Portrait of the Vettraino family children. From left: Dominick, Sam, John, Concetta (Connie), Rose, Annette.

Portrait of the Vettraino family children. From left: Dominick, Sam, John, Concetta (Connie), Rose, Annette.

Cranbrook Archives is excited to announce a new online collection of material that highlights the contributions of the Vettraino family at Cranbrook. The collection includes a sampling of photographs and documents of the family, as well as other Italian immigrants who worked on campus clearing the land and building roads and stone walls; maintaining the landscape; and working in the Cranbrook Fire and Police Departments.

Michael (Mike) Vettraino came to Cranbrook in 1905 to work with one of George Booth’s first landscape architects, H.J. Corfield. Mike served Cranbrook for more than 50 years and received the Founders Medal in 1955. For more than 110 years, his children and grandchildren have continued to honor his legacy, serving the Cranbrook community not only as grounds-keepers, but in many other areas of the campus. We are pleased to be able to share their amazing legacy.

Cranbrook Archives Staff

Election Day: Mayor Vettraino

Dominick Vettraino at the wheel of Cranbrook's Fire Truck, ca. 1936. Vettraino Family Papers, Cranbrook Archives.

Dominick Vettraino at the wheel of Cranbrook’s Fire Truck, ca. 1936. Vettraino Family Papers, Cranbrook Archives.

In honor of Election Day I wanted to feature Cranbrook and the polls! In 1958, Cranbrook’s Dominick Vettraino was elected as mayor of Bloomfield Hills, the first native born Bloomfield Hills resident to hold the position!

Dominick Vettraino was the eldest son of Michael and Michaela Vettraino.  Mike was grounds superintendent for Cranbrook from 1905-1955 and all of his children except Dominick were born at Cranbrook. Dominick started working with his father on the grounds when he was 16 years old, and after Mike’s retirement, took over the position of superintendent.  In addition, he contributed substantially to the surrounding community.   After studying at the University of Michigan’s Fire School he was named chief of the Cranbrook Fire Department. He and his brother John Vettraino converted a Ford chassis into Cranbrook’s first fire truck, and eventually Dominick served as the head of Cranbrook’s Police Department.

After his many Cranbrook achievements he went on to serve the larger community of Bloomfield Hills.

Stefanie Dlugosz, Collections Fellow, Center for Collections and Research

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: