HARBOR SPRINGS AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Ephraim Shay, creator of the Shay geared locomotive, built the Hexagon House in 1892. He and his wife Jane lived in the home until their deaths (Jane in 1912 and Ephraim in 1916). This remarkable building was gifted to the Historical Society from Mary Cay Bartush Jones in 2016. The structure is unique not just in design and layout, but in the materials Shay used to construct it. Both the interior and exterior of the home are clad in panels of stamped steel. The steel was stamped or pressed into a variety of designs including an imitation of brick and tile on the exterior.
The Shay Hexagon House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was renovated in 1990 just after Jones first acquired the building. The outright gift of the building to the Historical Society has sparked its board of trustees to look toward the future, both for the historic structure and for the organization as a whole. The restoration of the building is already underway and the home is currently closed for construction.
Learn more about the Shay House by exploring the links below:
National Park Service – Preservation Tech Notes: Describes the replacement of the stamped steel panels on the exterior of the home in the 1990.
Who was Ephraim Shay? A video produced by Sunrise Cable about Ephraim Shay, including a look inside the Hexagon House.