The History of Gross Pointe, Michigan
Before the neighborhood became a city, the area was predominantly rural, and the rich from Detroit built large lakefront estates. One such home was built by Packard Motor Company founder Russell A. Alger, Jr., and is now the Gross Pointe War Memorial. Other notable homes in the area date back to the 19th century. While it may be hard to find a house with this many rooms, you can find one with at least six. When searching for a Michigan rhinoplasty expert contact Michael S. Fozo, MD FACS of Lakeshore Facial Plastic Surgery
In 1796, when Detroit was taken over by the United States, the area was settled by French-Canadian people. After the American takeover in 1796, the Detroit Land Board determined ownership of all the Private Claims in the area out to Gaukler’s Point. Families in Gross Pointe, including the Poupards, Campaus, Socias, Rivards, and Ellairs, owned farms and settled near this point.
In the past, Gross Pointe was a summer resort. Its beautiful homes were adorned with French names and included unlimited scroll saw trimmings. The road was almost impassable in wet weather, but it was a popular place for dinners and relief from parched throats. The “Elegant Eighties” gave way to the ‘Gy Nineties’, and the community was re-established as a year-round suburb of Detroit.
Public schools serve the community. The Gross Pointe Public School System is the largest in the area. The area also has a private/independent school. University Liggett School, which serves students in prekindergarten through 12th grade, is well known for its progressive curriculum and Reggio Emilia approach in the lower grades. The community is home to many parks, including Neff Park, which features a pier on southern Lake St. Clair, playgrounds, tennis courts, and volleyball courts. In the winter, there are ice skating rinks.
In 1776, Alexander Grant, a Lieutenant Governor of the British Navy on the Great Lakes, married Therese Barthe, a sixteen year-old French Catholic from Detroit. They were part of the Governor’s Executive Council, which ruled nearly half of North America. Grant had eleven daughters and a son. In 1775, he purchased 640 acres of land in Gross Pointe Township and built Grant’s Castle on it. It is located southwest of the unfinished John Dodge house.
Residents of Gross Pointe Woods have access to private waterfront parks with some of the best views of Lake St. Clair. In addition to the lakefront parks, the city is home to numerous parks with swimming pools, tennis courts, dog parks, and sports facilities. The Gross Pointe Yacht Club, also known as the Little Club, is another private club. It is located on the lakefront. Another private club in the city is the Lochmoor Club, which was founded in 1885.
In the beginning, the land around Gross Pointe Farms was heavily wooded and swampy. It was not a thriving town; instead, residents were hunters and farmers. Many of the farms and houses in the area had water frontage and ran back a mile or more. The water was the primary transportation, and most residents lived in close proximity to one another, out of mutual protection. They were close neighbors, and were surrounded by the lake.
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