Old PhotographsReader SubmissionWindsor

Devonshire Racetrack – Part II

* Part one is from July, 2007

Up today is a look at what used to be located on the site of today’s Devonshire Mall. The photo above shows the grandstand at the Devonshire Racetrack as seen from Howard Avenue.

This was the paddock at the Devonshire Racetrack.

This photo shows opening day of the 1924 race season.

I’m often asked about the track, but I don’t have much information. From what I understand there is someone at work on a project that will cover the history of the track and others in Windsor. There was a time where horse racing was banned in Michigan and Windsor was home to three tracks that attracted Americans in droves.

There was the Windsor Jockey Club, which was purchased by the City in 1929. From that track, Jackson park was born, and part of the land went towards Kennedy Collegiate.

There was Kenilworth Race Track whch hosted the “Race of the Century” in 1920

And there was Devonshire, which we took a brief look at in July 2007.

This is a view of the clubhouse as seen from the track in 1929.

The photo above ran in the Border Cities Star July 22, 1929:

…Three well-known throughbreds, now stabled at Devonshire, and that were working out when the photographer visited the track early yesterday morning. Left to right, they are: Scared O’Nothin, the two-year-old owned by E.P. Summerfield; Ditto, another two-year-old from Belmont Park, owned by E. Doumani, making the first turn in an early breeze; La Femme, five-year-old, owned by G. Berthume, and a well known performer on local tracks.

After Michigan repealed the ban and allowed racing once again in Michigan (I believe it was in the early 1930’s) our tracks quickly became redundant, and they died a fairly quick death.

After the horses were done however, Greyhounds took over at Devonshire…

The clipping above as well as the rest of the pictures from here on out came to me from a reader named Christine. She got them from one of her neighbours named Rose Perrault. She’s the woman pictured above on the right.

I’m not sure what time frame greyhounds were race at Devonshire, but I think there was racing at the same time as the Riding Club was around. Above is an old business card for the riding club. Seeing as the instructions say to take the Howard Avenue Bus, not the streetcar, it’s safe to assume this is after 1939.

Included in photos passed along are this series of photos. Mrs. Perrault is shown on the far right in this photo as well.

Here was the Riding Club clubhouse. It looks different to the clubhouse shown above while the track was active. From what Christine told me, Mrs. Perrault said that there was a fire and the clubhouse burnt down, and they never rebuilt it.

This photo also shows part of the clubhouse. Mrs. Perrault is in the middle of the photo.

In this photo above you can see part of the track, and the country like setting of the surrounding area in early 1940’s.

Anyone out there have anything to add about the dog racing days or the riding club days?

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