Pedaling into the past

Event to combine cycling with history

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 8, 2019

 This original artwork by Suzy Berschback shows what the brother and sister, Josette and Jean, in “The Devil’s Grist” story might have looked like. Posing in historical garb are Maddie Berschback and Will Socia as the French siblings.

This original artwork by Suzy Berschback shows what the brother and sister, Josette and Jean, in “The Devil’s Grist” story might have looked like. Posing in historical garb are Maddie Berschback and Will Socia as the French siblings.

Image provided by Suzy Berschback

GROSSE POINTES — Enjoy the crisp autumn air while listening to tales of local lore and history during Legends of the Fall, which will run from 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 13, rain or shine.

Put together by Beaumont Health for the Healthy Grosse Pointe & Harper Woods initiative, this event will feature presentations by local officials and history buffs in each of the five Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods. Although it’s not mandatory, organizers are encouraging attendees to bike to the different locations. Organizers say stories will be told every 30 minutes or as groups arrive.

In Grosse Pointe Park, the Fox Indian Massacre will be recounted at the Windmill Pointe Drive historical marker at Lakepointe Street; in Grosse Pointe City, La Loup Garou will be shared at the historical Cadieux Farmhouse, located at 533 St. Clair St.; in Grosse Pointe Farms, Jef Fisk will give a folk music performance at 1 p.m., followed by a recounting of “The Devil’s Grist,” both of which will be at the historical Provencal-Weir House, 376 Kercheval Ave.; in Grosse Pointe Woods, learn about the Nun of St. Clair at the Cook School House, adjacent to the Woods City Hall parking lot at 20025 Mack Ave.; in Grosse Pointe Shores, hear about the legend of the Griffin’s voyage at Shores City Hall, 795 Lake Shore Road, at the corner of Lake Shore and Vernier roads; and in Harper Woods, listen to the tale of Le Lutin in Salter Park, 19430 Harper Ave., just south of Littlestone Road.

“I think it’s going to be fun,” said Fisk, a singer-songwriter-musician from Grosse Pointe City who has also been active with Grosse Pointe Theatre. “This will be a really upbeat and light show.”

Fisk said he anticipates playing for about 30 minutes. He’ll perform a mix of originals, traditional folk songs, Broadway tunes and a Disney movie song or two.

“I don’t know exactly what to expect, (but) it sounds like a cool event,” Fisk said. “I like to support the community in any way I can.”

Suzy Berschback, of Grosse Pointe Farms, is the project manager for Beaumont’s Healthy Communities effort and leads the Healthy Grosse Pointe & Harper Woods coalition.

“It gives families a reason to put down their devices and do something together,” Berschback said. “It’s really about getting the community moving. We thought this would be fun.”

Bike safety is being stressed for this event, and Legends of the Fall flyers around town feature bike safety rules on the back. The cycling group Grosse Pointe Pedalers is involved in this program, as is the Grosse Pointe Historical Society.

“We all have our local history in common,” Berschback said. “It’s something that really brings the community together.”

She added that it’s important to “keep telling these stories, or people forget them.”

Although cycling to the different locations is the goal of the event, Berschback said anyone is welcome to drive between locations.

“It’s inclusive for everybody,” she said.

Berschback said this is an event they’re considering holding on an annual basis and expanding in the future. It’s free and no registration or reservations are needed.

For more information, go to the Healthy Grosse Pointe & Harper Woods Facebook page or visit www.healthygphw.org.