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Gathering D'Elegance

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

Sunday, August 26th was a near perfect summer day. As the temperature started its ascent into the upper 70’s, under partly-sunny skies, fifty-seven members of JAGM and WDMGC met at Meadow Brook Hall (MBH). MBH is located on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester. After the group photo in front of the MBH, we were split into three groups with each group led by a docent. We toured the former Dodge mansion, with its 88,000 square feet, 110 rooms, 39 chimneys, and 24 fireplaces. MBH is the fourth largest Historic House Museum in the United States.

The mansion was constructed almost entirely with American sourced materials and labor. The only European material used was the burled oak for the panelling in the library. The carved woodwork was very intricate and is many rooms told the life story of the rooms’ occupant or that of the family. Ornate ceilings abound and were influenced by many of the renowned buildings in Europe of that time. Of particular interest to many was the “game” room of Alfred Wilson complete with a hecklers bench behind the pool table. All of the carved woodwork, and door hardware, were game related motifs. Alfred Wilson was a lumber and milling magnate and second husband of Matilda Dodge Wilson. Lots of history exists in this building just waiting to be discovered.

Following the tour we enjoyed lunch in the Christopher Ward room. This room was very attractly set and the service was extremely prompt. Lots of conversations were carried out over our leisurely lunch, which ended with caramel-strewn apple pie.

Following lunch, many attendees strolled around the gardens taking in the bountiful flowers and landscaping. Then we individually drove to the Yates Cider Mill, a Michigan Historic Site dating back to 1863. There we parked our cars on the grassy area directly across the street from the Mill. Each car received a windscreen card, with the owner’s name, city, make, model and year. The driver also reported the distance driven to attend this event.

At 4 PM Certificates were awarded based on the “shortest” drive to the event (Sebastan Coppola, 3 miles), the “longest” drive to the event(Howard Richards, 250 miles), the “oldest” car (Steven Schauder, 1962 XKE), the “newest” car (Phil Crutchfield, 2019 XE), and the Prince of Darkness award for the most difficult trip of the day (Randy Drexler, for being detained at the US border). The final Certificate was for the People’s Choice (Sabastian Coppola, Mk IX). Similar awards were given to the WDMGC attendees.

Cider, donuts and ice cream were available at Yates Cider Mill and enjoyed by many. We receive foot traffic from the Yates Cider Mill and the park adjacent to the display area. People milled around, took pictures of the cars, and talked to the owners.

Organizers: Phil Crutchfield, Steven and Connie Myerscough

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