Looking Back: Dyer’s Riding Stables

St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published January 4, 2019

Photo provided by the St. Clair Shores Historical Commission

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Much of the early history of St. Clair Shores is rooted in agriculture and trades related to the land. With affluence increasing in the 20th century, some of the more practical farm pastimes were taken up by people able to afford leisure pursuits. One of these activities was horseback riding.

The 1928 Macomb County phone book lists Dyer’s Riding Stables on Mack Avenue in St. Clair Shores. The phone number is listed as ROSville 326. By 1937, the same phone number was listed for the St. Clair Shores Riding Club at 20603 Pleasant St. in St. Clair Shores. Since Pleasant crosses what is both Little Mack and Mack avenues, it is reasonable to assume that both addresses refer to the same riding operation. Family notes indicate that the stables were on Grove Street, near Pleasant Street.

Joseph Dyer came to the U.S. from England and worked as the manager of a riding academy in Detroit. Dyer’s son, John Dewey Deyer (the spellings of names differ in various records) married Lauretta Langevin Sullivan in Mount Clemens on Dec. 10, 1928. By 1930, according to the U.S. census, they were living in St. Clair Shores at 20597 Pleasant St. and Mr. Dyer was the “riding master at a private club.”

The Riding Club (or Riding Stables) was listed in local telephone books into the early 1950s. By that time, two other riding stables were located in the Shores, including Jack’s at 19712 10 Mile Road. Jack’s offered “instruction, wooded trails, English and Western saddles, and hayrides.” By 1955, however, there were no longer any riding stables in St. Clair Shores.

This family photograph shows Loretta Dyer with a horse, “Sweetheart,” in front of the St. Clair Shores Riding Club in about 1938. The club had facilities for riding both inside the building (pictured), as well as outdoors.

To view this image and other historical photographs, please visit the digital media archive at www.scslibrary.org.

— Submitted by Heidi Christein, archivist, St. Clair Shores Public Library