Near Brown City in Burnside Township is this beautiful old Second Empire mansion built in 1876 by John G. Bruce who owned the Bruce and Webster General Merchants with his brother-in-law. Burnside township was originally Allison Township, but the name was changed in 1866 to honor Ambrose E. Burnside, a union general in the Civil War. John G Bruce was the postmaster for 16 years in Burnside. Most of the town was destroyed by a fire in 1881, but the mansion and general store was spared from the flames. in 1894 Bruce lost the general store to a fire, and rebuilt it with a brick building.
He eventually sold the home to Cynthia Smith who died in the house from a fever in 1921. Cynthia’s son sold the house and it changed owners a few times. It was eventually purchased by John Walker in 1926. Rumor has it, he was driving his automobile when he hit a pedestrian. Terrified at what he had done, he took the body back to the mansion and buried it somewhere on the estate. Some say the ghost of the victim, others say guilt, caused the man to lose his fortune and he hung himself in the old tower. It is said the be haunted, I am not sure about it but it is a beautiful old house and it’s kinda spooky with the ghostly light green paint and it seems like an odd location for an old mansion. you would expect to see something like it in one of Michigan’s large cities but not in the middle of farm country.
NOTE this house is NOT abandoned and please do not trespass and be respectful of the owners.
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