See the stories others have shared.
As a young poor girl of a big family with 5 baby brothers, I had way too many responsibilities to do and worry about. Going to stay at that mansion was so very amazing. You showed me beauty in myself and others and how to hold that head high and push on through whatever life hands you. I never became an important person in our town, but I never hid my head in the sand and always stood up for the right thing. I always wanted and did the moral thing. Proud of the fact I had a good marriage of 47 years and raised 2 awesome children with pure love. A lot of my knowledge came from my days spent at the mansion. Beauty - would have had no way of ever having in my daily life as a child. I knew how to give and show my goals. God bless you and yours for these wonderful memories.
I grew up in the Mott Park area in the 60s & 70s. I went to Durant-Turri Mott for kindergarten & St. John Vianney from 1st-8th. It was a great time to be a child with that fantastic community gem in my backyard. We played baseball, football, kickball, tennis, flew kites, enjoyed the sledding hill on Nolan Drive & the ice rink the city would make for us on the golf course. In the summer, we would leave our houses & not come back until the street lights came on. No one ever worried about us; it was a safe environment with many people around watching & supervising usa true community. I loved the Tot-Lot programs & improvements that were continually being made to keep up this amenity. When we got cold in the winter, we could go in the clubhouse by the ice rink & get hot chocolate!
In the late 1950s our neighbor was a Mott estate employee and informed our parents that the Mott estate was inviting our family of 7 children, also our grandfather, who was living with us at that time, to visit the estate and pick apples for our own use. We felt very privileged to do so and were so grateful for the opportunity. Our mother was such a good cook she made apple pies and applesauce with this unexpected windfall. The C.S. Mott Foundation has been such a wonderful asset to our lovely city of Flint for so many years. I recently toured the gardens and the home on the Mott estate grounds. Anyone appreciating what the Mott family has contributed to this community would be privileged to take this tour.
My father often told this story. He was born in 1913. He left home at age 15. One of his first jobs was working in the stables at Applewood. I'm not sure who would have been living there at that time. He went on to ride the rails out to Oregon, then back. He joined the Merchant Marines and had many an adventure on the Great Lakes and then returned here and began working at General Motors, AC Spark Plug until his retirement in 1967. Perhaps his job at the stables of Applewood gave him his good work ethic.
1965 or 66 a friend and I are sitting in the park in front of the Durant Hotel. I look over and see Mr. Mott. "Hey Terry, there's Mr. Mott." He is reading the paper legs crossed. I can see just a tiny bit of tether on his suit collar and a tiny wear in the sole of his shoe, showing just how frugal he was. "I think I'll go shake his hand, and thank him for all he has done." Before I could, Mr. Mott folded his paper, got up, walked over, and got in his Corvair. We were both kinda [sic] taken aback, thinking he would have been driving an Electra 225.
It was Christmas of 1969; I was in 7th grade at Whittier Jr. High. I belonged to the Stepping Stones program, and we went and met both Mr. and Mrs. Mott in the foyer at Applewood. We sang Christmas carols to them. They were both really nice people and treated us really good that's why it means so much to me. I learned treating people how you want to be treated means a lot, and I will never forget that Christmas. I was blessed to have met them.
My father, Steve Sivosky, was a mason contractor who was engaged to perform some small repairs on the estate; it was probably in early 1990s. As he was working on the project, one of the gardeners stopped to talk to him. As they were chatting, Mrs. Mott called out the window for the gardener to "stop talking to Mr. Sivosky; you know he's being paid by the hour!
My sister Sybil Hodges-Harris often told the story of how when she shopped at the Kresge store in downtown Flint in the late 1960s where she would see Mr. Mott. She said he only made small purchases but was polite to all the sales people and other shoppers. To think that a man of his wealth shopped at Kresge with the common folk is awesome.
As young students at Durant Elementary School my sister and I were chosen to present a rose to Mrs. Mott and Mrs. Turri at the 1958 Dedication Ceremony for the opening of Durant-Turri-Mott Elementary School. At ages 7 and 8, it was a huge honor for us to be included in the ceremony and certainly a memory we have never forgotten.
My husband was a Community School Director for Flint Community Schools. Mrs. Mott often entertained the wives of Community School Directors and the ladies from Hamilton, Canada, here for the CANUSA Games. The story that made the biggest impression was the Christmas party at Applewood! The year before Mr. Mott diedwe had just finished dinner and Mr. Mott came into the room wearing his long robe and a wig. (Long dresses were the attire for the evening.) He said, I heard there was a ladies party down here and thought I would join the party. I could not believe it! That was the last time I saw him, as he died in February, and we attended his funeral. Only men wearing white shirts were permitted on the main floor of the church. However, his son, Stewart, wore a pink shirt!
