The husband and I snuck away this weekend to Michigan to celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary. And like usual, we spent most of our weekend doing what we do best ... ramblin. Ramblin involves a number of activities which on any given weekend may or may not include, junking, diner visiting, photo taking, hiking, sight seeing and farm stand shopping. We aren't the fancy dinner to celebrate type. We really just like getting in the car together for some good old-fashioned road trip fun. We started our anniversary day off with a delicious road side diner breakfast (breakfast is by far our most favorite meal to eat out and the earlier the better.) and then headed out to explore some Southwest Michigan back roads. Yee haw!
Saturday it was about 60 and overcast but still a good day for some sight seeing so we choose to visit the grounds of the Felt Mansion which is located between Saugatuck and Holland. It is a place I had seen briefly before but without camera in hand so I just had to go back to get a few photos
The following is taken from the Michigan Registered Historic Site signs that were on the property. "Chicago inventor and businessman Dorr Felt built this house as a summer home for his wife, Agnes. Felt held numerous patents, most notably for the Comptometer, the first machine to do complex calculations. In 1919 Felt purchased more than 750 acres of land here and named it Shore Acres Farm. The family stayed in a farmhouse on the property until 1928, when this house, designed by Frank P. Allen and Son of Grand Rapids, was completed. The estate had extensive gardens, orchards, cornfields, a dairy, vineyards, and a small zoo that was open to the public. Agnes Felt died two months after the house was finished, and Dorr died two years later. The Felts' daughters and grandchildren owned the estate until 1949 when they sold it to an Augustinian order of the Catholic Church."
"The Dorr Felt Estate became the St. Augustine Catholic Seminary preparatory school in 1949. The mansion served as a chapel and housed priests and students. In 1962 the Augustinian order built a school and leased the house to Dominican cloistered nuns. The State of Michigan bought the property in 1977, using the house as a state police post and converting the school into the Saugatuck Dunes Correctional Facility. In 1995 the state sold forty-four acres, including the house and the prison buildings, to Laketown Township for one dollar, stipulating that the mansion be preserved and that it be owned and operated by the public. The Friends of the Felt Estate formed in 2002 and began restoring the house and grounds. The property is listed in the National Register of Historic Places."
We were there on Saturday and the house is not open for touring on Saturdays as it has become a very popular option for hosting weddings and receptions. I'm sure many a bride has spoken her vows here in the gorgeous water garden.
This small structure looked interesting and I wonder what it was used for.
This small, old white church is over a hundred years old. It is formerly known as Gibson Church and was moved to the Felt estate in 2011.
The Felt mansion is located adjacent to the Saugatuck Dunes State Park which provided us with quite a few opportunities to see wildlife. I managed to get off a few snaps of some deer but was left wishing for a lens that could zoom in a bit closer.
If you are ever in the Saugatuck area you might stop by the Felt Mansion to walk the grounds or if you are there on the right days ... take an inside tour.