News & Blog: Community

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A Brief History of Wine & Words Venue

 The Literacy Center's Eleventh Annual Wine & Words event will be hosted at 333 Fountain Street NE on Wednesday, November 8 from 6-9 pm. Purchase tickets online at www.literacycenterwm.org/wine-words

The lovely Italianate home, located at the corner of Fountain and Prospect in Grand Rapids' Heritage Hill district, House Photo 2was constructed in the 1876 by Norman D. Carpenter. Mr. Carpenter was a partner in Carpenter, Judd & Company, a wholesale and retail dealership specializing in hardware and stoves. He resided in the home until the 1890s when he sold it and moved to Los Angeles.

The home was soon occupied by a new owner, Samuel Young, the founder and president of Grand Rapids Stove Equipment Company and an active member of the city’s upper class society. Mr. Young was responsible for converting the garage into a service room, adding the east side sunroom and enclosing the once open two story porch located on the southwest corner of the building, possibly to give more room for the lavish parties and events he was noted to host.

Mr. Young resided at 333 Fountain until his death in 1947 at which time the building was sold and used as dormitories for a Grand Rapids School of Bible and Music Study. The home would continue to be utilized as a youth and group home until 2007, an intense use that left the building in dire need of attention when it was purchased by the current owners.

The current owners, Thach Le and Trang Vuong, received a 2016 Historic Preservation Award from the city of Grand Rapids for their work on renovating and updating the home. Guests at Wine & Words will enjoy wine, appetizers, and word games in this lovingly restored house. 

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