Discuss Detroit Hall of Fame Threads Garwood's mansion Previous Next
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vas (Vas)
Posted From: 141.217.119.171
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 5:09 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Can anyone provide some history to the old ruins(which are now gone) of Garwood's mansion on the east side. As high schoolers we used to go jump off the boat house, rummage through old relects of the mansion and have bonfires, anything to escape Grosse Point and high school. The Grayhaven gated community bordered it (west side), as did two canals and the Detroit river. On the south side of one canal is a park/school of some sort. But about 4 years ago they removed the place and put in riverfront condo's. If someone could tell me who Garwood was and why his nice place was destroyed that would be great. I owe him many a good nights blissfully sitting on his ivory colored front stairs leading to the Detroit river.
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jim (Jim)
Posted From: 198.109.32.13
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 5:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

-As high schoolers we used to go jump off the boat house, rummage through old relects of the mansion and have bonfires, anything to escape Grosse Point and high school.- Maybe it got ruined by behavior like this.
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Farrer (Farrer)
Posted From: 24.247.98.236
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 5:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jeez...even I know quite a bit about him. He was a famous boat racer... the best for years and years. Seemed to come from money, but also made his own. In fact, the vintage pacesetter boat that runs the course for the hydroplane race is a Gar Wood and I personally much admire it. Ok, I've got it. My childhood book that included him as one of 100 greatest sports heroes. I'll nutshell it.

First notable contribution to motorboat racing was in 1920 when he wrested Harmsworth Trophy, symbol of world racing supremacy, from England and never lost it back to them, successfully defending it eight times against England' best drivers who spent more than 7 million dollars to build and race against him in the vain attempt to win it back. Some of the records he set stood for over a quarter of a century, notably his 70 mph in the Gold Cup competition of 1920, and the 1932 Harmsworth Trophy mark when he drove his famous Miss America X at the incredible speed of 124.86 land mph.

Apparently he was from Lake Osakis in Minnesota and his father had some kind of a boiler driven tug that he raced with some rival that turned into some kind of bitter feud. (This is from a children's book so some of this may be corny or hooey) Tells some kind of story about running out of fuel in the tug race and falling behind and then the kid, Gar, chopping up all the furniture on the boat and throwing it in and winning the race. You can take that with a grain of salt.

He apparently amassed a fortune, I guess on his own, as an inventor, particularly of some hydraulic hoist but he became famous for his racing. There is also a footnote of lore that the guy became sort of an old hippie in his later days and let a bunch of kids move in with him, grew his hair long and became a stoner of sorts. You may get some more first-hand, knowledgable posts about the guy because he was a local legend.
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vas (Vas)
Posted From: 141.217.119.171
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 5:54 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Are you guys kidding me. You guys must be the same people who didn't want people enjoying Tyree's Hiedleberg.
Garwoods was completely gone except for a concrete boathouse, a bathtub and the front steps. I heard it went down in the 30's.
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MikeM (Mikem)
Posted From: 68.43.12.160
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 5:55 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

SC's Gar Wood History
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Brasziz (Brasziz)
Posted From: 67.72.222.44
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 6:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It burned down in, methinks, the 70s.

Nice way to blame the guy for wandering onto an abandoned property that nobody cared about. I guess that's easier than blaming a real estate market that made the place worthless and unworthy of maintenance or habitation, easier than blaming an out of control crime wave that made anybody with enough money to live in the place and keep it up properly a sitting duck. No, let's blame Vas. Shame on you, Vas.
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jim (Jim)
Posted From: 68.43.3.197
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 7:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey, I didn't claim to be playing on (or abusing, since I'm sure everything was treated with much respect) an abandoned piece of property and then ask I wonder how it got that way.
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Farrer (Farrer)
Posted From: 24.247.98.236
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 7:21 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wow.... what a great thread...not this one I mean that (SC's Gar Wood History) one. Truly fantabulous and a ruins story to boot. Effin' tragicomic as usual. Sort of makes you want to ask, does it ever balance out... tragedy and redemption?... whatever... Bah!
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rustic (Rustic)
Posted From: 67.101.25.225
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 8:03 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

that garwood thread linked above has great stuff from SC (aka TC) who as a hippie kid in the late 60's partied/crashed at the mansion.
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Patrick (Patrick)
Posted From: 68.252.133.56
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 8:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

there is a load of info in the archives about Gar Wood's mansion.......
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Patrick (Patrick)
Posted From: 68.252.133.56
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 9:34 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Fisher Brothers owned lots of property along the Grayhaven Canal. Charles Fisher and Lawrence P. Fisher built huge mansions. I am not sure if the Charles Fisher is still there though....here is the Charles Fisher residence...

