Harry Bennett's lodge
We heard from a reader some interesting tid bits about Harry Bennett's Lodge and basically The lodge is in shambles. There is a lot of controversy over whether or not the lodge should even be there still. Thankfully - it would be so expensive to tear down, and built so well that we have no doubt it will be there for many more generations.
copyright 2013 Parker Thomas
There are no known blueprints of the Lodge so placement of tunnels is merely speculation. Every now an then an older scout will show up and offer some insight on where the entrances were. So the current caretakers really don't know where the tunnel entrances are located.
Harry Bennett Henry Ford's Thug leader had a Lodge built for him in Freeman Township, Michigan on Lost Lake. The house is constructed of brick and concrete block with concrete siding fashioned to make it look like a log cabin.
Since Bennett was always paranoid of being under attack, he included many security features in the lodge. The lodge was surrounded by a moat full of pointed posts. The bridge over the moat was kept loaded with dynamite.
copyright 2013 Parker Thomas
The lodge itself has many fascinating custom features. Hidden behind a hinged bookcase in the study is a secret passageway which leads to the dock. Every step of the staircase in the passageway is a different height from the others to make tripping more likely. Bennett would practice running down the steps so that he memorized their spacing to give him a head start if pursued.
There is also a hidden room which was home to a central point in the ventilation system, where conversations from multiple rooms could be clearly overheard. The roof of the building featured a guard station parapet at one end, complete with a fireplace to keep Bennett's men warm while on 24-hour armed watch when Bennett was at the lodge in colder months.
Bennett also had a private airfield with an airplane at the other end of Lost Lake. In the event of an attack, Bennett could take the secret passageway, emerge by the dock, take a boat across the lake, and escape by airplane. Luckily Bennett was never attacked just extremely paranoid.
The lodge and property was purchased by the Boy Scouts of America, Clinton Valley Council in 1964. Lost Lake Scout Reservation now stands on the site.
Harry Bennett's Observation Turret in summer and winter
Harry Bennett, head of "security" at Ford Motor Company, owned the property that is now Lost Lake Scout Reservation for Henry Ford and Ford Motor Company in the '30's and '40's. During the late ‘30’s. His personal goon squad you might say and it is written in Mein Kampf that Hitler was a big Henry Ford fan and copied Bennett's brutal style and turned it in to the Gestapo for his own evil purposes.
Mr. Bennett built a Lodge overlooking Lost Lake. Bennett Lodge is constructed of cement but crafted to resemble a log cabin. Security and luxury were very important features in the design of Bennett Lodge.
A moat encircles the building and the roof was designed with observation (Harry was big on guns and tunnels) turrets. A secret underground passage was built to allow for fast exits. The artisans at Ford’s Greenfield Village made the furniture. The property also included a horse stable and a private airfield.
View of the Lodge from Lost Lake
Lost Lake and 3½ square miles of property were purchased in 1965 by Clinton Valley Council, now know as the Great Lakes Council. Lost Lake Scout Reservation started summer camp in 1966 and has provided Scouts with wilderness summer camp experiences ever since.
New Dock area where old escape boat used to be kept
The lodge and property was purchased by the Boy Scouts of America, Clinton Valley Council in 1964. Lost Lake Scout Reservation now stands on the site. The lodge is used for teaching merit badges, storing waterfront equipment, and for ghost tours.
Ghost Hunt at Lost Lake,
This trip was Cancelled and this is what is on their website:
New management at the Lost Lake Scout Reservation will not honor their original agreement. So sadly the ghost hunter group had to cancel their planned event.
A remote, scenic setting deep in the woods along the quiet shores of Lost Lake was the site of Michigan's First Annual Paranormal Retreat. You'll find yourself away from traffic and city noise. It's a time and place to enjoy nature, relax, rejuvenate, find peace. Yet there are stories that surround this remote camp. Stories of wild parties ... the Purple Gang ... murder ... and ghosts.
During the day, enjoy; Outdoor NATURE HIKES (there have been reports of a BIG FOOT creature roaming the woods LOL), boating, fishing, swimmer,Spa Services facials, shopping in the quaint town of Clare. In late afternoon and early evening enjoy paranormal presentations and at night, join in the ghost hunt. It sounds like it would have been a great time!
View of the Tunnel copyright 2013 Parker Thomas
The Ford Hunger March was a demonstration of unemployed workers starting in Detroit and ending in Dearborn, Michigan, that took place on March 7, 1932. The march resulted in four workers being shot to death by the Dearborn Police Department and security guards employed by the Ford Motor Company. Harry Bennett's goon squad was responsible.
The swimming pool beside the house provided more than the usual entertainment to Bennett and his guests: The pool was constructed with a viewing room (complete with wet bar) adjacent to the pool. A glass window looked into the pool under water, so Harry and company could enjoy watching their female guests swim.
Much of the furniture remains, the secret passageway is part of the tour, but the pool has fallen into disrepair. Trees have been planted on the airfield.
It is good to know that Harry's evil hideout was bought by the Boy Scouts and turned into a lovely place for young people to camp and have fun. No one ever used the word fun in describing Harry. That's for sure!
When Henry the first died in 1947 the writing was on the wall for Bennett. Its been said that you could smell smoke in the basement of the old world HQ as Bennett burned his papers (pre-shredder days).
Read more about:
NEW* Video Tour of Bennett's Castle!
Harry Bennett's Castle HERE
Castle 1984 Photos
The Rise and Fall of Harry Bennett HERE
Harry Bennett's Cabin HERE
Harry Bennett-"Closer to Ford than his only son"