Manitou Lodge, photo submitted c. 1997 Manitou Lodge, photo submitted c. 1997 Manitou Lodge, photo submitted c. 1997
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Manitou Lodge
Hiawatha Sportsman's Club, Museum Trail off US-2 Garfield Township [Private Property], Naubinway - Mackinac County
Other Names Hiawatha Sportsman's Club
Property Type lodge
log building
Style Other
Architect/Builder George Bunn
Harold G. Benriter
Narrative Description Built in 1931 of native timber and limestone, the Manitou Lodge is located on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. The main part of the gable end structure has modestly pitched roofs. A twelve-foot-by-fifty-six-foot screened porch with an almost flat, shed-type roof, runs the full length of the south side, providing a view of Lake Michigan. Two long, shallow-pitched, gabled wings, housing sleeping rooms, jut from the main section of the lodge to the north. The north facades of the wings are mirrors of each other. In the eastern wing, a central doorway is flanked by a three-over-one sash window on its right and a small square window on its left. Placement of windows in the western wing are reversed. The lodge remains as originally built, consisting of a lobby and sleeping rooms. Presently, the Hiawatha Sportsman's Club uses the building as a library and museum, displaying exhibits regarding the history of the club, natural history, and Native Americans. The museum is for club members only and is not open to the public. The lobby is the most impressive space in the lodge. The exposed timbers of the steeply pitched ceiling and walls and the monumental, limestone fireplace all contribute to the rustic character of the building. Small stones arranged above the fireplace mantle read "MANITOU."
Statement of Significance The Manitou Lodge is an excellent example of large-scale log construction. It is the best preserved building in the Hiawatha Sportsman's Club. The building's rustic character symbolizes the club's purpose as a wilderness retreat for outdoor sports enthusiasts who dwell in cities. Dr. William E. McNamara of Lansing acquired the thirty-two thousand acres of land that originally comprised the Hiawatha Club. Organized in 1927, the club's buildings have undergone changes throughout the last seventy years. Beginning in 1930 Dr. McNamara began assembling architects and contractors for construction of a "club hotel." The architects' plans for a fifty-room hotel with an eighty-eight-foot screened porch were scaled down due to the economic conditions brought on by the Great Depression. The resulting building consisted of sixteen sleeping rooms, a lobby and a fifty-six-foot screened porch. When completed the building incorporated design elements from plans by Philadelphia architect George Bunn and Lansing architect Harold G. Benriter. Logs were cut from the club's property to construct the building and limestone was cut from a quarry, also on club property. Lloyd, Martin and Lormer Eisenbach, masons from Barryton, Michigan, designed and built the limestone fireplace in the lobby.
Period of Significance 1930-1997
Significant Date(s) 1930
Registry Type(s) 01/23/1997 State Register listed
Site ID# P3522