Grosse Ile Then and Now…An Island Sketchbook and Tour Guide is available for purchase at the Grosse Ile Historical Society Museum, Grosse Ile Welcome! Home Center, now located in the Prudential Landmark Properties building on Macomb Street, Grosse Ile Hardware and Times Square Boutique.
The booklet contains 50 reproductions of the sketches originally done by William T. (Tommy) Woodward for the Ile Camera newspaper from 1948-53. The black and white sketches feature Grosse Ile landmarks and historic homes and are accompanied by text written by Tommy’s wife Barbara.
Opposite each sketch is a photo of the landmark or home taken 50 years later along with commentary about the present owners. The booklet includes a pull out map of Grosse Ile that lists all 50 sites.
The project of compiling all Tommy Woodward’s photos into book form began in 2005 when Meg Jones, former editor of both the Ile Camera and News-Herald, Jean Welsh Burns, and Pam Frucci met to update the 50-year-old sketches and texts.
Unfortunately, when both Meg and Jean passed away in 2008 , the unfinished booklet sat on a shelf for two years. In March of 2010, Sarah Lawrence, co-author of the Arcadia Press’s history of Grosse Ile and retired staff member of The Henry Ford Museum, joined Meren James, Meg Jones’ niece, and Mrs. Frucci to finalize the booklet.
The December 4, 2010 book launch featured Woodward’s son Tom Woodward who talked about his family and growing up in the Woodward household on Bellevue Road.
The purchase price for Grosse Ile Then and Now, An Island Sketchbook and Tour Guide is $12.