A Brief History

Seymour Fletcher purchased 80 acres of this land in 1836 from the U.S. government.  He sold it the next year to John Axford.

The early settler families of Axford, Taylor, and Kline owned and probably farmed this land until  about 1908. They probably built a cabin and finally the earliest section of this house about 1840.

The main house is Greek Revival architecture dating from about 1840.  Later additions show a primitive Arts and Crafts styling in the porch and east side, which was popular from about 1890-1940.  The interior includes a unique massive fieldstone fireplace and chandelier dating from about 1915-1920.  The dining room is especially historic in decoration.

The Carriage House behind the main house has unique architectural styling and attaches to a greenhouse connected to the Caretaker House.

The yellow  Caretaker House appears to have been expanded in the late 1930’s over an original stone and log basement.  It has been restored on the outside and renovated on the inside.  It is currently leased by the Oakland Twp. Historical Society as their museum.

The farm was used as a summer home in the 1939-1951 years when occupied by the  Howard Aldridge Coffin family who had business interests in Detroit…...  H.A. Coffin was an oil company executive who lived in Sherwood Forest subdivision near Palmer Park with his wife Abbie and family.   He served in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the thirteenth district (Wayne County area) from 1946 – 1949. 

The outbuildings with the main house and silo comprise the farmstead of 10 buildings, garden, and orchard. 

The main barn which stood next to the silo with foundation still apparent, burned to the ground in 1981.  We have photos of the barn courtesy of the neighbors in this area.

Currently the 16-acre CLF Historic District, which includes all the buildings you can see, is part of the Cranberry Lake Park, a 233 acre park owned by the Charter Township of Oakland.

Axford- Coffin Farn, Cranberry Lake Farm has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places and has  a Michigan Historical Marker commemorating our local heritage here.  

The site restoration was funded in part by the historic preservation millage fund in Oakland Township.  Enjoy your visit!