Saturday, December 31, 2016





Follow THIS LINK for all posts related to the Tiffany house at Madison Avenue.

Saturday, December 24, 2016


    saw three ships come sailing in On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day; I saw three ships come sailing in On Christmas Day in the morning.OLD CAROL

Like the great multitudes of Galilee They crowd the slopes about the clustered Seas, Hearing his word through shining gladness And through the rain; Daily they grow in grace and strength, For God himself hath fashioned them. When the white stillness hushes all the Land, & Every sail is winter-folded from the tempest seas, Three ships embarking for a further shore Bear a great multitude, to where Towering, tumultuous, a City stands - Struggling with darkness, bondage, fears and pain - Open as Israel in Egypt. And as to Moses in the burning Bush. The voice of God decreed men's Liberty. So doth his message burn again; And like the Pentecostal flame his Sprig glows upon them. The Christmas Eve is come; Behold the Trees! Whose tongues of Living Fire Tell men and little children "The Christ of God IS Here."

   On November 25, the Rouse Simmons departed Thompson Harbor between Point Aux Barques and Manistique in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Captain "Santa"
by Sandra Murzyn

   The barometer was falling as Captain Schuenemann entered the open water. The crew and ten lumberjacks brought on board to fell Christmas trees watched from inside the cabin as snow danced through the rigging. Those on duty pulled their collars up against a wind that blew with increasing strength. The spray of the rising seas lashed the Christmas trees on deck. There was nothing the crew could do as their cargo froze beneath a layer of ice. There was concern because any shifting of the frozen cargo could spell disaster.

The Rouse Simmons
by Charles Vickery
   Struggling along the eastern shore of the Door Peninsula, the Rouse Simmons was spotted by a tug and the brig Dutch Hoy. Sometime between November 25 and 26, Captain Schuenemann raised the distress flags. The following day, the Sturgeon Bay Coast Guard Station observed the Rouse Simmons. The Simmons was spotted once again, this final time by the United States Lifesaving Station at Two Rivers.

"Sailing Into Eternity" by Eric Forsberg
   Fighting the lake and a driving blizzard, the Simmons continued on. The distress flags still visible and tattered sails whipping in the wind, the Rouse Simmons refused to surrender without a battle of epic proportions.

   The snow closed in a final time and the Rouse Simmons vanished from view. Lost from sight of land, the Rouse Simmons slipped beneath the waves.

   None of her crew was ever found, but through the years, she kept calling for help. 

   Two weeks and six days after she went down, a fisherman came across a corked bottle. In it was a torn sheet from the captains log, with his farewell message. It read, “Friday…everybody goodbye. I guess we are all through. Sea washed over our deck load Thursday. During the night the small boat washed overboard. Leaking bad. Ingvald and Steve fell overboard Thursday. God help us.” It was signed Herman Schuenemann. 

   The next spring, trees weighted down nets hauled in by commercial fisherman. Twelve years after she sank a fishing trawler hauled up a wallet belonging to Captain Schuenemann. The wallet, well preserved because it was wrapped in oilskin, contained business cards, a newspaper clipping and an expense memorandum

Rouse Simmons
    The Rouse Simmons was what lake mariners called a "lumber hooker," a ship that engaged in repeated short-haul voyages, taking lumber from mill to market. The craft was named for a prominent Kenoshan whose family would give the world the Simmons Beautyrest mattress.

"Yuletide Cargo" by Eric Forsberg
Rouse Simmons arrives in Chicago at the Clark Street Bridge
    The vessel made an annual Christmastime voyage to Chicago loaded with evergreen trees from the woods around the tiny Upper Peninsula town of Thompson, on Lake Michigan near Manistique.

"Christmas Tree Schooner"
 by Charles Vickery
    From the late 1800's it became a yearly tradition for a crowd—including many excited kids—to gather at Chicago’s Clark Street docks to welcome “Captain Santa” and crew, and buy Christmas trees right off the ship.

Captain Schuenemann continued this holiday trade until the fatal foundering, during a winter gale, of his schooner, the Ross Simmons, in which the doughty captain and his crew lost their lives.

   For over eighteen years Captain Scheunemann made annual trips across the lake. Each year he returned with enough Christmas trees to supply the entire city.

Historic marker located in Thompson, Michigan.
   The Christmas Tree Ship remained lost until 1971, when the Rouse Simmons was discovered by a diver. The Rouse Simmons rests in 180 feet of water off Rawley Point, Two Rivers, Wisconsin. 

