The Garwood’s or Gar Wood, Or Garwood The Town, Or?

Smart boats, before smart phones.

Okay, okay, okay, I know that many of you already know this. But some of us have always been a tad confused about the Gar Wood name. And or, is it one word, or two, and is it a name? Is Gar Wood a real person? Yes. Garfield “Gar” Arthur Wood. Who is Gar Wood, then there are actual Garwood families. As in Frank Garwood and so one, and then there is a Garwood Nj, as in a town.

Garwood Land Co, Garwood Texas.

And yes a Garwood Dr in Cherry Hill NJ. Orlando, and Delaware, Oh and in California, Tennessee, and Texas. Okay there are Garwood Drives all around the US


Not to mention Gar Wood Trash packers and so many other things. And is given credit for the concept of PT Boats. So, Gar was a very cool dude, and possibly the Elon Musk of the era.

Gar bus

Gar himself

The statue in Algonac of Gar and Christopher

Thats a very happy Gar

Gar Wood and electric Cars.

And thanks to the Turcotte family the name Gar Wood still brings joy and excitement to us all. You can see more about Gar Wood Custom Boats HERE

So, in conclusion, for all of us. It’s Gar Wood, two words, The boats are Gar Wood’s because he was a rock star, but not to be confused with Gar Wood the Indie Rock guy, or the Garwood Band which is different. And of course his home. Gar that is was an inspiration to many Rock Stars, YES. I will put that link at the bottom of the story, since its more interesting than this story for sure.

Are we all clear now? As in RECEIVED?

Algonac. Where it all started for us all.



20 replies
  1. Rick
    Rick says:

    Well you can call me Gar or you can call Wood or you can call me G A Wood but ya doesn’t have to call me Garwood.

  2. Charlie Berry
    Charlie Berry says:

    I have an original copy of the 1939 book by Lee Barrett called ‘Speedboat Kings’ which chronicles the Gar Wood story with many photos if boats, races, personalities.

  3. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    Thanks for the link to the piece on what became of Gar Wood’s mansion – interesting story. Mentions the movie “Wild In The Streets”, which has to be one of the craziest films I’ve ever seen. As a Cincinnati architecture student in the early ’80s, I was fascinated with the Union Terminal building. At that time it had recently reopened as shopping mall. Never heard of the movie & had no idea what it was about. But it was a ticket into the, otherwise off-limits, old newsreel theater. Anyone know about, or have a link to, the Garwood mansion commune documentary mentioned in the article?

  4. Project name: Algonad
    Project name: Algonad says:

    As East-Side (By the Grace of God) Detroiter’s, the mansion was one of the spots we had to figure out how to play with our band. We finally got a chance, and, like the article pointed out, it was a pretty wild scene, even by our standards. Just down the river was the Roostertail Supper Club, which had (4) bands each Sunday night. The history of musical performances at the Roostertail is really amazing, along with the Schoenith families’ involvement in hydroplane racing on the river. For many of us “yout’s”, the die was cast early on.

  5. Kent Armstrong
    Kent Armstrong says:

    This is another of my “as a boy on Harsens Island” stories:
    Late 40s/early 50s (can’t remember which) Gar Wood, who had a facility on the North Channel of the St. Clair River, was developing a flat top barge, towed by a PT boat, to be used as a landing space for small military airplanes. They would make test runs on the river, which created waves so big they would wash up onto peoples lawns. I never saw a plane landing, but it was still spectacular seeing the PT boat/ barge passing by at fairly high speed.


    Yes Kent is my older brother, but I was too young to remember the airplane barge……… here is my story.

    As Greg said, he was known around Algonac as The Silver Fox and I had the pleasure of meeting him when I was a minnow in the mid-50s…..well sort of a pleasure.
    His original shop (where he built most if the Miss Americas) was directly across the river from our cottage. I was about 10 and would take my CC Kit boat and go over and beach it so I could climb on the crates that were stacked on the back of the property. I didn’t know at the time what they were, much later learned that they were Allusion engines in big crates, hundreds of them. I only went there when I didn’t think anybody was there. Well one time this tall skinny old man came out and told me to get off his crates, which I did. Young and dumb, I went back a few weeks later, after I ‘cased’ the place first, I got back on the crates. Well guess who came out of shop, again!! This time he was going to teach me a lesson and made me swab the decks of his yacht, which was docked out front. The yacht was 12×70 and it took me awhile, but when I was done he gave me a lecture and a $10 bill. That’s my story of Garwoodthesilverfox!!!

    • Greg Lewandowski
      Greg Lewandowski says:

      Wonderful story Art.
      This kid from the East side of Detroit envies you having grown up in the Algonac/Harsens Island area.

  7. briant
    briant says:

    See, that is a great story about Gar Wood !

    Please don’t say he was the Elon Musk of his time….Elon is nothing more than a two bit punk.

  8. Murdock
    Murdock says:

    There was a time in American history, where great men did great things, nothing was unachievable.
    Other people marveled and many people benefited through their hard work and determination.
    They weren’t belittled for it, envied maybe, but taking great risks for a potential great reward was OK.
    Now, with just the stroke of a pen in one day, we wipe out 100K plus good paying jobs that were building a pipeline from our nearest ally to the north that would have supplied us with 850K barrels of oil daily, direct to our refineries.
    Oh yeah, gas will be six bucks a gallon by summer and eight bucks a gallon for rec gas on the water.
    The sheep don’t know what “great” men are anymore………..only what they can get for “free”.
    Sorry, went down the rabbit hole as I was catching up on the latest news from overseas.
    Who is John Galt and is he a friend of Gar Wood?

  9. Mike K
    Mike K says:

    So the guy defeats the odds (tucker) and builds a gigantic auto company

    Builds a space company and has rockets land back on their feet!

    Develop a satalite company to provide internet to all corners of the world

    Invents a coring machine to core below our feet and create transportation

    Punk? Don’t know

    Genius? Yep

    Maybe he can invent something for us woody boaters

    • steve bunda
      steve bunda says:

      Dittos to Mike’s comment. You can find other very successful men and women. But it depends on what they do with their money and power? Good or something detrimental to our day to day being?
      Anyone paying attention to big tec?

  10. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    Even though he created an electric car, I think it’s more apt to call him the Richard Branson of his day. Since he built great things and used part of his wealth to do daring, bold things, like Gar.

    In college I was a garbage man and hung off the back of a Gar Wood loadmaster. Then, several years ago, I had a small ad agency and our office was in a building in Minneapolis that once housed an arm of Gar’s hydraulic business. I was connected with one of his nephews -then well into his 90’s- told me that Gar once stored one of the Miss America boats there, for some reason.

    So, two brushes with Gar Wood. And now I own a Gar Wood. Or as I like to point out: The cheapest, smallest Gar Wood ever made.

Comments are closed.