|Wilwin Lodge, Trout Lake, MI|
Recently Deb and I went to the Open House sponsored by the American Legion Department of Michigan to showcase their newly acquired historic Wilwin Lodge, currently planned to be a respite site for recently returned veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Wilwin is literally in the middle of the forest, on the Mackinac Co./Chippewa Co. line, at the end of Wilwin Road, off of Co. Rt. H-40, about 5½ to 6 miles from Birch Lodge; and is about 45 minutes from the Mackinac Bridge.
The full news story of Wilwin which I summarize here, is available on line ( as submitted by Anita Gauld, at http://chippewa.migenweb.net/wilwin.htm.)
The legion also has a website with lots of information on Wilwin Lodge and the local area.
Wilwin sat on a huge tract of land acquired in 1914 by two sons of lumber baron Frank Chesbrough, WILliam and ErWIN Chesbrough (thus, its name). A lumber mill and associated buildings were constructed there beginning in 1915. At its peak after full-scale mill operations began in 1916, Wilwin consisted of the mill and warehouses, 15 houses, a schoolhouse and a church. Historic Wilwin Lodge was built in 1916-1917 to house and wine and dine lumber buyers and other guests and serve as the family recreation “camp.”
They called it the “Bungalow” but it was actually a massive two-story log lodge, with a central great room encircled by a second story interior balcony and anchored by two large masonry fireplaces, and rustic details such as hand-forged hardware – all hearkening to the Great Adirondack lodges and closer to home the Huron Mountain Club camps (near Marquette) so popular during this period. Electricity provided by the mill dynamo. Wilwin commercial operations continued only until 1922; the mill and related railroad equipment were sold off in 1927, and most of the buildings were sold and/or dismantled and moved by 1935.
The main lodge, however, remained in the family as recreation camp until 1962, and was preserved by other owners until owner Robert Considine’s recent donation of the 520-acre property to the American Legion. Wilwin Lodge has been totally preserved down to the light fixtures, moose heads, and furnishings, and I’ve attached some photos taken with my cell phone below.
|A Bedroom at the Main Lodge at Wilwin|
|Screened Porch Main Lodge at Wilwin|
|Living Room Wilwin Lodge|
|Dining Room at Wilwin Lodge|
|Upstairs Gallery at Wilwin Lodge|