The largest artifact from the Rouse Simmons, its anchor, was raised in the 1970's and sits on permanent display in front of the Milwaukee Yacht Club.

   Various pieces of the wreck have be reclaimed and are on display at the Rogers Street Fishing Village Museum in Two Rivers and the Milwaukee Yacht Club.  

A key chain and cuff links, both carved from one of the initial Christmas trees raised from the sunken ship.

Capt. Schuenemann’s twin daughters, Hazel and Pearl Schuenemann, standing among Christmas trees for sale wearing garlands of greens around their necks.

   The tree business was continued by Schueneman's wife and daughters, but the practice of hauling by schooner was replaced by train and road by the 1920's.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw

  Today the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw continues the Christmas Ship tradition each December by carrying about 1,200 trees from northern Michigan to Navy Pier in Chicago, where they are distributed to needy families.

Follow the links listed below for more -

The Christmas Tree Ship: Captain Herman E. Schuenemann and the Schooner Rouse Simmons By Glenn V. Longacre -

Great Lakes  Chanteys -

Tuesday, December 13, 2016



Stickley Lodge
    Overlooking Beaton lake, which nestles between two shore lines that are bordered by miles of virgin timber, stands the Stickley lodge. From Marenisco it is an 18 mile drive on Highway No. 2 to the road which leads into the Stickley lodge, while residents of Watersmeet have only 11 mile to travel to reach the camp.

***Property had its own railroad spur. With a big "S" on the hillside marking his private train stop, Mr Stickley could be dropped off at the covered shelter with steps leading up the hill to the lodge. You can still make out the grading for the tracks thru the swamp.***

Beaton Lake

Stickley Lodge
   The main lodge at the Stickley camp is a mammoth two-story structure of the rambling type. It is constructed of peeled logs that were rolled in oil, while a hardwood interior adds to the attractiveness of the home.

   Servants' quarters, a modern kitchen, large and spacious living rooms, a dining hall, a library which could supply one with a different book each day of the year, and a music hall that houses a $50,000 Aeolian pipe organ are found on the first floor.

Music Room
   Every room is furnished with the latest type of furniture, and visitors to the home could easily believe they were entering the palace of a king instead of a summer home.

   Three comfortable looking fireplaces give the living rooms on the first floor an attraction that makes one want to stay for awhile.


Music Room
   The first pipe organ of its kind in the Upper Peninsula was installed at the Stickley lodge. It was the second pipe organ in the United States that was installed with a piano attachment. The organ represents a total investment of more than $50,000 and it took workmen more than two months to install the machinery.

   The organ proper, an echo and a grand piano may all be played at the same  time. Either the organ or the piano may be played separately. A special motor is used when the organ is being played, and if the player is not a musician it is but necessary to attach a roll.

   Mr, Stickley has a large music library, and any visitor may find a selection suitable to his tastes among the 176 records.

   The tones of the organ are majestic, and the listener can easily imagine himself in some cathedral when the music peals forth.


   Mr. Stickley's love for the better things in music was responsible for the installation of the organ.

   "It makes no difference what taste a man has in music. I can play selections that will please him." said Mr. Stickley, "I own 176 records that consist of selections from the masters as well as some of the more popular pieces.

   "I never realized how much people love music until I installed the organ. This organ is one of my dreams. Some of the numbers are like heavenly music, I have many times lost the price of this organ, and if I can be instrumental in portraying the better things in life through it, I shall be satisfied. I consider the organ a great musical accomplishment and that hearing it is a wonderful education in music."

   When the roads to the camp which are under construction at the present time are opened, Mr. Stickley expects to hold open house at which time concerts will be given each week for the public.


   Both Mr. and Mrs. Stickley take great delight in entertaining their friends, and the second floor has been set aside for this purpose. A large crow's nest, where 15 people may be housed at night, and smaller bedrooms are found on the second floor. A billiard room, where a special imported table is located, and other smaller rooms comprise the second floor.

   Electric lights, steam heat and other modern facilities are found throughout the lodge.

Stickley Lodge
   A smaller building for the caretaker, a garage, a large barn, an ice house and other smaller structures are scattered over the grounds. Of especial interest is a large Dutch windmill, which has been constructed along the same type as the other buildings. It is located near the main lodge and has a picturesque appearance.

