Backstory and Context
Applewood was built in 1916 as a gentleman’s farm for the Charles Stewart Mott family and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The home and grounds encompass approximately 34 acres that include an orchard with 29 varieties of heritage apples and 18 acres that are extensively landscaped. The original gatehouse, barn and chicken coop complete the estate.
An automotive pioneer, Mr. Mott was an original partner in the creation of the General Motors Corporation, founded in Flint in 1908. As one of the city's leading industrialists, Mr. Mott was elected mayor, serving three terms (1912–13, 1918) during periods of overwhelming and turbulent growth in the city. As mayor he was responsible for instituting fair property assessments, orderly accounting audits, health and safety ordinances, building codes and a house numbering system.
As a private citizen, Mr. Mott founded a camp, as well as medical and dental clinics for Flint's children, and helped establish a number of nonprofit organizations that still exist today, including the Whaley Children's Center, the Boy Scouts and the YMCA.
Ruth Mott, wife of C. S., generously gave Applewood to the Ruth Mott Foundation, bestowing full responsibility for the estate upon her passing in 1999. Rooted in the Mott legacy of philanthropy, Applewood continues to embody the family’s commitment to the community. This historic treasure, paired with spectacular grounds, skilled staff and forward-looking goals has become a vital component of the foundations philanthropic work beyond grantmaking. It serves as a living laboratory, a neutral and inspiring location for gatherings, a center for learning through its public on-site programs, and a base from which its skilled horticulturists and archivists support grantees and community initiatives.