I believe it was the fall of 1967, I was shopping at Knoblocks Hardware when Mr. Mott came in and made a purchase totaling $.83. He took out a small change purse and counted out the exact change. He asked for a receipt and left in what I thought was a blue Corvair. He had such a warm smile and gentle voice. Thanks for letting me share this! -W. A. Unwin
My mom loves flowers, so what better way to celebrate her birthday than to tour Applewood. We have done this for the past few years and this year is her 93rd birthday. This year, since my mom and I have mobility issues, my daughter made reservations for us to enjoy the garden tour with a guide, Deb, and golf cart. Deb was absolutely fabulous. We saw more of the estate and learned more about the estate than we saw in years before, even my grandsons were very interested in what happens around the grounds. Deb, our family cannot thank you enough for the garden tour you gave us yesterday and the extensive knowledge you shared regarding the care, upkeep and history of the Mott family home, gardens and their conservation of all natural resources. Our sincerest thanks to Deb.
It was Christmas time and I was probably in the 5th or 6th grade. I belonged to the Stepping Stone Club which was funded through the C.S. Mott Foundation. Us girls were invited to go to Mr. Mott's home and sing carols for him....when we got there, we took off our coats and hats. The house was beautiful, and we sang with the piano there...when we got ready to leave, Mr. Mott helped each of us put our coats and hats back on, and kissed us on the cheek and thanked us for singing for him. I think that was when I realized Christmas isn't just about what you get, but about what you can give, even if it is just a song. I remember loving that he was so caring for us. Loved the Stepping Stone program for girls...and of course going to Hamady House. Thank you, Mr. Mott.
I am the grandnephew of Forbes and Martha Merkley. My great aunt and uncle were good friends of the Motts. I remember a time back in the early 1970's when Mr. and Mrs. Mott came to my great aunt and uncle's farm (ForMar). Mr. Mott asked me to pick some of the Merkleys apples for him. I remember asking him why he wanted the Merkleys apples when he had a lot of apple trees himself. I'll never forget his response. He pointed to the Merkley apples I'd gathered into a bag and said "Those apples are the best apples because they are free!"
My great grandmother was a Crocker, part of the family that helped settle Flint. I always felt connected to Flint. I was going to Flint Community College in 1967 and a group of us were sitting in the cafeteria when an elderly gentleman came in and sat down with us and asked questions about our classes. He was interested and a sweet man. He was dressed in an old hat and long old coat so we thought he was just someone who wanted to come in from the cold. We visited for a while and had a delightful time with him. We asked who he was after he left, and it was Mr. Mott. I was so impressed that he cared so much about education and the students he had given this opportunity to.
When I was a young boy, probably around 9 years old, a few of us kids were downtown in Flint. We were sitting at the lunch counter at the S. S. Kresge Store ordering a hamburger, french fries, and a Coke. There were around five of us boys. Next thing we knew, Mr. Mott sat down next to us. He talked with us a little and asked where we went to school. Then one of the boys said, "I smell moth balls." At that point, Mr. Mott somewhat laughed and said that Mrs. Mott sometimes had him use moth balls in the closest where his suits were kept. Then after he finished whatever he was having for lunch, he paid his bill and stood up to leave. Then he told us...."Boys save your nickels."
I worked for the Flint Board of Education from 1967 to 1969. My job was to assist in photographing places and people that helped build the programs of today. We photographed Mr. Mott in his living room surrounded by family photos, paintings, and beautiful carved furniture as he sat holding his beloved dog. Now, I enjoy coming to Applewood to paint the grounds on Wet Paint Day.
The year was 1967. At 12 years old, I had a paper route. I would walk or bike the papers from Cleveland Ave. near Lewis St. (now called Chavez). My route covered Mathew and Manning Ct. Then, I would make my way to the Mott Estate to deliver 2 Flint Journals. One went to the main house and the other went to the caretakers quarters past the garage. On Sunday mornings, I would be greeted at the front gate by two boxers dogs that would escort me in and out. I remember Mrs. Mott taking the time to show me her green house area. I also remember the caretaker on occasion giving me a"hamady bag" of baseballs and softballs he gathered from the garden. The Flint Junior Community College baseball diamond's home run fence separated the ball diamond and garden. Occasionally, I would see Mr. Mott coming home from work driving his gold colored Corvair. At Christmas time they would tip me $10. A real nice bonus.