A New Experience
Experiencing the new to you is one of the best ways to spend a weekend. Although we had plans for hiking, this gem came out of nowhere, and we decided to go exploring. The Felt Mansion was discovered the same way. We found it on accident by a couple hiking through Saugatuck. We did not get any hiking accomplished on our trip (believe it, or not the trails were CROWDED), but we did stumble upon a property with a rich history we weren’t expecting to enjoy.
History of Felt Mansion
The Felt Mansion was the home of the late Dorr Felt, a self-made millionaire, made famous by his invention of the Comptometer, which performed essential math functions that allowed businesses to improve their bookkeeping skills and speed. He built the estate because he was allured into a love affair with the West Michigan coastline and decided it was the prime location to build a home for his wife, Agnes. Unfortunately, Agnes died, only six weeks after the house was completed, and Dorr passed a year and a half later. The remaining family members kept the home until 1949, then faced with the devastation of WWII they had to sell the property.
From there, the Felt Mansion went through a series of changes. The Saint Augustine Seminary, a Catholic boys school, purchased the mansion and grounds using it for classrooms. As the school grew, however, they build a Seminary, and it became housing for the nuns. Later in the 1970s, it was purchased by the State of Michigan to be used as a prison, with a portion as State Police office. In the 1990s, it was purchased by the Township and sold for only $1. It lay abandoned until it was found by a hiking couple one day. This couple dedicated hours formed a committee and still works to restore this part of Michigan history to the glory it is for us to view today.
Costs Of Travel
Naturally, tours were closed, but the grounds and the mansion itself are purely stunning, so we did as any tourist would do walked around and took photos. There is the main house, a stunning fountain, a small chapel, as well as the stables where the Dorrs lived while they awaited completion of their home. 100% free and worth an afternoon of exploration.
The Felt Mansion is located in Holland, Michigan