Here, Francois Navarre, first white settler in Monroe, built his home. His 500 acre farm, acquired by deed from the Indians in 1785, afforded a center for the River Raisin colony, by 1790 an important frontier community.
Col. Navarre was friend and host to many. As leader of the French colony, he was the liaison between the settlers and the American Government officials during the critical years before the British were finally ousted from the Northwest Territory. He escorted the advance military party sent to Detroit by General Hamtramck to arrange for the U.S. occupation in 1796.
General Winchester made the Navarre house his headquarters before the disastrous Battle of the River Raisin in 1813 in which Winchester was taken prisoner.
Dr. Isaac Sawyer built the present structure in 1872-3. It in turn became a center of hospitality and culture, remaining in possession of Miss Jenny Toll Sawyer until deeded by her to the city, August 23, 1938.