This special exhibit features the rich and famous of Grosse Pointe's own auto baron families and their classic yachts, gracious homes and elegant lifestyles.
In the 1920's, the rapidly expanding automobile industry was creating vast new fortunes and greatly enlarging old ones thanks to huge pre-income tax profits. The hub of the industry was in Detroit and many of the auto barons settled in Grosse Pointe on the shores of Lake St. Clair. In addition to the beautiful lakeside vistas, prohibition (75% of all illegal liquor entered the U.S through this area at the time), and flourishing club, sporting and social scenes all made Grosse Pointe the place to be!
Already by the 1910's, a second generation of Grosse Pointe summer people including auto executives Henry B. Joy, John and Horace Dodge, Harry Jewett and Russell Alger Jr. began replacing the charming Victorian cottages and old farmhouses with eclectic mansions designed by nationally known architects including Detroiter, Albert Kahn and New Yorker, Charles Adams Platt. Impressive Tudor and neoclassical homes preceded by more than a decade the Cotswold manor of auto baron Edsel Ford. In the late 1920s, new mansions, like those of Packard's Alvan Macauley and Hudson Motors' Roy Chapin, looked out across broad, manicured lawns toward the lake. Even in the difficult early 1930s, Mrs. Hugh Dillman, formerly Mrs. Horace Dodge, added yet another palatial Lake Shore residence in Grosse Pointe Farms... Learn more about this special chapter of Grosse Pointe history by viewing the slide shows ->
This exhibit was made possible by a grant from the MotorCities National Heritage Area and the MotorCities Mini-Grants Program