This Month in Rochester History

It was a half century ago this month that Rochester residents first learned about the development planned for the former Great Oaks Stock Farm on the west side of the village. Slavik Builders of Oak Park unveiled their concept for the 400-acre development that included 600 homes, 900 apartments and a 9-hole golf course, plus a shopping center to be built later. It was announced that the homes in the new subdivision would be priced starting at $30,000. By Deborah Larson, originally posted at Remembering Rochester.

The former Great Oaks Stock Farm
The former Great Oaks Stock Farm

The former Howard L. McGregor home on the property was designated to be re-purposed as a clubhouse for the Great Oaks Country Club. The entire Slavik plan was scheduled to take 7-10 years to complete.

Rochester and Rochester Hills title with Arcadia Publishing

Rochester and Rochester Hills Title with Arcadia Publishing

Rochester and Rochester Hills

By Meredith Long and Madelyn Rzadkowolski

Rochester and Rochester Hills grew in a territory of three rivers, abundantly fertile pastures, and rolling oak forests on land once considered uninhabitable. Though only 30 miles from Detroit, official government reports of swampy and barren land deterred settlers. In 1817, the Graham family disregarded these reports, instead following the advice of Native Americans to reach a territory governed by a triumvirate of creeks, which were forceful enough to power several mills yet gentle enough to support thriving farms. Only 20 years later, every plot in Rochester had been sold. Later the village was made a stop on the network of Michigan railroads, cementing its fate as a vigorous and popular community. With a past boasting such illustrious citizens as auto baron John Dodge and internationally prominent obstetrician Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen, with corporations like Parke-Davis and philanthropic organizations such as Leader Dogs for the Blind, Rochester remains a source of innovative leadership as well as a model for successful suburbia.

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Photos Courtesy of Arcadia Publishing

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  1. This entire post is lifted verbatim from my blog, Remembering Rochester, and is presented here completely without credit, it is proper to ask the author’s permission and give them credit:

  2. Gregory Sheldon says

    I love seeing the old farm. My Grandfather Charles Dulzo ran the farm back in the 50’s / early 60’s I’m thankful they left the old dairy barn standing as is did back then. I remember the time he fell from the top of the barn and spent time in a body cast. My Mother lived on the farm and I have some old pictures of her and my aunt standing outside. I can still see the old stone foundation from the barn. Great childhood memories.


      I remember your grandfather Charles Dulzo.I worked at the Great Oaks Stock Farm in the Summertime,late 1950’s.

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