Grosse Pointe residents walk upon grounds that were once the swamp, marsh, and meadow haunts of deer, buffalo and beaver.
It was this profusion of wild life - plus fish from the 460-square-mile Lake St Clair - that attracted the French farmers who first settled the area in the 1750's.
During the next century, area residents fished, farmed and traded with the local Indians. After a brief period under British rule, the area began its history as an American settlement.
Around the middle of the nineteenth century, a metamorphoses took place. The area changed from a rural farming community to an elegant summer resort.
From the 1850's to the early 1900's, Grosse Pointe was THE summer residence of lumber and automobile barons.
They liked living here, so they built permanent estates. Not everyone was wealthy, of course, so the area gradually developed into a charming suburban community of homes in a variety of styles and price ranges.
The preservation of structures, documents and artifacts ensures that history lives on in the present. In striving to preserve the past and the present, we connect ourselves to the future.
The Grosse Point Historical Society was founded in 1945, and reorganized in 1980. The purpose of the Society is to promote the history of the Grosse Pointe community. The Society is committed to the collection and preservation of local history, artifacts and documents, and is dedicated to enhancing public interest through scholarships, historical markers, and school programs.
The Resource Center, housed in the historic Schwartz Building at 381 Kercheval Avenue, is a repository for the collections of the Society. Built in 1925, the Schwartz Building is the oldest commercial storefront in Grosse Pointe Farms. Major archives of local organizations, as well as documents, books, maps and photographs are available to visitors and researchers. Come and look through these pieces of history to see how past generations lived.
Resource Center hours are Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., 1:30-4 p.m. For information, please call (313) 884-7010.