The Shear House

Year Built: <1876 ?
Sq Ft: 1,405
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Garage: 2 car detached
Lot Size: .14 acres

The Shear Family once owned quite a bit of farm land along Plymouth Road. The father of the family, J. Shear, is listed on the 1883 W.C. Sauer map as having 30 acres right across the street from what would eventually become “the Shear House” on Plymouth Road by the year 1893 (which is when Louise Shear moved there at 8-months-old). However, there is a building marked at the site of that farmhouse as far back as the 1876 map by H. Belden & Co. so it’s possible the home itself could be even older than that!

shear house possibly built in 1893
(Unknown date of photo c. 1895 of the Shear farmhouse) The little girl in the photo is Louise Shear age 2. John Shear, Emilie Shear, and their two sons, Carl and Sylvester are also pictured. (Sylvester is the oldest child) The Redford Observer 1956

As a girl, Louise Shear would attend school with her friend Jennie Petoskey. The school was located at the corner of Plymouth Road and Lamphere (now Outer Drive in Detroit). Louise went on to marry Jennie’s brother August Petoskey. In 1956, Louise and August were living in their home on West Chicago (the edge of her father J. F. Shear’s farm). In its heyday the John “Johann” Friedrich Shear farm reached from Plymouth Road at Appleton all the way to West Chicago spanning approximately 30 acres.

According to Louise Shear, her father was more of a tinsmith than a farmer. He soon purchased a store in the Beech community (near Fisher Station) which today would be south of the railroad tracks on Beech Daly probably near where the Water Department building is.

shear general store c1893
J. F. Shear general store also served as a post office at the time. This photo was taken c.1893. The Redford Observer 1956

Jennie Petoskey even worked as a clerk part time at the Shear’s general store, where they once carried everything from ginger and sugar to chewing tobacco. At that time ginger was sold for 7 cents! She also remembered shoveling coal out of wagons on more than one occasion with her friend Louise Shear.

Louise’s brother’s Carl Shear and Sylvester Shear also helped out at the general store. When Louise Shear got married to August Petoskey in 1913, they took over running the store from 1917 to 1928. By that time, a new brick building had been built on Plymouth Road and was dubbed Shear and Petoskey. (In 1956 it was known as Hamby’s Market, today the building still stands at 25303 Plymouth)

shear and petoskey
The new Shear general store “Shear and Petoskey” (the original general store on Plymouth and Beech burned down in the 1930’s)

The Shear House today: Once set up as two 1-bedroom apartments, it is unclear if it still is. In 2006, the Shear House was listed as “office for sale.” As of 2018, JPC Metal Recycling LLC is listed as having been operating at this address for over 14 years.

Photos taken in 2017