Sanctuary with the Walker Family

The Little Family's sanctuary after the fire of 1929 destroyed their house.

After the Little Family's first house in the Westmount subdivision was burned down in 1929, the family stayed at 732 Clark Street with Herb Walker and his family. The night of the fire, the family came here and the police interviewed Louise, Earl, and 9-year old Wilfred, deciding afterward to arrest Earl on charges of arson for (supposedly) setting fire to his own house with his family inside. The charges were later dropped as no evidence put the crime on Earl--the most likely culprits being members of local white supremacist groups opposed to a black family owning a house in a previously all-white neighborhood.

The Walker family, interestingly, was one of the few African American families in 1920s and 1930s Lansing who did not live in the neighborhood immediately south of downtown (the Main Street/St. Joseph's/Near Westside neighborhood).


732 Clark Street Lansing, MI 48906