New assisted living center to be built on property
By Judy Reed
A house built in the early days of Cedar Springs was demolished this week to make way for a new assisted living and memory care center.
Retired teacher Steve Horowitz had been trying to sell his house at 426 Northland Drive for several years, and it was bought in June by Retirement Living Management, based in Lowell.
According to Cedar Springs Museum Director Sharon Jett, Horowitz was having a back room renovated several years ago, when a beam was discovered that had “built in 1878” carved into it. That would make the house 137 years old.
According to the Cedar Springs Story, by Sue Harrison and the late Donna DeJonge, the home was built by Sam Andrus, who lived there for many years. According to an obituary at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum, Andrus was born in 1838 in New York, and in 1858, he came to Michigan with his brother, Capt. W.P. Andrus. They stopped in Kalamazoo, where Sam went to school, and he went to war in 1861. In 1870, he came to Cedar Springs and joined his brother in the hardware business. The next year he married Ella Thomas, from Kalamazoo, and they set up their home here. They had three boys and one girl, but Ella died in 1983. Sam remarried in 1888 to Sarah Wamsley, and they had one son. Sam died in 1910.
The home later belonged to Curtis Beach, who was one of the first bus drivers here in Cedar Springs (about 1938). He drove the Solon route, for $12 a week, and Riley Eldred drove the Nelson route for $10 a week. Each had to provide his own bus garage.
Beach sold some of his farmland to Cedar Springs Public Schools in the early 1960s, and a new elementary school—Beach Elementary—was built behind the home on Northland Drive.
The house served many families over the years, and now the property will hold new hope for many elderly in our community. According to Doug Maas, Retirement Living Management has assisted living facilities in 16 cities. Their goal is to have a facility with 32-40 rooms, and it could bring 20-25 jobs once it is full. “Our goal is to go through the site plan process over the winter months, and start building in the spring,” explained Maas.
For more information on the company and what kinds of homes they provide, visit rlmgmt.com.
If you have any more information on the home formerly at 426 Northland Drive, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 696-3655.