The town of Allegan and the historic Davis-DeLano House, now DeLano Mansion, our Michigan bed & breakfast inn, has a rich history.
David Doane Davis moved to Allegan in June of 1835, and during the early years of his residence, he followed his trade as carpenter, participating in the building of many early Allegan structures. Later he was engaged as a contractor and spent much of his time involved in many enterprises of considerable importance to the town’s growth. D.D. Davis married Miss Hannah J. Robinson on May 18, 1836, and they became two of the pioneers of Allegan. Being very energetic and industrious, they were highly successful in accumulation of property. Their first home was a log house built where the existing downtown of Allegan stands. In 1863, they built the home which is now the DeLano Inn. D.D. Davis served on various boards in Allegan including the First Baptist Church. D.D. Davis died on December 17, 1871 after having lived a successful, yet unremarkable life, one that was very conservative and well planned.
Hannah Davis was more than an ordinary woman; she possessed deep religious convictions, as well as being thrifty and industriousness. She was very outspoken in her beliefs, and extremely active in advocating various causes. When she died on September 30 1877, the First Baptist Church lost its strongest supporter, and many people lost a friend who had been their source of support. She left her home and estate, valued at more than $60,000, to the church.
The church used the Davis house as a parsonage and as a boarding house between pastors. First Baptist Church sold the parsonage to Mr. Horace B. Peck on September 13, 1884. Mr. Peck was a banker who had owned City Bank of Allegan since 1873, and was involved in several different businesses in town. He held several public offices, including that of village president, but his political views did not rest well with the public. Mr. Peck sold the home to Mr. Chaddock in April of 1890.
Mr. Chaddock ran a small local bank in Allegan till around 1877 or 1878, when he had to close his bank and sell off his property, leaving him virtually penniless at the time of his death some time later. He sold the home in July of 1898 to Hiram and Viola DeLano for just $3,000; yes, only THREE thousand dollars!!
Hiram and Viola DeLano proceeded to sell the home to their son, Earl DeLano. Then, they bought it back, doing this several times, so as to create the appearance that the Allegan State Savings Bank (which the DeLano family owned) was a secure and well-run bank. Hiram DeLano died in 1921 and through some court litigations and sale(s) of the home among family members; Earl DeLano finally retained ownership of what is now the existing property. Earl and his wife, Mignon Sherwood DeLano, owned the home until 1987 when Mignon died, having been preceded in death by her husband, Earl, in 1977.
In 1987, the Ashley family bought the home, renovated it, and ran the home as a bed and breakfast until approximately 1994, when they closed the Inn and later sold the house to Scott and Karen Ehrich. Scott completed the renovations, restoring the house to it’s original glory. Then in 2013, Scott sold the Inn to Marcia and Kent Neigebauer, who are retaining the same elegance which Scott had completed.