Grosse Ile’s Westcroft Gardens kicks off its July events tomorrow with the return of its weekly “Market at the Farm.” The market, which takes place on Westcroft’s property every week during the summer and early autumn, features in-season produce and products made in Michigan.
The big celebration at the Gardens, however, is the celebration of 238th anniversary of the purchase of the Macomb brothers, on July 6, 1776. The island was originally deeded by the Potawatomi Indians to the brothers William and Alexander Macomb on that date. The contract is preserved in the Burton Historical Collection at the Detroit Public Library.
Alexander sold his half of the estate to his brother when he moved to New York City and became a land speculator. William died in 1796, leaving the property to his widow and children. One of Alexander’s grandchildren, Alexandrine Macomb Stanton, returned to the island in the 1870s when her son, Robert Lee Stanton, bought the farm from his cousin, John Anthony Rucker II.
Because it has stayed in the same family for more than two hundred years, Westcroft has become part of the Michigan Centennial Farms Association, an organization dedicated “to preserving the Heritage of Agriculture in Michigan,” according to its Web page. The MCFA lists and honors farms that have remained in a single family for more than one hundred years. Westcroft is one of only sixteen centennial farms in Wayne County, and it is by far the oldest.
Refreshments will be available as part of the commemoration scheduled for Sunday July 6. It will also be the last day to purchase annuals from the nursery. Come, enjoy the festivities, and tour the botanical gardens!
July events at Westcroft Gardens:
July 5: Market at the Farm – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
July 6: Westcroft’s 238th birthday
July 12: Market at the Farm – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
July 19: Market at the Farm – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
July 28: Safety Day at Market at the Farm