The three Pontiac House museums will all be open for free public tours on Saturday, October 16 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Administered by the Livingston County Historical Society, each of the houses offers visitors a different perspective on life in the Pontiac since the mid-19th century. until the middle of the 20th century. No prior registration is required and there is ample on-street parking nearby. Masking is mandatory.

Jones House at 314 E. Madison St. is furnished with a variety of donated items. The building is the oldest surviving brick house in Pontiac. Built in 1857, the house was only the second brick house built in the then young town. The house deteriorated over the years until it was purchased by the Historical Society in 1976 and underwent a long and intensive renovation to restore it to its present condition. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

David Strevell House at 421 Livingston Street West in Pontiac.

Visitors to the David Strevell House at 421 W. Livingston St. will see a recently completed paint job that includes improving the appearance of the exterior “gingerbread” trim. Colors were researched to restore the house as Abraham Lincoln would have seen it when he visited his friend, Pontiac lawyer David Strevell. The house is the last known residence to have been visited by the future president. Strevell is said to have encouraged Lincoln to seek the presidential nomination. Currently, visitors can see an extensive display of newspapers from the days and weeks since Lincoln’s assassination.

The Catherine V. Yost House and Museum at 298 W. Water Street in Pontiac

The Catherine V. Yost House and Museum, at 298 W. Water St., is an 1898 Queen Anne Victorian home built in 1898 by Pontiac attorney Zoath Freeman Yost for his young family which included his wife Ella and their three children. Hellene, Catherine and John Paul. Following the death of the last child, Jean-Paul in 1988 the house was bequeathed to the City of Pontiac. The house features original works of art by his daughter Catherine, a prolific trained artist. What makes the house unique is that all of the furniture has been owned and used by the Yost family.

Open days allow families to discover the Pontiac’s past in one afternoon. The houses are located close enough to each other that they can be accessed during an afternoon walking or driving tour. It’s a fun, inexpensive way for families to spend an afternoon together without leaving town.

Livingston County Historical Society


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