2018-09-06 / Front Page

Sleeper mansion to not be shuttered, owner says

By Ben Muir

As of Wednesday, the sleeper mansion at 228 N. Huron is still shuttered from the outside. 
Photo by Ben Muir As of Wednesday, the sleeper mansion at 228 N. Huron is still shuttered from the outside. Photo by Ben Muir BAD AXE - The owner of the Albert E. Sleeper Mansion in Bad Axe says she is continuing renovations and moving forward with her plan to preserve the historic home.

Angela Joseph has owned the Albert E. Sleeper Mansion since 2010. Recently, the building has been boarded up, which has given pause to some who don’t want to see the Sleeper mansion dissipate.

Joseph said she has been making gradual renovations on the roughly 100-yearold home, saying she has no intention of demolition. And the boarded exterior was done because people had been staying without permission, Joseph said.

“It’s been boarded up because I kept on getting squatters,” Joseph said.

And Joseph said she intends to board the mansion from the inside instead. Further, Joseph said that over the years she has replaced the roof, pillars, plumbing and electric, all in hopes she could transform the building into a museum or sell it if possible, although there is no timetable on when that could happen.

“So, there’s a lot we have done,” Joseph said. “It’s a great, historic building. The structure is gorgeous.”

Dale VanDeVusse, the Bad Axe city manager, said the Sleeper mansion falls under the blight ordinance, which allows the city to penalize the owner if the building is not taken care of.

As for the future of the building, it’s up to the owner, VanDeVusse said.

Thomas Collon, who said he lived in the mansion’s apartment on the second floor from 1954 to 1974 when it was a funeral home, said he hopes the home is preserved.

“It’s a beautiful piece of history,” Collon said. “But it’s got a lot of damage.

It’s going to take a lot of money to restore it.”

When asked whether the mansion being a funeral home at one point would dissuade potential buyers, Collon laughed and said, “It’s not the dead ones you have to worry about.”

Above all, Collon said he doesn’t want his former home torn down.

“Boy, I would feel terrible if that happened,” he said.

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