Society Member: Gary

For Cobblestone Member Gary Gillette,the decision to become a member of the Detroit Historical Society four years ago was a no-brainer. An accomplished historian, Gillette understands the critical importance of historical and cultural institutions in our society. He says, “My passion for history centers on learning Detroiters’ inspiring stories and writing about significant but largely unknown historical intersections.”

These passions fueled Gillette’s journey to becoming a nationally known baseball author and the foremost expert on one of his favorite Detroit legends - Hall of Famer Norman “Turkey” Stearnes. In getting to know Stearnes, Gillette has also become the leading scholar on the Detroit Stars and the history of the Negro Leagues in Detroit. As founder and chair of the nonprofit Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium, Gillette has led the campaign to restore the historic site.  

His research was key to the approval of a State of Michigan Historic Marker for Hamtramck Stadium and was the basis for two African American Civil Rights Grants from the National Park Service. In 2021, he was the recipient of the prestigious Tweed Webb Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for American Baseball Research’s Negro Leagues Committee. Most recently, Gillette was instrumental in establishing Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium as an official Affinity Group of the Detroit Historical Society. Thanks in part to Gary’s efforts, members can now choose to join and support the work of the “Friends” as well.

Learn more here!