Last week we explored the lost home, 900 Lake Shore. The Southern Colonial style home was completed in 1913, for George Osius, the first president of the Village of GP Shores. It was also the location of the Junior League of Detroit's first Designers’ Show House in 1976. Sadly, it was raised after 1987 (date unknown).

This week we continue with our visit to Grosse Pointe Shores as we explore the municipal park Park, located at 800 Lake Shore Rd. The 8.3-acre park was named after George Osius in recognition of his contributions to The Village of Grosse Pointe Shores.

Beginning in the spring of 1911, George Osius became the first president of the Village of Grosse Pointe Shores - The Village of Grosse Pointe Shores (GPS) was incorporated on April 3, 1911. It is reported Mr. Osius hosted the first Village Council meeting at his home on Tuesday April 11, 1911. The first officers of the Village were George Osius (President), Louis J. Girardin (Clerk), Wm. B. Allard (Treasurer), and Trustees - Harry M. Jewett, Wm. E. Roney, Benj. S. Warren, Abner E. Larned, John R. Long, Alex McLeod. Image courtesy of: The Grosse Pointer (April 2021).

In 1915, the Village began construction of a small waterfront park. We understand it was the first municipal park to be built in the Pointes. It an article by Larry Stephenson, M.D. (featured in the Grosse Pointer, April 2021) it was explained “early in his presidency, Mr. Osius led the GPS village council in approving construction of a pier located approximately where the main drive to the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club (GPYC) clubhouse now exists.” In the book, The Village of Grosse Pointe Shores, author Arthur M. Woodford explains a 1,300-foot wooden pier was built with a rectangular enclosure at the end to form a boat harbor for residents to keep sailboats and small powerboats. A beach was also created at the shoreline for swimming, and a small building with lockers was constructed. Around this period a government census, taken in 1920, confirms The Village had a population of 519 persons, which increased to 630 by 1936. Source: Image courtesy of The Village of Grosse Pointe Shores, via GP Historical Society.

From 1914 to 1926, George Osius was also the vice commodore of the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, the longest serving flag officer in the Club’s history. Several GPYC directors were also members of the GPS city council. In 1926, the Village acquired additional land on the shoreline, and in 1927, “a bond issue was approved enabling the Village to fill in the shoreline to create a six-acre park, build a new boathouse, and install a more permanent pier and seawall.” Source: The Village of Grosse Pointe Shores, by Arthur M. Woodford. The new pier and harbor were completed in 1928, the same year as Mr. Osius’s role as president of the Village would come to an end after serving for 16-and one-half years. Source: an article by Larry Stephenson, M.D Grosse Pointer (April 2021).

Meanwhile, at the same time major changes at The Grosse Pointe Yacht Club were beginning to take shape. “In 1925, GPYC directors began discussing a permanent clubhouse to be located at the end of the pier, thus necessitating a complete renovation of the area. Meeting minutes reflect “the strong support of Osius for the endeavor, and a pledge to apply his considerable political clout to its successful outcome.” Source: an article by Larry Stephenson, M.D Grosse Pointer (April 2021).

The newly expanded Grosse Pointe Shores municipal park, named in honor pf George Osius, was dedicated by the GPS Village council on the afternoon of May 30, 1932. We understand members of the city council and several hundred residents participated in the ceremony. At the time a monument had been located inside the entrance gates – “a bronze plate fastened to a large boulder (brown field granite), mounted upon a mound of smaller boulders of various colors and size. The large boulder was originally located on the beach where the Yacht Club now stands and was used at one time as a benchmark by the U.S. Lake Survey. The boulder bearing the bronze plate was four feet in height, four feet wide, and three ft. deep, its weight was 9000 pounds.” The bronze plate originally bore the following inscription:

“Honorable George Osius”

A resident here since 1901

President Charter Commission 1911

Village President 1911-1928

Village Trustee 1928

Chairman Charter Commission 1931, May 30, 1932


Source: Image courtesy of The Village of Grosse Pointe Shores, via GP Historical Society.

At the time, the municipal park was listed as being “located on south side of Jefferson Ave. at the ft. of Vernier Rd, extending to the shore of Lake St. Clair, east of and adjacent to the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club. It is fourteen and one quarter miles from Detroit, can be reached by Jefferson Beach Grosse Pointe on busses or automobiles, the bus fare from Detroit City limits is ten

Over the years the GPS municipal park has been updated many times. In 1954, Eleanor Clay Ford donated $100,000 to the Village to enlarge the park and its facilities. A bond issue for a pool and a boathouse was dedicated in 1963. The new pool was named in honor of Ms. Ford. At the same time construction of a new parking area, appurtenant roads, and driveway (approx. 40,000 sq ft) began. It was also a period when three tennis courts were added, which were followed by two further courts in the summer of 1973. Images courtesy of: and

In 2007-2008 a $38m renovation of the marina was started. The expansion resulted in the new harbor having 137 boat wells with additional amenities for boaters such as lighting, floating docks, and a new walkway to the outer harbor. Image courtesy of

Today, the first municipal park to be built in the Pointes is now 8.3-acres. Facilities include the marina, tennis and pickleball courts, a basketball court, swimming pool, a wading pool, and a pavilion. It remains a tranquil space on the shores of Lake St. Clair.

*Photos courtesy of the Higbie Maxon Agney archives unless stated.

** Research, information, and data sources are deemed reliable, but accuracy cannot be fully guaranteed.



Written by Katie Doelle
Copyright © 2024 Higbie Maxon Agney & Katie Doelle



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