Windmill Point
Grosse Pointe Historical Society

The Grosse Pointe Farms Survey Photo Collection

During the late 1910's and early 1920s Grosse Pointe Farms undertook a land survey documented in photographs. The photos are part of the Ignastius Backman Collection from the Farms city offices. The collection was recently digitized for this exhibit.

As the collection reflects, by the 1910s, the advent of the car accelerated the development of Grosse Pointe. New inland roads like Oak (now Muir) attracted tradesmen, estate workers and village employees while streets like Beverly lured businessmen and professionals. Estate owners used inland portions of their property for subdivisions; developers replaced farmland with boulevards like Cloverly. Regardless of location, new homes reflected diverse architectural styles including English Tudor, French Renaissance, Italianate, Georgian, Colonial and Arts and Crafts.

Although town marshals in 1911 were still rounding up stray cattle near the lake, by 1925 it was illegal for local farmers to sell fresh produce along the shore. Increased population required enhanced services. Roads were paved and maintained by local contractors like Moran and Teetaert; sewage and waste water pipes were installed. In 1905, the Peninsular Electric Light Company agreed to provide both street lights and drinking water for ten years. By the mid­teens, agreements with Detroit and Highland Park further assured water safety.

This Exhibit Made Possible by The Wilkinson Foundation