   A private electric plant provides the the light and  power for the various buildings. The latest type of machinery is used at the power plant and as a result Mr. Stickley always has plenty of electricity for various purposes.


   Mr. Stickley is a conservationist, and nothing delights him more then to see animals in their wild stages. A special cement pond is occupied by wild mallards, Egyptian ducks and other fowl. The caretaker has been instructed by Mr. Stickley to see that the birds are properly cared for at all times.

   Mr, Stickley is now constructing a building where Chinese pheasants and other members of that family may maintain headquarters.

   "I would rather see the wild birds flying than to kill even one of them," said Mr. Stlickley. "I love wild animals. Even the deer come up to my lodge, and if you could have seen my garden this fail you would have imagined it had been visited by marauders. But the deer and other animals are welcome at all times.

   "See those large birds?" said Mr. Stickley, as he pointed to two unusual looking ducks. "They are Egyptian ducks. I do not believe there are any other birds of this kind in the vicinity. I hope to add other birds of this type to my present collection as soon as I can get permission from the state.


   Workmen are now constructing a nine hole golf course on tho grounds which when completed, will be ideal for any golfer. It is on this course that Mr. Stickley hopes to spend many enjoyable hours next summer when he comes here for his vacation.

   The work of a landscape gardener together with the natural beauty of the grounds will make the setting a beautiful one.

   It is proper that Mr. Stickley should be interested In Gogebic county, for he is the first timber owner in the county who has made a donation to the park system,

   When on a visit to Gogebic county a short time ago State Park Commissioner P. J. Hoffmaster(as in P. J. Hoffmaster State Park) classed the Stickley park on Lake Gogebic as the most beautiful park in the state of Michigan.

   A lake frontage of 89 acres running for three-fourths of a mile was donated to the county several years ago by Stickley for $1. Additional land has been purchased by the park board. The entire property was turned over by the county to the state, and now is known as the Stickley Park.

***Unknown to me when or how the land was adsorbed into Lake Gogebic  State Park.*** 

   If there is one thing which Mr. Stickley does not want it is credit for the donation. He disclaims any personal credit for the gift and when asked about it endeavors to change the subject.

   "In time to come when people will not know what virgin timber is, they can constantly visit this park," said Mr. Stickley. "The gift was made for future generations of the county and the state. If I, through this gift, could be instrumental in having a road constructed around Gogebic lake, I would consider myself well repaid for the gift."

   Both Mr. and Mrs. Stickley are ideal hosts. At their dinner table almost daily, some friend is seated. In the future, when the roads have been completed, more people of the county will have an opportunity to visit a summer home, which for a time was considered as a possible vacation summer white house by President Coolidge.

   Mr. and Mrs. Stickley left this week for their home at Grand Rapids, but will return within a few weeks to entertain a few friends from Grand Rapids during the hunting season after which they will leave for California to spend the winter. IRONWOOD DAILY GLOBE NOVEMBER 1, 1927

   Albert poured over $330,000 into the property. That's over $4.5 million today! Albert died less then a year later on October 20, 1928. Mrs. Stickley carried on for a few years entertaining as usual. I don't know all the circumstances but presume the money that was left was either not enough to support her lifestyle or was lost during the crash of 1929. 


   Mrs. Albert Stickley Denies Selling Lodge to Chicago Gangster.

   Mrs. Albert Stickley today emphatically denied that she has at any time negotiated with Al Capone or any of his agents for the sale of her lodge on Beaton lake, "The rumor is false and must have been started by some mallclous person who likes to gossip," said Mrs. Stickley. "I think too much of the state of Michigan to be instrumental in bringing the Chicago gangster here. I would not be instrumental in undoing the work that was started by Mr. Stickley in the state he loved so welt, Michigan was the home of Albert Stickley and his interests were in the states at all times. I am trying to carry on. I think it was very unkind on the part of someone to start the rumor."

   Mrs. Stickley said the rumor may have started when she entertained Mr. and Mrs. Frank Mars of Chicago at her lodge several weeks ago. Mr. Mars came here for the purpose of inspecting the lodge. He is a candy manufacturer at Chicago.

   Another dispute aroused when Micheal Cassius McDonald, original owner of the land, put a fence and gate on the road barring access to Mrs. Stickley and her guests. This began at the beginning of the summer of 1932. Just when Mrs. Stickley had decided to open the lodge for paying guests. She was granted full access after filing suit and winning an injunction.

