The G.A.R. Building Detroit

The Grand Army of the Republic


This page is where we’ll collect historic photos & artifacts we’ve found.


CW Veterans gathered at the G.A.R. Hall in Detroit (early 20th century)


Picketer’s in front of the G.A.R.’s main entrance on Grand River Ave.


Dinner for a (unidentified) G.A.R. related woman’s organization

garpostcard3A Detroit G.A.R. Building Postcard sent on September 28, 1906!


A G.A.R. Postcard copyright 1908.


Another Detroit G.A.R. Building postcard.

Mary and John Pool

G.A.R. members and great, great, great grandparents of one of the designers here at Mindfield. John was a Union Civil War veteran. Mary’s medal is that of the Ladies Aid group which was a companion group to the all male G.A.R. John’s medal resembles the mosaic on the lobby floor of the G.A.R. building.

10 thoughts on “HISTORICAL PHOTOS

  1. FYI: The medal that Mary is wearing is of the Woman’s Relief Corps, Auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic. (note made by Marcia Butgereit- Past national President of the Woman’s Relief Corps

  2. Hello, my name is Emma Fortin, of Ypsilanti. In researching and building my family tree i have come across a possible link to John and Mary Poole through my Overacker/ Calhoun relatives in Milan, MI. I was wondering if the designer, who was listed as being their great-great-great-grandchild would be interested in speaking with me regarding a little of the family history?
    I have many old photos that may be of some of their relatives, and one is of a “Aunt Desire Smith”, who would have been Mr. Pool’s sister, if i am correct. I also show that John Pool’s other sister, Sally Pool, married Martin Delos Overacker. I am the Great-great-great-grandaughter of a Sara A. Overacker, and am looking for the connection.

  3. Nice pictures. We are thrilled that the GAR Building will have new life- and that the Union Veterans will be honored.

    William Nash
    Camp Commander
    General Israel B. Richardson Camp 2
    Department of Michigan
    Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

  4. I am so happy that you are restoring and revitalizing this magnificent building. During the late 1970s, it was the home to the Clifford Fears Dance Theatre. Fears was a protege of Katherine Dunham. I often photographed the dancers in their dance studio (on the third or fourth floor, not sure which, but there was fabulous light from the span of windows). I would be happy to show you the images.

  5. I was a student at Cass Tech and also took dance classes there in the early 80’s. Loved this building and am very happy that it is being restored!

  6. William C. Claxton whose name is on the marble plaque found on March 23, 2012 is my Great Great Grandfather and is the third person from the right standing in the “CW Veterans gathered at the G.A.R. Hall in Detroit (early 20th century)” photo in this section.
    This should put one more face to the words “Civil War Veterans”
    He was a past commander of Fairbanks G.A.R. Post 17 and his wife was the past president of the Fairbanks W.R.C.
    Where will the marble plaque displayed? I would love to see and take a photo of it.

  7. There was a youth symphony that rehearsed there during the 1950’s onSaturdays. I was a music student at Cass Tech then. Does anyone remember the name of the orchestra

  8. So glad to see this renovation of this historic building! My great great grandfather, Robert Gibbons, was a member of the GAR in Detroit after serving in the 24th Michigan Regiment. I have his GAR pin and his wife’s WRC pin. Can’t wait to dine there!

  9. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Frank Tice Shier Michigan 24th Co. F

    D. A. Shier
    Huntington Beach, CA

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