text description
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31Ford (31ford)
Posted From: 205.188.209.80
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 11:44 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Damn interesting reading over on the Archived thread.
I'm sure the same scenario has happened in some of the other mansions in the 60's-70's.
I'll try and dig up a pic or two of GarWood's FL mansion for what it's worth. I believe it's still standing.
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_ (Mauser765)
Posted From: 206.148.224.18
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 1:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is the existing Fisher/Krishna mansion. It is on the north east side of the moors.
(Complete with peacocks.)
fisher
Alfred Brush Ford park is east of the moors.
This is the Grayhaven Moors
moors
Heres the now painted black original Grayhaven Moors State of Michigan sign. Interesting that the moors were created with public tax money for public use, and are now a gated community private condo development.
sign
Here is the abandoned facilities for the moors.
facilities

The only thing west of that is another park. If you move away from the river towards Jefferson, its either remaining houses, prarie, or new gated low-income areas. Also, a newer middle school is just north of the moors/condos. (Emerson/Essex)
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JamS (Jams)
Posted From: 216.203.223.76
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 4:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hopefully =TC= will pick up on this thread, I believe he used to live there. (Actually I know he lived there)
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pfbmpls (Pfbmpls)
Posted From: 65.30.236.208
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 10:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

JamS

Thanks for bringing this up again. I was part of that last thread. Please give us more details of what was left when you explored the site. There is an article about Grayhaven and Gar Wood both on the Detroit paper website. Just google for "Gar Wood" or Grayhaven.

Could you see the swimming pool that was in the basement?

Was the garage building still there?

Gar Wood had houses in Miami Beach on Fisher Island and a summer place up the river from Detroit, I can't remember the name of the town. The Fisher Island house is still there and was restored recently as part of a spa and condo development I think. Gar Wood's float plane building is part of the spa now as described on their site.

The Wayne State archive also has pictures of Grayhaven and Gar Wood's house; http://dlxs.lib.wayne.edu/cgi/i/image/image-idx?c=vmc

It would be great to hear more stories about that house and Grayhaven.

Did you explore any of the other ruins of homes around there? There was a brewery family mansion and a Fruehauf mansion at Grayhaven as well, both of which are gone now. The Wayne State site lists other Fisher family homes there that are no long in existence. But the photos have not been scanned into the site. The aerial views show other homes that apparently are gone now and may have been ruins when you explored the place. I understand that the South or West side of the canal is still woods and has ruins in it. Is that true?

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_ (Mauser765)
Posted From: 206.148.224.143
Posted on Saturday, January 31, 2004 - 12:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My father and my uncles grew up on Emerson, on a block which is now a low-income housing project, a few hundred yards from the Grayhaven Moors. My Grandmother mentioned the Fruehauf (trucking family) people, they moved up to Troy from the Grayhaven hood. Was it the Stroh family that also lived there ? I think thats what my uncle told me. My Grandmother worked at an ice cream counter at the drugstore on Essex - this is all back in about 1948-50. While they lived there my Grandfather worked at the Uniroyal plant on Jefferson. They moved away because my uncle Jerome drowned in a skating accident on a canal somewhere in the moors when he was 9.
My father and mother lived on that same street when they first got married in the early 60's- in an upstairs flat. My brother was born while they lived there.
All of our family home movies from the 40's up until the mid sixties show that neighborhood - it was quite charming in its day. Even in the fifties it was an interesting combination of working class duplex houses, upscale upper class homes- and then a couple mansions thrown in.
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One Shot (One_shot)
Posted From: 205.188.209.80
Posted on Saturday, January 31, 2004 - 1:17 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm with vas-obviously the place was long abandoned and no further harm coulda been done. Just another one of the talked about attacks on here. Get back to the original interesting point of the post. I would love to see some more pics of any of the houses along there and especially the boathouses if anyone has got em. Nothing more interesting to me than looking at something abandoned and trying to imagine the way it used to be.
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pfbmpls (Pfbmpls)
Posted From: 65.30.236.208
Posted on Saturday, January 31, 2004 - 1:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey Vas,

Cool your jets man, must people are interested in hearing about what you remember, I meant to address my last email to you for more info. on the Gar Wood mansion and Grayhaven.

I think the house partially burned in the '70s or '80s and was torn down. One of the stories said that the firetruck was too wide to get over the bridge and couldn't fight the fire.

