DETROIT ROCK CITY PARANORMAL
FINAL CASE REPORT #191102Whaley
Contact: Davina Kuh Jakobi, Executive Director
Investigators: Mike, Kellie D, Kristie, Judy, Kelly H, Kim, Anastasia, Jeff and Cheryl
Times: 8:00p-12:00a Weather: 46 degrees with rain
The Whaley Historic House Museum on Kearsley St. in Flint, MI. began as an 1859,
Italianate home. The home was purchased and renovated into a 19th century classic Victorian home by Robert Whaley in 1885. He lived in the home along with his wife, Mary, their adopted daughter, Florence and Robert’s teenaged half-sister, Laura. Robert Whaley died in 1922 and his wife, Mary in 1925. With their love of Flint, they left a legacy behind.
The Whaley’s made a generous donation in memory of their son, Donald who passed at 10 years old. It resulted in the Whaley Children’s Center for Flint’s children in need. When Mary passed; she left the house to be used as a home for elderly women. Mary’s trust created the McFarlane Home and it also helped to cover costs for the residents. Both institutions still exist. Three of our DRCP investigators met with Davina at the WHHM in early October 2019 to
discuss a collaboration of “Adult Walks” around Halloween. During this visit, Davina gave our team a
tour and shared some history. The building has been a museum since 1974 and is currently open for public tours. It has since been maintained and restored to the period when the Whaley family resided in the home with many items that belonged to the family still there.
In 2015, as there was some maintenance being done on the roof, a fire broke out and damaged much of the attic. There was also water and smoke damage to some of the other areas. Since then it has all been repaired and restored. DRCP came out a second time, on Halloween to do an investigation as a Team. On November 2, 2019, we returned for the “Adult walk”. Davina began the evening by speaking to the guests about the museum’s history. Mike (DRCP) spoke after Davina about the equipment we use on our investigations and presented some clips of audio and video evidence we gathered on our Halloween investigation. We broke the team and guests into 3 groups. Each group had 2 hours to investigate the main floor and upstairs. During that time, we were able to investigate 4-6 rooms of the house per group. During the investigations, guests were encouraged to also ask the spirits questions. The following is the captured evidence from the Halloween investigation and the Adult Walk. We would like to thank Davina for trusting us and giving us the opportunity to investigate and lead their “Adult Walks”. We would happily welcome any requests to lead any future projects. Davina is knowledgeable and welcoming and truly cares for the historic home. We really enjoyed our time there and wish those at WHHM many years of happiness and success.
We will be adding additional documentation and evidence of each room of the home soon!
Apparition seen on right with lights off
photo courtesy of Maria Holt-Astrop
Robert J. Whaley
Robert J. Whaley (December 8, 1840–1922) served as Citizens Bank's president for over forty years. His 1886 loan to the Flint Road Cart Company eventually led to the creation of General Motors in 1908. William C. Durant's bank book, which records the loan, is currently exhibited at Whaley House Historical Museum courtesy of Citizens Bank.
Whaley was born in 1840 in Castile, New York to Jeremiah and Parmelia Ann Whaley. He moved to Wisconsin during the 1840s.
He married Mary McFarlan from Flint, Michigan, where they resided. Around 1885, the family moved into a large Victorian home in Flint. This building, known as the Robert J. Whaley House, is now used as a museum.
The Whaleys' only son, Donald, died at the age of ten after contracting diphtheria during a visit to Detroit with his mother. His mother was very affected by the loss of the child. Robert Whaley urged his grieving wife to use their affluence to create a memorial to their son by creating the Whaley Children's Foundation.
Still Mary's grief was near overwhelming, so Robert built her a 'new style' house on Stone Lake in Cassopolis, Michigan, where she could have peace and quiet and entertain close friends. She soon found herself with new purpose running the Whaley Children's foundation and preparing the house for friends to come stay for weekend parties. Through her foundation work Mary Whaley became close with a girl, Florence Bickford, and would welcome her into their family like she was their own child, although no formal adoption papers are known to exist.
Robert died under unexplained health complications in the Stone Lake House in 1922. A few years later Mary was also found dead in the Stone Lake House of the same unexplained complications. Local police investigated the death as a suicide, and even revisited Robert Whaley's death as a possible murder, but the investigation was cut short and the death was deemed to be by natural causes. Leaving their beloved, and then married, adopted daughter everything in their name.