Windmill Point Grosse Pointe Historical Society
Local History Brought to Life!

Selections From
Grosse Pointe On Lake Sainte Claire
By Silas Farmer, 1886
The Churches And The Convent

St. Paul's - Priest's House...The religious interests of residents are cared for by two churches.  The worshipers at the old French Catholic Church of St. Paul are especially numerous.  By the way, why should it be called St. Paul rather than St. Peter, who was the special patron of fishermen?  The long lines of nets extending into the lake would seem to indicate the fitness of the latter name, and the very weathercock on the steeple is also suggestive of St. Peter; St. Paul's it is however. 

St. Paul's ChurchThis quaint old church, under the care of the venerable, but jovial bon pere De Broeux, after standing for a generation or so, was fast falling into decay, when Father Van Antwerp, who succeeded the latter, infused new life into the unprogressive congregation, built a new parsonage, renovated the church, and caused all to regret his departure.  Father Meath who came next is also popular.  Religious prejudices are almost unknown at the Pointe, especially among the older residents.  The young ladies belonging to Protestant families frequently assist in the church choir and never seem to feel that their future well-being is thereby jeopardized. 

The congregation is principally French from the families of the habitants located hereabout.  Until a few years ago all the sermons were in French, but the experiment of preaching in English is now being tried.

Protestant churchThere is also a pretty little Protestant church conducted by a few of the most enterprising residents.   It is a church of all evangelical creeds and is attended on Sundays by most of those whose time on that day is not devoted to the worship of nature.  The ground for the church was donated by the father of the present postmaster and president of the village, Rufus Kirby.

In the Academy and Convent of the Sacred Heart the community have unusual advantages.  This institution is one for the education of young ladies.  Under the principals are a corps of accomplished lady teachers. 

The Convent of The Sacred HeartThe Academy is one of the most complete of the kind in the country, the building cost nearly one hundred thousand dollars, and is furnished with every modern convenience.  It is four stories in height, is heated throughout by steam, a uniform temperature of seventy degrees being easily maintained through the coldest days in winter.   Pure lake water is supplied by a steam engine and is distributed over the premises from iron tanks at the top of the building. 

This religious order owns about forty-two acres, including a beautiful grove of maples some ten acres in extent.  The pupils have free range over the grounds. With fresh milk, butter and vegetables from the farm and plenty of fresh air from the lake, they seem to be pictures of health, and it is claimed that no other school in the West offers superior advantages for educational purposes.