It's Arrived!
2019 Insider's Guide to the Pointes 
and Harper Woods with the Grosse Pointe Chamber Member Directory

in the Pointes!

Everyone says Grosse Pointe empties out during the summer, but tell that to those of us who hang around to enjoy our Eden-like setting and take part in the many activities in store before school starts back up again.

If you like to golf, which I do, there are charity golf events that will not only satisfy your urge to get on the course but also raise money for good causes, such as the ongoing fight against cancer and support for Detroit Dog Rescue.

Dog lovers, you have a second chance to take part in the Michigan Humane Society’s annual Mutt March at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House. Originally scheduled for June 2, it was postponed to July 28 due to the soggy conditions on the grounds. 

Greekfest is always one of our favorites. It gives everyone a chance to be Greek for a day! Many people think I’m Greek anyway, since my last name ends in an “s” preceded by a vowel. In fact, everytime I drop drycleaning off, the man at the counter, after typing in my phone number, says, “Minnis? Are you Greek?” At first, I would explain that no, it’s Irish, but I have a lot of friends who are Greek. Now, instead of going through all that every time, I just say, “Yes! How did you know?”

For more laid-back fare, be sure to attend some of the weekly concerts at Music on the Plaza in the Village on Thursday nights and lakeside Summerfest at The War Memorial. (Pssst! Jimmy Buffet night is Wednesday, July 31. Don’t tell anyone as seating is limited!)

Of course, we always end our summer with Racing for Kids to the Hill, the annual fundraiser hosted by Pat and Debby Wright. During the day, The Hill is closed to traffic and converted to a carnival atmosphere for children, including a scavenger hunt. The red carpet comes out at night for adults, featuring a silent auction, music, libations and great food. What a way to end the summer! This year, Racing for Kids celebrates 30 years!

As always, be sure to patronize our many loyal businesses and advertisers and be sure to tell them you saw them in Grosse Pointe Magazine and the Grosse Pointe News. 

See you around the Pointe!
— John

While working on “At Home in the Pointes” for this issue, I had the pleasure of meeting Wardwell House owners Douglas and Marylyn Ross and researcher Henry Heatley. The love for this historic home runs deep in Grosse Pointe.

I, like countless others, have passed the Wardwell House on Jefferson and admired its traditional Christmas decorations and carousel horse in the conservatory window. It is one of the houses I deem a serious distraction while driving Jefferson. Never did I think I would have the opportunity to tour the home or to interview its owners about conserving the property for so many years.

Douglas and Marylyn shared how the house was on the market for just six days before their offer was accepted following a personal one-hour interview with the owner, and that Marylyn had always known the house would someday be theirs. They explained that a good friend had gifted them the antique carousel horse at least 25 years ago ­— and that they could not bear to part with it in the current sale. 

They showed me where servants quarters once were and where a cleverly disguised elevator ran between the first floor and master bedroom. It was a fascinating conversation with two true stewards of Grosse Pointe historical architecture.

To learn more about the history of the house, I pulled up a PDF from Tonnancour in the Grosse Pointe Historical Society archives. To my surprise, the only in-depth research conducted on the Wardwell House was by Henry Heatley in the 1970s. As luck would have it, he and wife Stella are my dear friends.

The next day, atlases, books and documents strewn the Heatley kitchen table. Henry explained how he had arrived at the year of construction, by poring over tax records and noting the jump in taxes, exactly what the increase would be for the building of a brick structure. He also shared little known facts with me, like the existence of an outdoor stove hidden between the brick structure and its clapboard addition. He debunked myth after myth about the old home, providing detailed proof of its history. No easy feat, and a Wayne State University paper well worth the read.

I hope you enjoy reading about Wardwell House and getting a peek inside the beautiful home.

Thank you to Douglas and Marylyn for opening their doors for the magazine, to Henry Heatley for his historical expertise, and to Don Schulte, ever the master photographer.

— Lauren


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