The Wadsworth House dates back to as early as 1899 when Mrs. Cora Downing took in boarders. In 1910 the U.S. census listed six residents at 402 Wadsworth. They included Henry and Bertha Sparling – head of household, Mary Louise Fitts-boarder and teacher in Traverse City, Clara Miner-boarder and assistant clerk at the Traverse City clerk’s office, Robert Edwards-roomer and salesman at a local Traverse clothing store, John Hike-roomer and commercial traveler and Etta Minor-roomer who worked as a sales lady at a dry goods store.
The difference between roomer and boarder were meals. The boarders of course were served food and the roomers had a room only. The Wadsworth is currently not serving food, but we do provide a private kitchen with goodies for the guests.
Henry Sparling died in 1951 and the Wadsworth sat vacant for a couple of years until it was purchased by the Anderson family, who ran the home as The Wadsworth House for Girls. The third owner was Francis Vannunen, who deeded the property to Diane Fotchman. Ms. Fotchman continued operations until she sold the home in December of 2012 to William and Deborah Shaw. The Shaws significantly renovated the home over 4 years, until sold to Jason and Daena Thibodeau in May of 2016. The Thibodeau’s have continued (and are still continuing) renovations. The Shaw’s then the Thibodeau’s opened the home as a vacation getaway to Traverse City visitors since 2013.
The Wadsworth is, as far as we know, the only grandfathered-in boarding/rooming house in Traverse City. The Thibodeau’s are operating the Wadsworth under a Traverse City rental license Number CR13-0001.