Rumor has it that Henry Ford's wife Clara hated the Pagoda House they built on Grosse Ile. Clara was afraid for her children's safety due to the rapid current of the Detroit River.
Harry Bennett had built this big log cabin in Tawas and it was a great place for kids to swim in Lake Huron. So Harry and his Boss swapped vacation homes.
Some years back I met a woman who gave me these photos and wrote this story. Not sure the accuracy but it is fun see...
Story & Photos by Gloria Branzei
When I was a child my family owned a cottage built by Henry Ford for Bennett. it was his hideaway and love nest with his private nurse. There was a heart in the cement with their initials outside the back door.
Harry Bennett was a very paranoid and well prepared man. In the basement there was a tunnel that went out to a waiting boat on Lake Huron. He kept a gun in every room and exits out of every room.
He was said to have had a leopard chained up by the door, there are large cat paw prints in the cement.
They built the police chief of Detroit a cottage next door and the garage was the dormer for the guards which were off-duty Detroit cops.
He had mounted guards and we turned the stables into a stereo room. There were lights all the way through the woods.
All of the furniture in this log cabin was crafted by Italian workers that were smuggled over through Canada. My family has pictures...
Our neighbor was Pinkerton from the railroad cops we used to call him Pinky.
Harry Bennett (1892–1979), a former boxer and ex-Navy sailor, was an executive at Ford Motor Company during the 1930s and 1940s. He was best known as the head of Ford’s Service Department, or Internal Security.
While working for Ford, his union busting tactics, of which The Battle of the Overpass was a prime example, made him a foe of the United Auto Workers.
He was fired in 1945 by Henry Ford II, and died in 1979 of natural causes. He had various residences in Michigan, including Bennett's Lodge near Farwell, a log cabin style house in East Tawas, and Bennett's Castle located on the Huron River in Ypsilanti.
Glo sent these gems in this morning....lovely