This magazine-style promotional piece was issued by the Upper Peninsula Development Bureau. Advertisement placed in 1936.
   Later the true character of her neighbor was revealed - 


   St. Paul, Jan. 25—(AP)—Convicted as conspirators in the $200,000 kidnapping of Edward G. Bremer, wealthy bank president, two Barker-Karpis mobsters today were doomed for life terms in a federal prison while a third confederate(Cassius McDonald), labeled as the "money-changer'' awaited sentence next Saturday.  He was found guilty of exchanging a considerable portion of the ransom money in Cuba.

   The wife of Cassius McDonald carried on negotiations from Detroit with Frank Van Gorder, register of deeds at Bessemer in October with a view to putting up the Gogebic Hunting and Fishing club property in Gogebic county as bail for McDonald's release pending sentencing. The federal government refused to accept the property without clear title.

   The property now known as Stickley Lodge was built by McDonald in 1908 and the late Albert Stickley of Grand Rapids purchased(for $22,500) the property in 1920, including the buildings and about 300 acres of timber land and lake frontage. 

   Three years ago McDonald built the new summer home on Beaton's Lake, a short distance from the Stickley property, and it was known as Cassida Lodge. Since it was built, he has kept a caretaker there, but he visited the summer home, only for short periods. IRONWOOD DAILY GLOBE JANUARY 25, 1936

This magazine-style promotional piece was issued by the Upper Peninsula Development Bureau. Advertisement placed in 1941.

      Mrs. Stickley's daughter from a previous marriage and her husband moved in to help her mother with the lodge operations. 

  Watersmeet, Jul. 24  The three sons of Mr. and Mrs. Lodwick Jacobs, were baptized Wednesday evening at an impressive service held at Stickley Lodge Wednesday night. They are Bruce Edwards, Robert Martindale and Albert Stickley Jacobs. Mr. and Mrs. Jack Frost of Tuson, Ariz. were the godparents. The Rev. Mr. Danforth, of Kenilworth, Ill., officiated. A lunch was served afterward.

   The lodge was decorated with garden flowers and an altar was placed in the music room. Bayne Cummins played selections on the pipe organ. IRONWOOD DAILY GLOBE JULY 24. 1942

   My assumption the war years put an end to the business and they were forced to sell.

   In 1946 they moved to Baraga, where they operated the Stickley's Bayview Hotel until 1965. Emlyn Lewis Martindale Stickley passed away on October 3, 1952 in Baraga, Michigan.

The Lure Book of Michigan's Upper Peninsular, 1947


   WAKEFIELD—Stickley Lodge, on Beaton's Lake, near Watersmeet, was destroyed by fire of undetermined origin Friday evening. The estimated original value of the building was $125,000 and was believed to be at least partially covered by insurance. The Lodge was built by Albert Stickley.

   The lodge was owned by Floyd Barry, 100 Capitol Drive, Battle Creek(one time mayor of the city), who had arrived here Thursday to do some hunting near his lodge, but he was not in the lodge when the fire started. The fire was reported to the Watersmeet fire department by the caretakers, Mr. and Mrs. Gustman, who discovered the fire at 6:15 p. m. It was believed to have begun from a newly installed oil space heater. The fire department was given credit for keeping the fire from spreading to adjoining buildings and the caretakers cottage, but several large trees had to be cut down to keep the fire from spreading.

   The building was said to be one of the largest and most beautiful lodges in this area. The building was 160 by 120 feet and made entirely of logs. There were nine rooms on the first floor and three on the second floor. One of the master bedrooms was believed to be the largest and most beautiful in Michigan. A music room held several pianos, one valued at $10,000 and also several organs. One pipe organ was valued at from $40,000 to $60,000. The lodge also had a large library, including many rare volumes and first editions of considerable value. The owner had traveled extensively and had large collections of valuable material. Nothing was salvaged in the fire. State Troopers Bruno Guzin and Carl Stromer of the local State Police Post were called to the fire to help. ESCANABA DAILY PRESS OCTOBER 7, 1952

Hixson Plat Map, Gogebec County,1920.

   Follow THIS LINK to see where Stickley Lodge stood. THIS LINK to see the lodge extant in a 1952 aerial.

The Lure Book of Michigan's Upper Peninsular, 1954

   After the death of Mrs. Stickley, the Jacobs added a war surplus  Quonset, using the space as a bar. 

