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A Historical Hidden Gem

Posted on March 21st, 2024

by  Danielle Devota       Downtown Adrian offers top-notch entertainment in a historic setting. There’s nothing better than a relaxing trip to the history-packed small towns of Michigan. And that’s exactly the vibe I was looking for when I visited the city of Adrian. Located in southeastern Michigan, Adrian has been making some major efforts to revitalize its downtown while also preserving its historical roots. It’s the best of old and new!

Downtown Adrian is a place to admire, no matter the weather. The town was founded in 1825 and much of the original architecture still stands—although now the city boasts new businesses and boutiques to explore. In fact, the downtown Historic Commercial District is recognized by the National Park Service. I decided to start my tour at the renowned Croswell Opera House, which is actually packed with history as the oldest theater in Michigan.

The Croswell Opera House was built in 1866 and has hosted notable orators like abolitionist Frederick Douglass and suffragette Susan B. Anthony. Today, it stages a full season of Broadway musicals, as well as tribute bands, magic shows, and hosts memorable performances by the Adrian Symphony Orchestra.

After enjoying a matinee performance, I was itching for a refreshment. Thankfully, right next door to the Croswell Opera House is the Governor Croswell Tea Room Restaurant, which is named after Charles Miller Croswell, a resident of Adrian who was also the 17th governor of Michigan during the 1800s. The tearoom is located in the Hoefler Building, which is over 100 years old. The tearoom offers a British style tea, so I opted for the traditional High Tea—a three-tier tea service that includes delicious tea sandwiches, Devonshire cream, assorted pastries and scones, and of course, my own personal pot of tea. I sat and sipped for a while, chatting with staff and other patrons.

After lunch, I spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the wonderful shops and small businesses in Downtown Adrian. There truly is a wide array of places to check out—from cigar shops to craft stores.

PHOTO CREDIT: Croswell Opera House

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