Bill Boyer's Grousehaven Hunt Camp

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Bill Boyer's Grousehaven Hunt Camp

Postby jcronin » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:53 pm

Looking for anecdotal, personal, and historical information about "Grousehaven" and the various Bill Boyer and Fred Bear invitees to the area. Details must be in the public domain as I intend to publish a history of the area and it's visitors. All information will be attributed to the contributor with permission. Some of our most significant military leaders as well as various famous personalities figure in the history of the area and I look forward to recording that history. Thanks... John Cronin
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Re: Bill Boyer's Grousehaven Hunt Camp

Postby manly239 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:05 pm

This is probably way too late; but I just joined this forum. My dad owns a chunk of Grousehaven. Here is some information:
. A little history lesson here; the original Grousehaven was owned by a man named Harry Jewett. He made his first fortune in coal, then switched to the fledgling auto industry in the 1920’s. While his successes in business were impressive, his true passion was for hunting and conservation. By 1928, he had accumulated over 7000 acres of prime land near Rose City, Michigan that he utilized for hunting, fishing, and game propogation. He raised thousands of pheasants and grouse on his game farm, as well as planting hundreds of thousands of trout in the headwaters of the Rifle River. Due to his affection for the ruffed grouse, he named the property “Grousehaven”. Unfortunately, Jewett died in 1933, and his property was eventually sold to the state of Michigan. In 1963, the land was deeded to the Michigan Parks Division, and eventually became the Rifle River Recreation Area.
Now, this is where the confusion begins. While the original Grousehaven is public land, there is an adjoining chunk that is still private. Back in 1928, Harry Jewett convinced his friend and Grosse Pointe neighbor Frederick M. Alger to follow his lead and start a game preserve. Alger purchased 8000 acres on the west border of Jewett’s land, and began his own propagation efforts. Sadly, he also died in 1933. Eventually, his son-in-law Harold R. (“Bill”) Boyer came into possession of about 3000 acres of the land. While I have copies of old maps calling the parcel “Alger Preserve” and “Cashmere Club”, eventually Boyer began calling his land Grousehaven. So, Dad’s land is not part of the Jewett Grousehaven, but the Alger/Boyer Grousehaven.
Bill Boyer was a General Motors vice president, who headed up their aviation division during World War 2 and the Korean Conflict. His preserve became a home-away-from-home for some of the highest-ranking personnel in both GM and the US military. I was at the main lodge this past November, and the current owner pointed out the large table in the dining room. “Bill Boyer and Harley Earl designed the first Corvette on that table,” he said, pointing out the two gentlemen’s picture on the wall. Radio and television personality Arthur Godfrey was another frequent guest. Upon a return visit in the 1970’s, Godfrey stated, “ if people knew how many Washington decisions were made at this Rose City cabin… they would be shocked.”
Grousehaven became more famous when Boyer began leasing the land to Bear Archery each year during the month of October. Fred Bear would rotate dozens of archery dealers, factory workers, and famous friends in to bow hunt there. I don’t know what year Bear Archery began leasing the property, but I know the lease expired after the 1989 season. Both Boyer and Bear had died the previous year, and the land had been purchased by Ron Otto, owner of Garland Golf Club in Lewiston. Otto had intended to turn the property into a golf resort, but ran into permit problems; so he decided to sell it off in parcels.

Hope that helps...

Mark Mueller
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