Color of Fall BEAUTIFUL at Highland State Recreation Area for Festival

Haven Hill area visitors to Highland State Recreation Area in Highland/White Lake. Michigan are in for a big treat at this years’ Haven Hill Festival on Saturday the 19th of October - “peak” Fall tree colors!

The 2019 Haven Hill Festival at Highland State Recreation Area celebrates the beautiful recreation area and the historic Haven Hill estate which was once the country home of Edsel and Eleanor Ford. This year's event will feature a 1860’s style base ball baseball food and beverages, kids games and arts and crafts, historic Haven Hill items on display, and vintage Model A Ford automobiles for everyone to enjoy.

A shuttle bus will take you up to the Haven Hill Lodge site and Carriage House area which will be hosted by volunteer members for tours and info. And the Edsel Ford Barn will show off it’s new doors and paint job which is underway!

The Vintage Base Ball game in Goose Meadow will be played in front of a backdrop of Fall colors and feature the Novi Brass Band playing live brass instrument music as the ball players exhibit how ball was played in the 1860’s. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy a hot dog and snacks as the game is underway.

Come on out with the family and enjoy the day in the park! State park entry is via the Recreation Passport. The event is free to the public. Donations accepted to support the Friends of Highland Recreation Area volunteer organization.

The Film That Started FOHRA is Now Online!

The Friends of Highland Recreation Area have recently digitized the original Chris Arble Haven Hill "Possibilities" film that in many ways gave the volunteer Friends group their start. The movie continues to inspire  others today and can now be see on YouTube at the FOHRA Volunteers video site.

Edsel Ford in the Haven Hill "Possibilities" Film 

Edsel Ford in the Haven Hill "Possibilities" Film 

Although many of you have seen this 14 minute film before, others will enjoy seeing the story of Haven Hill's past and ideas for the present and future. Take a break and give it a special viewing...

The film can be seen on YouTube at THIS LINK.



John Fitzgerald

The Friends of Highland Recreation Area (FOHRA) volunteer organization was established in 2007, and is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt non-profit organization operating under lease agreement with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Within one of the most picturesque, fascinating, and historically significant state parks in southeast lower Michigan, our goal is to combine the former Haven Hill estate history with Highland Recreation Area’s existing amenities, wilderness, and recreation.

Press Release: Haven Hill - The Edsel & Eleanor Ford Family Farm Estate - The Untold Story

Date: April 29, 2015
Location: Howell Opera House 123 W. Grand River, Howell MI
Time: Doors open at 7:00 PM Program Starts 7:30 PM
Admission is Free - Public Welcome

In the 1920’s Henry Ford visited and spoke at the Howell Opera House. Related and
virtually unknown is the fascinating story of his only son Edsel and his wife Eleanor who,
in 1923, embarked on the creation of a 2,300 acre working farm state on present day
M-59 just east of Livingston County. They named their farm estate Haven Hill. For some
20-23 years Edsel, Eleanor, and their four children - Henry II, Benson, Josephine, &
William Clay (past owner of Detroit Lions), enjoyed Haven Hill as a refuge and retreat.
Edsel tragically died in 1943 at the young age of 49 years and the estate was passed
on, by his wife Eleanor, to the Michigan Department of Conservation (today Mich. Dept.
of Natural Resources).

On Wednesday April 29, at 7 pm, the Haven Hill story will fittingly be told at the Howell
Opera House with a presentation by the Friends of Highland Recreation Area (FOHRA).
Come learn of the estate architecture and unique landscape setting plus hear of the
estates many world famous guests and visitors such as Charles and Anne Morrow
Lindbergh, Thomas Edison, Admiral Byrd who first flew over the North and South Poles,
and the Duke of Windsor from England's Royal Family just to name a few.
The evening will include a very entertaining video presentation of the history of Haven
Hill and an update on accomplishments to date and future plans. Also on display, for
one night only, will be select nature photographs of the area plus a fine art portrait
series paying tribute to the people of Haven Hill.

