Harry Bennett's Pagoda House


Finally! With the assistance of my friend Scott, I went out to see Harry Bennett's Pagoda House on the Detroit River. Though the exterior of the home needs lots of work.. it was still magnificent to see in person.

Left side portal windows

This is the door where you would enter from the driveway/street. Scott told me that the circular symbol on this door was often used in other Bennett homes. Wonder what the meaning is behind that symbol...

Pagoda House was originally built for Henry Ford and his family. Clara Ford didn't like the strong current in the Detroit River and was afraid her children might drown. Clara and Henry sold the property to Harry Bennett.

Right Side Portal Windows Pagoda House camera is facing south

Harry Bennett's Grandson told me that his father and uncle worked on the construction of the Pagoda. He remembers flying and boating over to the Pagoda. Read more HERE

stable across the street

This out building across the street is rumored to have a tunnel from the Pagoda over to this structure. The Pagoda is a fenced in property which is rare for Grosse Isle. Because of the infamy of it's previous owner.. it make this home a target for break ins and other undesirable types of activity.

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"


Richard said...

Great stuff! I just now saw your comment on my Vintage Ford Facts site.

Did you see where one of Harry Bennett's cabins was up for sale in Ann Arbor? I have a PDF brochure the realtor sent me if you'd like a copy. The cabin is on Stran Strass Rd.


Joe Guiney said...

Hey, I grew up in Wyandotte in the '60's, and I've been IN the pagoda house over there on West River Road, not far from my dad's country club. It had a couple secret passageways. If I'm remembering right there was a bookcase like thing that opened to a narrow staircase that went to the boathouse and I was told another tunnel once connected to that and went under the bridge and a few 100 yards inland and came up in a small stable (my dad, whose family had a boathouse, also on West River Road, but much further south, near the free bridge) was the one who told me he heard of this but didn't know for sure (re the stable.) Also, on the roof there were gun ports in the corners.

Unknown said...

My Sister-in-law and Brother-in-law used to store their boat under the Pagoda House in around 1980's. My Sister-in-law worked withthe woman that owned the house at that time.Their boat was on the left side and the guy that owns the Martinsen Funural Home in Allen Park stored his on the right side.
I have been in the area behind the boatwells in the basement. Part of it is servant's quarters and there is also a Ballroom. In the corner of the Ballroom is the bar area and behind the bar is a hidden panel that has a tunnel to the stables across the road from the house. It was used to bring in booze from Canada during the 1920's. A lot of houses on the Detroit River had sercet passages to bring in booze.

Unknown said...

As a kid growing up on Grosse Ile I once walked the tunnel from the wooded area across the street into the house. Way cool!

Unknown said...

Went through this tunnel as a child. My god father kept his boat next door. Lots of passages from room to room. The back deck has ports that point to down at the water. Dragons molded into the ceilings and a wood lined library with a panel in the wall that alows access to a stairway. Very cool.

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