2008, the building has been known as Ardmore Park Place, hosting a café, salon, yoga studio and other enterprises.

The one thing that has been consistent is the solid construction of the Schroeder home that has welcomed so many through its doors. Recognizing its history, the St. Clair Shores Historical Commission granted approval of the request for a marker recognizing the history of the building. The marker was dedicated on Oct. 27, 2012.

To view this image and other historical photographs, visit the digital media archive at

— Submitted by Heidi Christein, archivist, St. Clair Shores Public Library