Date: April 29, 2015
Location: Howell Opera House 123 W. Grand River, Howell MI
Time: Doors open at 7:00 PM Program Starts 7:30 PM
Admission is Free - Public Welcome

For more information & contacts:
Dick Russell - Friends of Highland Recreation Area
Phone: Cell: 248-563-7428 Email:
Sharon Fisher - Howell Opera House
Phone: 517-294-7562 Email:
For more information please see attached flyer and visit:

Dine with Edsel and Eleanor Event is Tomorrow

Gentlemen (and Ladies) attending this year’s fund raiser will not only see a special "Fishing In Da U.P." table setting this year, but also a vintage automobile display just down the street on the corner of Livingston and Milford Road where some vintage cars will be on display throughout the day.

Read More

2014 Dine with Edsel and Eleanor Table Settings Event Coming Soon

The 2014 Dine with Edsel and Eleanor Event Coming Soon! Get your tickets to support the Ladies of FOHRA at On October 5th, 2014, from noon to 5 pm, the Ladies of FOHRA will host the second table setting event “Dine with Edsel and Eleanor” at the Historic Highland Station House located at 205 W. Livingston Rd., Highland, MI.

Tables will be set and decorated for 2 or more. Each table will have a theme and will be decorated by individuals or groups in the area.

There will be a small charge to the public to view the tables. We hope to set as many as 12 tables for people to view and enjoy.

Light beverages and hors d’oeuvres will be served at this year’s event.

Some beautiful table settings photos from the 2013 at the historic Hibbard Tavern:

Dine Event Pic 2 Dine Event Pic 6 Dine Event Pic 7 Dine Event Pic 8 Dine Event Pic 10 Dine Event Pic 15

Haven Hill Festival: Special Events for 2014!

HHF 2014 Logo Square - Full Size

Saturday, August 23rd, at Haven Hill in Highland State Recreation Area

The Haven Hill Festival is a celebration of the amazing natural and historic resources of the Highland State Recreation Area and the former Edsel and Eleanor Ford Haven Hill Estate. This year’s free event will include activities for everyone of all ages. Vintage Model A Ford cars will be on display and an 1860’s Base Ball match will start at 10:00 am with live brass band music performed by the Novi Brass. Summer foods and beverages will be available for purchase while enjoying these other great activities:

  • Model A Ford Car Display
  • 1860's Vintage Base Ball Game with Base Ball History Information
  • Edsel and Eleanor Ford Haven Hill Estate Historic Photographs and Found Items Displays
  • Children’s Activities Tent
  • Drawing Fundraiser for a Night's Stay at Highland State Rec Area's Bass Lake Cabin
  • Haven Hill National Landmark Area Photography Exhibit
  • Art Exhibits at the Haven Hill Gate House
  • Haven Hill Gate House Garage: Open to the Public
  • Self-guided Tours of the Haven Hill Lodge Footprint
  • Volunteers Dressed in Period Attire
  • And more!

The Festival will be held on Saturday, August 23, 2014 between 10 am and 3 pm at the Goose Meadow Picnic site and ball field. Follow signs in the park to the Festival on the day of the event. The Haven Hill section of the park can be entered at 5200 Highland Road (M-59) between Duck Lake and Bogie Lake roads. The Festival is provided to the public at no charge, while entry into Highland State Recreation Area is now via the Recreation Passport on your license plate. Day passes are available for a nominal charge at the front gate if you do not have a Recreation Passport. Food and beverage sales serve as a fundraiser for the Friends of Highland Recreation Area volunteer organization. These funds will be directed towards the general operations of FOHRA and their continuing efforts to revitalize the historic Edsel Ford Haven Hill estate structures within the park.

The Haven Hill Festival is an alcohol-free, family-oriented event now in its' 6th year at Highland State Recreation Area in Highland/White Lake, Michigan. The celebration continues to benefit the state park and the surrounding communities now and into the future.

More Info? visit

The Friends of Highland Recreation Area are a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Visit for more information.

5200 Highland Rd, White Lake Township, MI 48383, Phone: (248) 889-3750