One of my long time readers, Mark Richards of Grand Rapids, visited the Harry Bennett Lodge and sent these photos to me! I love this stuff don't you?

Mark and chatted via phone and he told me he was stunned by how run down the Lodge is now.  Well it has to be really expensive to maintain and who would for have the money for that?

Thank you MARK!!  Grand Rapids folks who need a home inspection visit Mark's website. click on the logo or HERE

Harry Herbert Bennett (January 17, 1892 – January 4, 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 Los Gatos, California, on January 4, 1979, of an undisclosed cause.

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.

Bennett 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.

It has wooden floors and wall paneling, a 128-foot (39 m) long porch, and a stone fireplace. Chairs and sofas for the house were custom made by the finest craftsmen and upholstered using the highest grade of leather that Ford acquired for use in their most luxurious automobiles of the era.

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. (creepy)

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. The lodge itself has many 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 pursuers 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. The attack never came.

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 abandoned, as the reservation is now closed. Much of the furniture remains, but the pool has fallen into disrepair. Trees have been planted on the airfield.  The Lodge has since been abandoned and it is 90% in ruins.


John Morgan said...

My girlfriend and some friends in 1973 decided we wanted to see the back of his mansion on Huron River so we're walking on the other side of the river and some guy started coming down the river on a speedboat with a rifle in his hand

Robert Fox said...

I've heard of some of his other places, but not this one. Same style architecture. Too bad someone had to paint the sculpted logs. The original concrete was tinted and quite realistic.

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