Historic Birch Lodge

Historic Birch Lodge
Historic Birch Lodge, Trout Lake, MI

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Ford Family at Birch Lodge

Print Friendly and PDF Living in tents
Dr.E.Ford and wife Cornelia

We have been in touch recently with a grand-daughter of Dr. Edgar Ford, Jacque Ford Tauriainen, who has kindly shared a number of old family photos of the Ford family at Birch Lodge. (Place the cursor on the photo for the caption.)

Dr. Ford was the man who envisioned Birch Lodge. He purchased the property in 1910, and oversaw the construction of the lodge in 1911. He and his wife Cornelia came with their sons (Edgar A., Samuel M., and Herbert L.) and lived in tents while the lodge was under construction. We knew he died before the lodge was open, but did not know that he died of rabies, contracted when he was bitten by the dog of one of his patients in Cambria, Wisconsin. He died a difficult death under the care of his son Herbert, to whom he entrusted the running of the lodge. (Herbert - or Bert - was Jacque's father.)

ca. 1915 Birch Lodge
Birch Lodge ca. 1912

Early days at the lodge were difficult, and as a young man, Herbert was charged with taking money to the bank on the train, in close company with a number of rough looking characters. In retrospect, many of these were probably loggers on their way to and from the area looking for work as the logging slowed down. He was probably right to worry.

Paul Ford, and Mr. Moore? feeding deer at Birch LodgeBirchLodge Orchestra

On the right above, Jacque's brother Paul feeds a deer, with I believe, Mr. Moore, a later owner of the Lodge. On the left is a photo of the Birch Lodge Orchestra: left to right "Ed, Nestor, Sam, Bert" and a piano player from St. Ignace.

After the Ford family left Birch Lodge, Herbert worked in Furlong's store in the village for a while, but eventually left the area. However, they did return to visit periodically and maintain an interest in the lodge. I hope you will enjoy these early photos as much as we did. Thanks Jacque!

Herbert Ford on the porch of Mary Lou 1957

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