The house at 223 N. River Street in Ypsilanti was constructed around 1856-1857 by Bernard Whittemore (? - Jan. 19, 1857), who served as State Treasurer from 1850-1855. Whittemore purchased the land from Mark Norris on Sept. 23, 1856, and apparently constructed the house immediately, as his will refers to "land bought of Mark Norris situated on the west side of River Street together with the brick dwelling house lately erected by me thereon."

The impressive house backs up to the Huron River, across from Riverside Park, and was large enough to have had, in 1960s, 11 apartments with 28 rooms.