The Lewis House was built in 1878 by James Wilkinson for his widowed mother. In 1905, it was purchased by Harriet Adelaide Lewis, herself a widow with several children. Her daughter Evangeline, who was known to many of us, lived there for many, many years. In 1969, Evangeline offered to donate the house to the city, the city declined. A year later, in 1970, Evangeline donated the house to EMU as a guest house for visiting dignitaries. In 1976, EMU, citing budget problems, transferred ownership of the house to the Ypsilanti Historical Society.
In 1986, the house was damaged by a fire, which fortunately was confined to the rear porch and roof, although water damaged the kitchen and smoke filled the entire house. The Ypsilanti Press once reported that Earl Greene said he always felt the Wilkinson-Lewis house was Ypsilanti’s most beautiful home and promised himself that if it were ever on the market, he would buy it. And, in late 1989, Earl Greene did buy the house from the Historical Society.