If you have any more details about what you remember thare it would be fun to hear about them.
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vas (Vas)
Posted From: 141.217.119.205
Posted on Saturday, January 31, 2004 - 2:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


it was awesome. The boathouse was enclosed, with an opening to the river. At the back of it was a doorway and a few windows that lead to an empty field that outlined what must have been a room. Right next to it was a larger inlet that seemed to be for bigger boats, as it extended deeper into the property, but that had no cement enclosure like the main one. On the otherside of the boathouse was about 20 feet of conrete walk towards the river ending with a semi-circular 5-steps that decended into the river, like a jacuzzi. At the other end of that concrete walk there were steps that went up as the area south of the boathouse(river is east) was pearched higher then the rest of the place. Further south off the water were 8 or so white stairs, they sat alone with no connections to anything else. Yet the view was great as it faced SE downriver a bit, but with Canada thrown in. They must of been the front stairs. Most of the remains were gone, but colored glass filled the shoreline and sometimes nice pottery designs. There was a bathtub standing on its legs amidst the area and more junk off the south canal that seemed new. The vegetation between Grayhaven gated community and the waterfront were extremely odd, as they seemed like fullsized trees that contorted like vines and weeds into some sort enlarged jungle of thick brown vines. That stretched for about 1/2 mile. So the area was only accesible by climbing the gated community's fence adn walking the dirt road the half mile, swimming the canals, or crossing them (frozen) during the winter. There was also a pack fo wild dogs that kept us company. I did hear that Biker gangs spent time there and the old Led Zepplin graffiti in the boathouse pointed towards hippies, like ourselves.
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pfbmpls (Pfbmpls)
Posted From: 65.30.236.208
Posted on Saturday, January 31, 2004 - 2:27 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Vas,

Thanks for the info.
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One Shot (One_shot)
Posted From: 152.163.253.67
Posted on Saturday, January 31, 2004 - 6:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Was the home actually right on the river or was it on a canal that led to the Detroit river? I do remember a boat house that was on the river that my dad used to tell me that Gar woods race boat used to be in?
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pfbmpls (Pfbmpls)
Posted From: 65.30.236.208
Posted on Saturday, January 31, 2004 - 8:29 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The house was at the end of Grayhaven island/peninsula whatever you want to call it with a canal on each side. According to Vas the boathouse survived longer then the mansion so it was probably Gar Wood's board house you saw.
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Patrick (Patrick)
Posted From: 68.252.3.196
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2004 - 3:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

text description
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Patrick (Patrick)
Posted From: 68.252.3.196
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2004 - 3:17 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

text description

Gar Woods Ruins..........
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Patrick (Patrick)
Posted From: 68.252.3.196
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2004 - 3:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The picture above was from the "Rearview Mirror" from the Freep.
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Andrew In Windsor (Aiw)
Posted From: 209.216.150.127
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2004 - 3:27 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Patrick for the pics. Vas, welcome, thanks for starting a great thread. Never mind the shit you got above.

The whole CHUM thing is really boring... YAWN!

You know what, let the bingo dabber go....

Little-kiddie-games-atcha! As the buffons post under a secondary name to "hide" from reality...
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Patrick (Patrick)
Posted From: 68.252.3.196
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2004 - 3:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There had to be a shit-load of partying going down at the Gar Wood estate. That place is just trashed in the picture. Just how long was a "riot house" for?
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One Shot (One_shot)
Posted From: 64.12.96.238
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2004 - 4:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What is the place on the right in the picture-part of the house?
The pic is sad-to see the couch out there-wonder if that was from the house-and the railing knocked to the ground-sad sad.
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Farrer (Farrer)
Posted From: 24.247.98.236
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2004 - 5:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, Vas thanks for starting the post. Obviously a lot of people were already informed but after your post, the rest of us have been brought up to speed. I'd heard of this years before as some sort of urban legend that had been changed, twisted, added-to, distorted, etc. It's cool to get set straight with the facts. Actually the lore that had been passed along to me was pretty close to the truth.

