If you’re like me, you’ve passed Redford’s oldest known commercial building a million times and didn’t think twice about its age. It sits right off Telegraph, but yet it’s hiding in plain sight. That’s because the only recognizable characteristic strangely disappears into the skyline behind a blue awning.
This hidden gem is now occupied by Moonlight Printing, but back in the 1830s*, it was home to the ‘Knights of the Modern Maccabees’ (notice the letters K.O.T.M.M. on the building in the original picture). In later years this fraternal organization was simply renamed ‘The Maccabees’ and its main attraction was that they provided low-cost insurance to their members with an added bonus of social gatherings.
Officers of the Bell Branch chapter, No. 568, included some of our pioneer family members, like Charles Smith, Perry Prindle, George Vetal, and Charles Perry.
We’re sure glad the turret remains because there is no way we’d ever think this is the same building. Another original feature is hidden in the attic. Hand hewn beams, with visible scoring marks and wooden pegs at the joints, still provide support for the roof. [Huge thanks to the owner of Moonlight Printing for crawling around in the attic to get this picture for us!] The addition to the south end of the building was constructed in 1950 – which is what the Township has recorded for the building year, but we know better than that!
Other businesses that have occupied this building include Miami Pools, Redford Floor Company, and Scotty Blinds. Do you know of any others? Let us know in the comments below! And if you’d like to check out this piece of Redford history, it is located at 15116 Telegraph, just south of 5 Mile.
*Estimated date. Although we are not 100% certain on the building date, we do know that the Bell Branch chapter existed in 1892. Since the construction materials used in the attic were popular in the mid 1800s, it’s safe to say that this building is definitely “mature”.