Whaley Historical House Museum
As the last Victorian era home on East Kearsley Street, Whaley Historical House Museum is one of Flint's last visible links to its 19th Century past. Since the home was first constructed it has seen the City of Flint transition from a small, frontier lumbering town to one of the world's leading industrial centers. Whaley Historical House Museum provides visitors an opportunity to witness life during the United States's Gilded Age.
From 1885 to 1925 Whaley Historical House Museum was the residence of Robert and Mary McFarlan Whaley. Other family members that lived in the house included Mr. and Mrs. Whaley's daughter, Florence; Florence's son, Robert Orrell; and Mr. Whaley's half-sister, Laura. A number of servants lived in and on the grounds over the years as well. Family pets such as dogs, cats, and birds also made their home on the property.
During their lifetimes, Robert and Mary were very prominent in their community. For over forty years, Mr. Whaley served as president of Citizens Bank. During his tenure, he issued a $2,000.00 loan to William C. Durant and J. Dallas Dort that eventually led to the creation of General Motors. Mary Whaley was the daughter of Alexander McFarlan, one of Flint's most prosperous and influential businessmen.
Today, Mr. and Mrs. Whaley are most remembered for their philantropy. Two of the best examples of their charitable giving are the Whaley Children's Center and the McFarlan Home for Women, both of which were created in accordance with their wills. Numerous acres of park land and the Five Sisters Chapel in St. Paul's Episcopal Church are additional examples of their generosity to their community.