Charles G. Learned House

Also known as: Tower Hotel
8544 Lake St., Port Austin, Michigan


Street View 


A Michigan Historical Marker here reads: Charles G. Learned

A native of New York, contractor Charles G. Learned helped build New York City's water-works system and the Erie Canal. Around 1837 Learned and his brother-in-law purchased several thousand acres of pine land in Michigan's Thumb area. Two years later, Learned and his wife, Maria Raymond, came to Port Austin and bought a house and three acres at this site. Learned's cutover pine land became a 2,000-acre farm where he prospered as an agriculturalist and dairy farmer. With profits from his lumbering and farming enterprises Learned enlarged and updated this house in the French Second Empire style. In the 1860s Ohio congressman, later president, James A. Garfield, a family friend, was a frequent guest here. From 1931 to 1979 the house served as the Mayes Inn and Tower Hotel. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on May 31, 1984
Reference number
NR name
Learned, Charles G., House
Architectural styles
Victorian: Second Empire; Victorian: Italianate
Areas of significance
Industry; Commerce; Architecture; Agriculture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Periods of significance
1875-1899; 1850-1874; 1825-1849
Significant years
1837; 1865; 1875
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 1
Non-contributing buildings: 1


19th Century (37,705)
Built 1837 (200)
Built during 1830s (2,705)
Granite (5,090)
Have Street View (44,943)
House (27,585)
Huron County, Michigan (29)
Italianate (5,108)
Michigan (1,927)
Port Austin, Michigan (3)
Private owner (54,398)
Second Empire (1,064)
Stone (26,160)
Victorian (19,697)

Update Log 

  • October 2, 2012: New Street View added by Rattrak