Belle Isle 1947

deedee & MV at scott statue

Here is a photograph of my cousin Dee Dee and her mother Mary V. Graham Elkins taken on Belle Isle in 1947. At first I thought the fuzzy black spot on the lower right was an ink spot, but when I looked closer I saw it was a little dog.  Dee Dee is looking down at it a bit apprehensively.

There are several family photographs taken around the statue of  James Scott, who donated the money for the Scott fountain and I grew up going to Belle Isle and seeing the fountain in all it’s glory but I never knew anything about James Scott until I was working on this post and found a piece on Historic Detroit that begins “The Scott Memorial Fountain is the jewel of Belle Isle – and a monument to a womanizing scoundrel.” and gets worse from there.  Click the link for the full article.

James Scott statue and fountain - Detroit Michigan
Mikerussell at en.wikipedia

A picture of the fountain with the James Scott statue.  You can see a short video of the workings of the fountain underneath here “Underneath Belle Isle…”

27 thoughts on “Belle Isle 1947

  1. When I first looked at the photo, I wasn’t sure that was a dog. I didn’t even notice your cousin until I read your post.

    1. More than meets the eye at first glance in this photograph. I was pretty sure that dog was an ink blot or torn spot on the photo. Wonder where he came from. They had no dog.

  2. The debate over the size of the statue is hilarious. I’m glad it ended up life-sized and not 2 1/2″ tall!

  3. I think that Methodist pastor had it right – commenting the statue should be two & a half inches high. 🙂 But as Helen says, it is good it wound up being the size it is as it is quite gorgeous.

  4. I guess that is what is now called photo bombing by the unknown dog. The fountain looks enormous!

    1. Another cousin, from the other side of Dee Dee’s family, says they had a dog that looked just like that. Maybe they were there too, along with the dog.

  5. Interesting story and beautiful fountain. Like the expression on your cousin’s face.

  6. A fascinating history to add to a family snapshot. It’s strange that the grandiose quality of the full fountain and plaza seems more suited for a central city square. The price was very extravagant even for 1925. I suppose if the city had invested Scott’s money instead, it would have been lost in the crash of 1929.

    1. It fits nicely into the park setting. Plenty of room to walk and park. And very beautiful. In the evening lights make the water look different colors. It would be huge to be downtown. Detroit didn’t/doesn’t have a central city square.

  7. It is interesting, sculptures, fountains etc. are always spots for family photos, like to add some more interest or whereabouts we have been. Typically children always climb up and around those monuments. Such a delightful little gal.

  8. What an interesting story! Somehow I’m glad that something good came out of his life, even if it was posthumously and had a silly requirement for a statue.

    1. I guess he knew he would never get a statue unless he made someone build it for him. It turned out well for Detroit.

  9. A Rapscallion – the perfect name for him! A delightful photo, ink blot (or dog) or no. I am right, it does say Fountian Circle doesn’t it?

  10. Yep – I was just going to say “Has anyone else noticed the typo in Fountain circle?” I looked twice at the “inkspot”too.

  11. I noticed the dog right away but I almost think DeeDee is looking as though she’d like to play with the dog. Whatever else good he did, it’s too bad Scott was a “womanizing scoundrel.” I think the placement of the statue is interesting: it appears that he is watching over that beautiful fountain.

  12. The spelling mistake is fun. It’s a wonder it hasn’t been replaced. I checked Google Maps to see how they spell it and it’s listed as Fountain Drive!

  13. The sculptor has made Scott look like an upright citizen, you’d never know the reality without reading up about him.

  14. I also did not recognise it as a dog until I read your post.

    I am missing the header from your blog. I always enjoyed looking at the photos and the changes that you made.

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