GPHS Moorings Newsletters - page 135

From the Archives
A Windmill Pointe Story
The archives at the Grosse Pointe Historical Society are filled with intriguing information about our community. The
following is an excerpt from the Grosse Pointe Guide written by the WPA about 1935. The complete text is available
in the Alfred B. and Ruth S. Moran Resource Center. We invite you to visit our Web site, www.gphistorical.org. You
never know what you’ll discover!
July 25th, 1810:
There were on the premises a dwelling house, barn, stables and a windmill. About 20 acres were
under cultivation and enclosed. This private claim is now part of the Windmill
Pointe Subdivision in the Village of Grosse Pointe Park. The windmill built of stone
was erected on the lake shore near the foot of what is now Lakepointe Avenue, by
one of the first French settlers in Grosse Pointe, and was used as a grist mill, pro-
pelled by the wind to grind the corn and wheat of the colonists. It was doubtless a
crude affair but performed the work more satisfactorily than had been done before
that time, when only hand work was employed.
In the early days of the mill’s activities, it is said, the farmers and the Indians who
resided in Canada crossed the lake in small boats bringing their grain to the mill
for grinding. This was due to lack of grist mills on the Canadian border.
This old mill is said to have been built about 1750, and was in operation until
about the year 1800. Efforts by historians to definitely fix the date and name of the
builder have not been successful. Old French records show this mill, together with
a house and barn, to have been situated on this land and as early as 1759. It was
occupied by Jean Baptiste Leduc who might be considered the original owner as
well as the builder of the mill. There are no records to show that Leduc built this
old mill but, in the absence of any proof to the contrary, we are willing to believe
Leduc is the original builder of the first mill on Windmill Pointe.
On the lake shore of this private claim is now located the village waterfront park
and many beautiful homes. The home of R.W. Judson at 15324 Windmill Pointe
Drive now occupies the site upon which stood this historical windmill. Nothing
remains of this old mill, house and barn, but as a reminder of the past there still
remains two very large French Pear trees standing as sentinels over this old landmark.
Historical Note: The remaining millstone from this windmill is now located in the Trial Gardens at the Grosse Pointe
War Memorial.
Online Memberships Now Available
Joining the Grosse Pointe Historical Society just got a whole lot easier! Simply visit the Society Web site,
www.gphistorical.org and click on “Join the Society Online.”
It’s safe and secure. Use a credit card or a
Paypal account.
Membership benefits include:
• A subscription to the Society's quarterly newsletter, The Moorings
• Use of the Alfred B. and Ruth S. Moran Resource Center
• Early notification of Society programs
• Special invitations to Society events
• The opportunity to participate in research projects
• The opportunity to participate in volunteer programs
• Eligibility to rent the c.1823 Provencal-Weir House for an event.
New members in 2008 receive a copy of the DVD edition of Recollections of the Past (Grosse Pointe 1650-1900)
and The Past as Prologue (20th Century Grosse Pointe) as our thanks.
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