On Saturday, August 25, at Goose Meadow in the Highland State Recreation Area, the Livingston A’s (members of the Model A Restorers Club, MARC, www.modelaford.org) will bring a collection of their beautiful Model A Ford automobiles for displayRead More
The Blog of the Friends of Highland Recreation Area
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On Friday, May 14 an enthusiastic group of Ford Motor Company volunteers came out to historic Haven Hill and helped continue the rescue of the Edsel Ford Barn inside the Highland State Recreation Area in Highland/White Lake, Michigan. The Haven Hill section of the Highland State Recreation Area was once the grand country estate of Edsel and Eleanor Ford. Above: Ford Volunteer Corps team members at the Haven Hill Carriage House on May 14, 2010.
The Ford Volunteer Corps members were participating in a "Better World Accelerated Action Day". The Friends of Highland Recreation Area (FOHRA) applied for and were selected as a recipient of a mini-grant and the Edsel Ford Barn as an Action Day location. The Edsel Ford Barn is in the final stage of a massive cleanup after the violent storm damage that occurred during the summer of 2008. FOHRA has handled the clean-up with environment-friendly techniques, sorting much of the fallen debris by hand for potential reuse.
The Ford folks helped sort and clean metal, wood, cedar shingles, and more as the giant concrete pad that was once underneath the barn is cleaned and readied for the next stages of renovation. Continued work on the historic barn occurs the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month.
The Haven Hill restoration and re-purposing project in Highland State Recreation Area is an excellent way for your group to volunteer, and we need your help. Check us out at www.fohra.org. To learn more about the Ford Volunteer Corps, go to www.volunteer.ford.com.
Well I finally did it... I grabbed the dog and we headed over to the rec. area and hiked up to the ruins of the Edsel Ford Haven Hill lodge. Beautiful in winter, the ruins seemed kind of pristine covered by a blanket of snow. This was my 1st visit to the ruins - I had heard of the site that is inside of the Highland Recreation Area in Southeast Michigan several years ago. From the parking area the hike appears to be just at or under a mile (I'm guessing) until you come upon the "carriage house" or what appears to have been the "welcoming building" for guests.
I am told that this carriage house is an excellent example how the lodge was constructed - solid stacked logs and a wonderful stone chimney.
From the backside it's obvious that vandals have broken into the old building - a gaping hole in a plywood board covering the window to a bathroom. Shame.
Here's a great photo (below) of the Haven Hill Carriage House - larger size. Click to view the full-size image.
As you look North and slightly west you then see what appears to be the remnants of an arched entranceway to what I assume was a walkway to the lodge's front door.
Then a large fireplace/chimney appears and you can begin to understand the actual size of the lodge by the ruins of the foundation. I wish I had seen the actual building before it was burned to the ground in 1997.
This day in mid February the snow was obscuring the ground all around and inside the foundation.
The building must have been truly amazing in it's hay day! And to think that the likes of Thomas Edison, Admiral Bird, and other famous figures have stood right there many years ago!
PRESERVATION: Sometimes I wonder if the information that I'm posting on this website might result in those with "ill-wills" damaging a historic site like this. I hope not. As a matter of fact, I believe that by sharing this information maybe attention can be drawn to this amazing location that might inspire caring persons to visit the area and be a part of its' preservation. Come and see and join the forces for good will!