Applewood included special places for recreation, which this competitive and athletic family greatly enjoyed. C.S. Mott often invited colleagues and community leaders over to play tennis, squash, and other games. A former physical education and dance teacher, Ruth Mott taught her children to play tennis.
If you stood in this spot a few decades ago you'd have been standing next to a clay tennis court under this bur oak tree. Today, the court is gone but a horseshoe-shaped shrub bed marks its border.
Competition and Pride
Ruth Mott was an excellent tennis player, and won many trophies in her competition days. Maryanne Mott once asked her father how he felt about her mother beating him at tennis. "I expected him to be a little grumpy . . . and instead he said 'Oh, I am very proud of her,' which was really lovely. So there was competition, but there was also pride."
Work and Play
It was during a tennis match in 1935 that C.S. and Frank Manley first discussed a partnership between the Flint Board of Education and the C.S. Mott Foundation to develop Flint's Community Education program, which became an international model for expanding the role of schools as community hubs.
The pool behind the house, now a decorative fountain, was
once a real swimming pool five feet deep. Many Mott children and grandchildren learned to swim there.
A flat expanse of lawn near the house was ideal for badminton and croquet. It includes a law bowling lane of short, neatly-trimmed grass.
C.S. and Ruth had grown up with horses and loved to ride. All six Mott children learned to ride.