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

Selections From
Grosse Pointe On Lake Sainte Claire
By Silas Farmer, 1886
The Residences And Their Occupants

John B. Dyar ResidenceOn the landward side of the road, the first place, a very handsome one, just completed, is the residence of John B. Dyar, and known as "Beaurivage"
(beautiful shore).  The grounds contain some fine specimens of evergreens planted by a former owner, and the situation at a bend of the road, offers a charming lake view.  Those who know Mr. Dyar need not be told that taste and comfort will reign within the portals of his home.  Ever ready to aid in all social pleasures, an enthusiast as to the attractions of the Pointe, Mr. Dyar has contributed greatly to the general enjoyment.

He married Julia Edmunds Maynard, daughter of Judge A. B. Maynard, and niece of Senator Edmunds of Vermont.  Their three children are Clara Gray, Ralph Maynard, and John Wild.

W. A. McGraw CottageThe pretty Queen Anne cottage of Wm. A. McGraw comes next.  Although one of the later "colonists," Mr. McGraw is an ardent admirer of the Pointe.  His grounds embrace about ten acres, and are known as "The Poplars" - a handsome row of Lombardy Poplars, and an Osage orange hedge defining the front.  The interior of the residence is a model of convenience, and its general finish and tasteful appointments are admired by all.  Not the least attractive feature of the grounds of Mr. McGraw and his neighbor Mr. Dyar is the little park in front, extending to the lake.

Mr. McGraw is the son of A. C. McGraw, and of the firm of A. C. McGraw & Co., one of the oldest and most successful mercantile firms in Detroit.  He married Harriet A. Robinson, a niece of John S. Newberry.  Both he and his wife were born in Detroit.  They have two children, Kathleen and Harrie.

As the road bends and approaches more closely to the lake, we reach what was for many years the residence of the well known lawyer, D. Bethune Duffield.  The grounds include about twenty acres, which for years were the pride of their owner.  The well stocked orchard and graperies are marks of the great care he bestowed upon the property.  While gladly welcoming the new owner, the residents of the Pointe were not the less sorry to miss Mr. Duffield and family from among their number, their long residence having made them the friends of all. 

M. S. Smith CottageThis place is now known as Sans Souci (without care).  Its present owner, Martin S. Smith, purchased the property in 1885 at a cost of $21,000, and has since rebuilt the residence in a tasteful style.  The establishment is now as complete as the most fastidious need require.  The name of M. S. Smith, as the founder of one of the oldest business establishments in the West, is probably as widely known as that of any person in Michigan; and whether in business affairs, in his duties as one of the Commissioners of Police, or in the discharge of his duty as a citizen, Mr. Smith is always consistent, courteous, benevolent and enterprising.  Of late years he has been one of the firm of Alger, Smith & CO., carrying on one of the largest lumbering enterprises in the State.  He is also interested in other extensive industries.  Mr. Smith was born in Livingston Co. N. Y., in 1834.  IN 1862 he married Mary E. Judson, of Detroit, a daughter of Otis Judson.  The name of their little girls is Helen Gertrude.

The rustic little cottage, next in view, is occupied by Will. C. McMillan, son of James McMillan of Detroit.  This is one of the older residences of the Pointe, as the arbor vitae hedges and old trees indicate.  Mr. McMillan graduated at Yale in 1884, since which time he has occupied an important position in the management of the Michigan Car Co.s' Works, and shows that he inherits the business talents of his father.  He married Miss Marie Thayer, daughter of Frank N. and Ella S. Thayer of Boston, Mass.  The latter now resides with them.  They have one child, Thayer McMillan.  Generous and genial, his popularity is as great among friends at home as it was among his classmates at college.  The base ball and lawn tennis interests of the Pointe are much indebted to his care.  His cottage stands in the extensive grounds belonging to John S. Newberry and Jas. McMillan, known as Lake Terrace.

W. C. McMillan - Later Residence W. C. McMillan - Later Boat House