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Posts Tagged ‘Edsel & Eleanor Ford’

Recently, I have had the same conversation with many different people. That conversation is all about watching after our Heritage and Natural resources. Not just ignoring bad behaviour while out on the Trails, or in a Historical setting.

One of the biggest things destroying Haven Hill, besides the years of neglect from the State DNR, is Vandalism of all sorts. I am not just talking about Punks, spray painting the Carriage House or Pump House. I mean stuff like crawling on the roof of the Carriage House to cut away the copper flashing around the Fireplace for scrapping money.

Then there are the the Metal Detector people. It is illegal to use these devices absolutely anywhere on the state designated Historical areas. Which means the entire Hill-top and surround hill-sides +. These people digging up even door hinges that were hand-made for all the different Doors at the Estate, are just plain STEALING from all of us.

DO NOT HESITATE to report thieves and Criminals like these. Take their pictures, and maybe walk back to the Parking lot and take down their license plate numbers. These criminals that are stealing from all of us, including our children and future generations, deserve Jail time. Their thinking only includes themselves, and no one else. That is how they should be treated in return.

If we all do not watch out for our Historical places and special grounds, there will be nothing left for others. DO NOT be afraid to report these people. They are quickly destroying many of the Historically unique places at Haven Hill. And then there will be nothing.

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We will be announcing the release of some very special Maps for Haven Hill and the entire Ford Estate. This special edition maps will be released in varied sizes and printed on Archival, heavy stock papers. Years worth of mapping, research and GPSing went into these special maps.

In the next month, we will also be releasing a paperback version and hopefully the hardcover version of our COMPLETE HISTORY book of Haven Hill. Various politics and silliness has delayed the release of this already complete and published book. We will have more details announcements shortly, on both the various Maps and Book release. Stay tuned.

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I got to Highland around 11am, in the pouring rain. I sat in my car, fielding telephone calls from Hikers who where not coming out in the rain. Didn’t blame them, it had been raining since yesterday night. About 11:30am it let up a bit and I went outside the car and shot a few pictures, that I thought I would use for this rain canceled Hike.

12 noon rolled around and the rain let up to a semi-drizzle and 15 people show up in full rain gear. I was glad I brought mine, and didn’t assume we would cancel on rain. Silly thought on my part……we have NEVER canceled because of rain. :-)

We all headed up Haven Hill and roamed around the Pump-House, Carriage House, Lodge remains, Toboggan Run & Dog Kennel. Mike had all the coordinates for the three USGS Markers on the Hill. We found them all. Also explored some of the light posts that lit the Toboggan run at one time.

From there we headed back down the side of Haven Hill, to the Pool & Tennis court. Always an amazing place to see a huge built-in Pool in the middle of the forest. We went a short distance from there, over to the Fountain area. Another enclosed Ford area, with what was probably a beautiful shallow Fountain in between two small hills in the forest. A quite and natural spot. We talked there about the Estate, the Ford family and some of the details of the infrastructure of the Estate as a whole. A huge system of water pipe, underground electrical conduits and cutting edge Septic system.

We all wandered back to the Circle parking lot and decided to get some food at a local restaurant. Had a great time at the Restaurant. Lots of good laughs and stories. With the long walk and rainy conditions, it produced huge appetites in the Hikers. We ate enormous amounts of food and Deserts.

For what was suppose to be a rain-out Hike, we had an excellent time in unique conditions at Haven Hill. We all stayed pretty dry with our rain coats and hoods. Turned out to be an excellent day.

NOTES: I was appalled at the vandalism and destruction to almost every remaining building and amenity at Haven Hill. Stolen copper flashing from the Carriage house, shroud covering the Toboggan lift stolen, old light poles pulled from the ground, Gang graffiti, and many other things that are adding to the quick deterioration of the entire area. Cannot understand why a number of things are not being done to help keep what is left of the Estate, intact. A person visiting the Estate, even 1 year ago, would hardly recognize what was there before. In a couple of years now, there will only be remains that hardly resembles what was really there. It is a shame at what is happening there, both in Vandalism and lack of proper care.

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We have updated one of our main maps that covers the entire eastern side of Highland Recreation area. This whole east side of the Park, was the old Edsel Ford Estate. The updated map has been re-GPSed, and all the various Park Trail signs are also indicated on the map.

The Estate buildings and infrastructure is well marked on this new map, so exploring on your own can be done. We hope this map will enthuse many of you to go out to Haven Hill and wander the old Estate and the Haven Hill Natural area as well. Have fun in this great combination of history % nature in one setting.

DOWNLOAD THE NEW PARK MAP HERE:

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Anytime is a good time to head out to Haven Hill at Highland Recreation area. Besides the old Edsel Ford estate there, the State designated Natural area is a special place year round. As the snows melt, it is an excellent opportunity to investigate the remaimns of the estate. Rock walls, debris, fencing, nature trails and much more, become most apparent just after the snows have melted and before the area is once again covered in thick foliage.

Grab a map from the Haven Hill Project website and enjoy a wonderful afternoon of history and nature in one place at Haven Hill.

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With the HAVEN HILL book to be released, weather-proof maps, pamphlets and History papers, there has been little time for any new field work or even much posting. All the final details are being finished in a mass release of many different informational media about the Haven Hill estate at Highland State Recreation area.

It has been two year now, of hundreds of exploration miles through out the Estate. Countless hours scouring over various archives around town, and endless hours editing text and hundred of photos for these many upcoming releases.

I hope it will have been worth the wait when everyone gets a chance to see the results of such extensive investigations, research, study and writings about the Ford family and their estate at Haven Hill. We will start releasing many of our projects very shortly, and the excitement here at our workshop and studio is electric. Stay tuned for the first announcements, right here on our Blog.

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While putting the finishing touches on the Book release for December 1st, we created some drawings of what the Lodge looked like before it was burned away in 1999. Just thought you all would like a look at one of the renderings.

The view is of the Lodge’s north side, with the beautiful Veranda that overlooked Haven Hill lake in the distance before the years of tree growth.

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