In 1844 Benjamin Ticknor, a U.S. naval surgeon from Connecticut, built this Classic Revival house on his 183-acre farm in Pittsfield Township. He used cobblestone construction, which originated in upstate New York. The rear wing includes a small frame house, first occupied in 1835 by his brother Heman Ticknor, farm manager and township leader. At Dr. Ticknor's death in 1858, his extensive medical and classical library was given to the University of Michigan
. The home was listed in the Historic American Building Survey in 1936.
In 1881 Scottish immigrant William Campbell, an educator from Ypsilanti purchased this house on a 223-acre farm.. He and his son Clair raised grain, hogs, and purebred prize cattle. Farming continued on this site until 1955. For ninety-one years three generations of the Campbell family retained the house essentially unchanged. In 1972 the city of Ann Arbor purchased it for use as a pioneer museum, and it was placed in the national and Michigan historic registers.