Any homeowner knows that a residence, regardless of size, without occupancy, heat and maintenance will become a ruin within a few years in a Michigan climate. Throw in bad tenants (60's bikers? please...) along with any of the aforementioned factors and those years can be exponentially reduced to a few months, or weeks. It is almost certain that regular maintenance was not provided for by the landlord when the landlord's intent was to develop the property which would probably require the removal of the mansion anyway. A place that size and age would require a full time maintenance man, a helper and funds for subcontracting and security against intrusion and vandalism, ie. fencing and (sorry) barbed wire,

If the developer rented to the bikers he obviously did it out of spite to the neighbors. Their role and that of the rigid rules and bylaws that empowered them in this crime should not go unnoticed. Given the massive socio/psychological implications of inner-city residential at the times, any development scenario was probably doomed anway. No one will ever know what would have happened had they voted to allow Harrison to follow through develop the property but it is fantasy to believe it would have saved the mansion. How many other mansions were reduced to rubble in the city? Thousands.

That teenagers harmlessly exploring ruins, escaping boredom exploring, swimming and getting high hastened the demise of a castle is ludicrous. As we've all discovered, it's destruction was set in motion years before. Even more ludicrous is insinuating that accusation behind an anonymous identity on a forum dedicated to the discussion, memories, reasons for the destruction or creation of ruins exactly like this one.
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Patrick (Patrick)
Posted From: 68.74.31.89
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2004 - 5:35 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I heard from several people that the bikers really had nothing to do with the destruction of the property, but I don't know...
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Caseyc (Caseyc)
Posted From: 24.209.229.85
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2004 - 2:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Br...I mean SC/Tc...Skipper Curmedgeon--thoughts please?
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=TC= (Unregistered Guest)
Posted From: 65.201.2.93
Posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - 11:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It was Gar Wood's Mansion. #1 Kielson Drive. The Greyhaven Estate. =TC=

(Message approved by admin)
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JamS (Jams)
Posted From: 67.72.221.92
Posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - 5:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

=TC=
Happy to see your smiling initials again. Hope you'll join us Tuesday.
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Brenda
Member
Username: Brenda

Post Number: 41
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 10:35 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Looks like the memories have faded on ole Garwood mansion...last blog (04)...will it is a new year, so I will give my input. As a teenager during the late sixties and early seventies, I went to Garwood mansion as a guest. I lived on Eastlawn and had attended Guyton. This was during the time of the Grande Ballroom, fm music and listening to bootleg albums..yes albums, lol. I remember going down to the boat well and seeing where he had stowed his boat. The yard facing the Detroit River was beautiful and the grand living room with the hardwood floors were beautiful. The wealthy at that time as in Grosse Pointe (older homes) had alot of detailed work that is not seen today. Even the flat I grew up on Eastlawn had hardwood floors, french windows and real wood within the house. I am sadden'd Garwood was torn down as I was to see the destruction of Detroit over the past 30 some odd years. I hope Garwood is smiling down as people remember his beautiful home and their memories of it.
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Cincinnati_kid
Member
Username: Cincinnati_kid

Post Number: 22
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 7:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

SC's Gar Wood history link is down
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Rocketwhit
Member
Username: Rocketwhit

Post Number: 44
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Monday, September 01, 2008 - 10:45 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

it is i rocketwhit im glad the book is done hello to brenda, old guy, patric, ocmobilexec i would still treasure more pics please!
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Bentspur
Member
Username: Bentspur

Post Number: 2
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Friday, January 02, 2009 - 11:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I used to go to the basement and swim in the pool. It was really fancy and big. The house had the largest privately owned pipe organ in it. It played by itself. There was also a Grand piano in the ballroom. It would accompany the organ when it played. My friend lived upstairs in where the organ pipes were.
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Bentspur
Member
Username: Bentspur

Post Number: 3
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Friday, January 02, 2009 - 11:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I lived at the Garwood in 1970 and 1971. What a time we had there. The parties were great and there would be some great bands playing in the ballroom. I have some pictures. I will have to dig them out and share them with you guys.
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Brenda
Member
Username: Brenda

Post Number: 99
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 9:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I used to visit Garwood Mansion in the early 70s.....I hear there is a reunion in Ann Arbor with one of the bands--Stonefront (go to their web site to get more info) on June 13, 2009! Yes, the pool was fantastic, but my favorite part was the ballroom and glass windows that overlooked the Detroit River.
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Brenda
Member
Username: Brenda

Post Number: 100
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 28, 2009 - 6:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

To all the Garwood friends of years past...there will be a Stonefront reunion in Ann Arbor on June 13th...Stonefront's web site is up and running too.............and hello to Rocketwhit too!
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Brenda
Member
Username: Brenda

Post Number: 102
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 28, 2009 - 7:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bentspur: Please don't forget to download your vintage Garwood pictures from 70/71!!!! Looking forward to viewing them.....

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