Wills Sainte Claire

C. Harold Wills, or C.H. Wills, was an early associate of Henry Ford and the chief contributor to the design of the Model T. It might be a familiar name to many Blue Water residents, because after leaving Ford, he began his own automobile company in Marysville, Michigan. From 1921 to 1926, Wills constructed his own automobile, aptly naming it, Wills Sainte Claire.

In the years since, a museum was established in Marysville that houses the largest collection of Wills Sainte Claire automobiles in the world. Museum Director, Terry Ernest said the museum was “established to remind people of the fantastic history that Marysville has in the automaking industry.” Ernest explained that at one time, Wills owned 4500 acres of land that eventually became what is known today as, Marysville. He added that Wills laid out various subdivisions in the city to give his workers a place to live while working for his company, and dubbed it the City of Contented Living.

On October 24, the museum will host a lecture by Roger Luksik, Vice-President of the Packard Motor Car Foundation. Mr. Luksik will give a presentation on the Packard Proving Grounds that were in Shelby Township. The Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit began using the Shelby area in 1927. The area had a concrete oval track, and various test roads with varying conditions on which to test the vehicles. The in-depth presentation will take place at the Wills Museum at 7 p.m. October 24th. Tickets are needed for the event.

Reporting for WGRT, Mike Smith.