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79. The Felt Mansion

March 20, 2011

I remember back in the late 90’s when I went on a job interview in the Holland area and it was a nice warm spring day. So on the way back from Holland to Kalamazoo I stopped at a Subway for lunch and decided to eat it at a park. Not knowing anything about Suagtuck area I stumbled upon this old abandon state police post, prison, or something. The grounds of this building appeared to need work but it was quite, beautiful and peaceful. But as I sat eating my lunch in my car and staring at the building I thought “Wow this building is amazing, the grounds are set up like a prison but the architecture of the building doesn’t fit”.

I walked the grounds after lunch and could find no signs or description of the building but walking back to my car, a MI State Trooper pulled into the lot. He informed me I had stumbled upon the Felt Mansion. He was in a bit of a hurry and only told me it was once owned by a wealthy family that had been purchased by the state for public domain use. Currently it had no use except for storage space for the Police.

I didn’t get the job in Holland but a few years latter I did get a job at Herman Miller and on my way home from that interview to Battle Creek I stopped by the Mansion again for lunch. It was cleaned up a bit, it didn’t look like a prison anymore but it still wasn’t in good shape. The grounds were still great and the short walk to the beach was worth the walk. It was about 2007 when I was doing some work with a local machine builder when we visited the Mansion for a Subway lunch when we noticed that the building was really beginning to look good. It had signs describing the renovation and they had limited tours of the Mansion. I have to continued my Subway lunches over the years and its been a pleasure watching the Mansion be restored. I would think the people who put the years into the restoration project should be very proud of the work they have done.

Highly recommend a visit to the Felt Mansion and get take a tour of the inside. Don’t just make it a stop like I have over the years, make it an afternoon!! Visit their website or give them a call for the latest tour times.

For more information on the Felt Mansion visit: http://www.feltmansion.org

PS the Subway is in the Shell Station at I-96 & Blue Star Highway Exit.

Physical Address of The Felt Mansion:

6597 138th Ave.

Holland, MI 49423

Mailing Address:

Laketown Township

4338 Beeline Road

Holland MI 49423.

Phone: 616.335.3050

Directions:

The Felt Mansion is located at the end of 138th in Laketown Township. It is adjacent to the Saugatuck Dunes State Park (between Holland and Saugatuck). Our address is 6597 138th Avenue. If you are coming from I-196 it is Exit 41. Turn North on 64th (at the Burger King) and follow the signs to the State Park.

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