The site at the corner of S. Adelaide street and W. Shiawassee avenue is in fact the site of the oldest house in Fenton; a log cabin which was erected in 1834 at the time the village of Fenton was founded. In 1890 A.J. Phillips began construction on the house that now occupies the site. Not content with the usual frame construction of the time, Phillips built the house with solid horizontal 2×4’s and 2×6’s from foundation to roof, granting it superb strength and earning it a reputation as a ‘mouse-proof’ house, leading Robert Ripley (of ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not!’ fame) to feature an article about it.
Mr. A.J. Phillips was a prominent industrialist in early Fenton, employing more than 200 men in his multifaceted business; manufacturing a variety of products too numerous to mention. It was reported that his sliding window screens were installed at the White House in Washington D.C.
In 1927 the property was purchased by Frank Algoe, a retired hardware dealer from Flint, who lived in the house for around 20 years. Algoe was fond of carriages and kept them in the adjacent carriage house.
When Kenneth Jameyson purchased the property in 1947, he and his wife Marie Jameyson opened the Fenton Convalescent Home, which was the first in the area. It was licensed by the State of Michigan in 1957 and was listed as a skilled facility in 1966. The home was renamed “Elder House” in 1981 when daughter Betty Carlson (who purchased the facility from her parents in 1973) converted it into an Assisted Living facility. It has served as an Assisted Living facility ever since.
In 2007 the facility was purchased by Navneet Anand and, as Rockwell Assisted Living, carries on the tradition of providing exceptional services to the Fenton and Genesee county areas today, with a loving, caring staff and a commitment to the community and the historic home of A.J. Phillips.
Special thanks to the wonderful people at the Fenton Historical Society for providing photographs and information!