The Haven Hill Lodge Site
Most text content below is from the MotorCities signs at the Lodge site for everyone to enjoy... other edits are from the Friends of Highland Recreation Area...
It was an expression of new wealth and mobility created by the early automobile industry. Twenty years after his father founded Ford Motor Company in 1903, Edsel Ford began buying the hilly property that became his family’s rural retreat at Haven Hill. At the spacious 6,900 ft.² hilltop Lodge, the Fords and their guests enjoyed a swimming pool, tennis courts, motorized toboggan run, and spectacular views of the rolling scenery all around. In the early 1900s, automobiles made isolated rural settings like this more accessible to the wealthy and to people escaping the city for day trips in the countryside.
The Lodge occupied one of the highest elevations in Oakland County, and provided spectacular views in all directions. It was given a rustic look by the use of rough timber and stone in its construction. The inviting and rustic interior of the Lodge included stone fireplaces and plank flooring. Ford family recreational sites near the Lodge included a large swimming pool, tennis courts, a tow-return toboggan run, and horse stables.
After Eleanor Ford sold Haven Hill to the state of Michigan in 1946, the Lodge became a state Park conference center and Environmental Learning Center until it was closed in 1980.
In late January of 1999 the unoccupied Haven Hill Lodge was burned to the ground by teenage vandals who had illegally broken into the publicly-owned vacant building to explore the Lodge's interior. Now, the only visible remains of the Lodge at the top of Haven Hill include a beautiful fireplace chimney and many foundations of rooms and terraces. Due to lack of state resources to maintain the site, the volunteer organization "Friends of Highland Recreation Area" maintain the site for visitors. Consider volunteering to assist in the maintenance of this historic site...
These informative signs throughout Haven Hill were brought to you by supporters and members of the MotorCities organization.