John C. Liken / John C. Martini House
John C. Liken
One of Sebewaing's most prominent citizens, John C. Liken (1832 - 1920), came here from New York State where he owned a cooperage. Lured by Michigan's bountiful forests, he opened stave and sawmills in Sebewaing, Unionville, Akron and Fairgrove. His firm, John C. Liken and Company, dealt in a variety of commodities that the company's fleet of ships transported to Bay City and markets in New York. In 1874 Liken built a downtown commercial block with four storefronts. The town's first telephone line, installed in 1883, connected the store with Liken's flourmill and depot, and in 1901 the company received a ten-year contract for supplying the town with electric power generated at the mill. In 1913 Liken's son-in-law Richard Martini took over the business.
John C. Martini House
Sebewaing businessman John C. Liken built 5 houses, one for each of his children. Constructed in 1890 - 95 in the fashionable Stick Style, this house remains the only historically intact structure associated with Liken, one of Sebewaing's most prominent citizens, Like intended this house for his daughter Mary and his son-in-law and business partner, Richard Martini, but the Martini's never lived here. Instead, their oldest child John C. Martini (1878 - 1974) moved into the house with his wife, Tillie Kemp, in 1909. John C Liken retired in 1913, leaving control of the business to the Martinis, Richard became president and John succeeded him. The Liken and Martini families were integral to Sebewaing's development.