Susan Stebbins, born August 7, 1863, lived her entire life in Lansing, Michigan. She inherited her father’s love of history and expressed it through her passion for collecting. At some point she struck up an acquaintance with Byron Stark, owner of a Kalamazoo pottery shop. Susan and Byron traveled together in search of objects for their individual collections and eventually married in 1908.
When Susan died, friends and family were remembered in her will with specific articles of clothing, furniture, or pieces of jewelry. But her antique collection was willed to the people of Michigan. Besides the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, which received her pewter, bottle, and porcelain lusterware collections, parts of the Stark collection can be found at the Public Museum of Grand Rapids, the Michigan State University Museum, and the Michigan Historical Museum.