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Who Was Howard Bloomer?
Although Howard Bloomer did not grow up in our community, his impact on the citizens of Michigan and the Rochester area is still being felt today. Howard Bloomer was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1871. He attended the Cincinnati and Dayton public schools, the Newton Academy, and the Bryant & Stratton Business University. Bloomer received his law degree from the Detroit College of Law. After law school, Bloomer helped found the MacGregor and Bloomer Law Firm. Two of his most famous clients were John and Horace Dodge, the founders of Dodge Motor Car Company. Bloomer became a close advisor for the Dodge Brothers and even became Vice President of the company and Board Chairman. Bloomer’s connection to the Dodge Brothers along with his own wealth gave him the resources needed to address his concern over the increasing loss of natural spaces for the public.

In the 1920’s, Bloomer persuaded the Dodge Brothers to donate 11 parcels of land to the State of Michigan to form state parks and recreation areas. Bloomer and his wife donated 47 acres along the Clinton River to the state in order to create Bloomer State Park #2. Besides donating land to the state, Bloomer became active in the governing boards of park and recreation groups. He joined the Michigan Conservation Commission, Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority’s Board of Commissioners, and the Board of the Directors of the National Conference of State Parks. Youth organizations, like the Boys and Girls Club, also benefited from Bloomer’s philanthropy.

Sarah Nicholls, a biographer of Howard Bloomer, summarized his philosophy on giving as being based on the principal that “one should give away as much as one spent on oneself.” Every guest who enters Bloomer Park is benefactor of this philosophy and desire to provide natural spaces to the public.

Source: Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm

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