   What I remember of the hotel is vague. It was a large, painted white L-shaped building with a wrap around porch on two levels offering views of the bay. Twin dining rooms served food.  

The remains of the Quonset and Stickley's Bayview Hotel.
      Dorothy Martindale Jacobs, Mrs. Stickley's daughter, was a distant cousin of mine. My Great-grandmother was Mrs. Stickley's niece. 

   Today would have been her 116th birthday.

Follow THIS LINK to read about the Wizard of Oz connection.


December 31, 1863 - October 20, 1928

Early Grand Rapids Furni-
ture Manufacturer Dies in Watersmeet Lodge.


Man of Original and Aggres-
sive Thought, He Pio-
neered New Designs.

   Albert G. Stickley, 64, prominent Grand Rapids manufacturer, died unexpectedly Saturday morning at his estate Stickley Lodge, Gogebic county. He had not been in good health for some time, but death came unexpected, as he apparently had recovered from a heart malady which he suffered four years ago and had actively engaged in the furniture business since that time.

Albert Stickley
Grand Rapids
Stickley Bros. Furniture 
   Albert Stickley was considered to be a man of unusual powers. He combined the qualities of original thinking with aggressive action and thinking with aggressive action and adjusted his business to the ever-changing standards. A thorough sportsman, he played with the same enthusiasm that inspired his work. He was regarded by those who knew him closely as a charming host and a never-failing friend. 


Dining room designed by Davis Robinson Smith for the Stickley Brothers in 1905.

   In the furniture thought he frequently was ahead of the times. He was quick to see new trends and even more quick to adapt his business to frequent changes and innovations. He received most of his ideas and inspiration from human contacts, from the needs of people as he saw them. 

Stickley Quaint American Furniture Hand Painted Bedroom Set.
***Connected to this story is my memories of being told of "Stickley Green", a particular shade developed by Albert.***    

   When debating upon the color of a suit of furniture he would go into the woods and, with an artist, copy the colors of the autumn leaves, the deep green of a spring field or the particular blue of a lake. These he transplanted upon his furniture with charming and artistic effects.
A dining room in Quaint Arts and Crafts designed by Arthur E. Teal for Stickley Brothers in 1908.

   Mr Stickley was among the first to see the growing need of small furniture for the continually decreasing size of the home. This furniture he made after the ideas of early French, English and Colonial designers, naming his product after the quaint persons and places known to history.


James  Seino, head of the first Japanese family in Grand Rapids and probably in Michigan, graduated from the Imperial Academy of Art in Tokyo and studied art in Paris and New York. James Seino worked his entire career in Grand Rapids as head of the decorating department at the Stickley Brothers Co.
   Though not an educated man in the academic sense, Mr. Stickley believed in constructive and upbuilding enlightenment. He was a stickler for accuracy, whether it pertained to the stripe on the leg of a chair or baiting a hook for trout. He was impatient with lethargy and an admirer of genius and industry. 

Stickley Brothers Furniture, Decorating Department 1920's
The photo shows men and women applying decorative designs to various pieces of furniture. At the right is a piece decorated with the oriental motif of a peacock. 

1924 Antique Oriental Cabinet by Albert Stickley-Quaint Mission Design.
   He made and sold his furniture on the merits of its design and construction and often scrapped months of work because of his opinion, might have improved the product.

   In 1924 he was stricken with a heart disorder which then nearly cost his life. For two years his physicians were uncertain as to the outcome. During that period there was scarcely a day some phase of the furniture business did not interest him, although he was forbidden to give thought to such affairs.


Stickley Lodge

The Stickly lodge at Watersmeet was typical of Albert Stickley. 

Music Room
   There he installed an organ costing  upwards of $30,000 and one of the delights he reaped from the investment was to have the Indians, miners and farmers of the upper peninsula hear the music. 

Music Room
    In his years, owing to his precarious health, he abandoned the stress and his active hunting, deriving most of his pleasure from inviting his friends to Watersmeet and hearing them talk about their own achievements.

   Mr. Stickley was born in Pennsylvania. Albert and his brother, J. George Stickley, came from a furniture environment, having been in the business with their father in Binghamton, N. Y., the first company being known as Stickley & Simonds and later Stickley & Brandt.

Stickley Brothers Furniture Co.
   He came to Grand Rapids in 1881 building a factory in that year and starting operation the following spring. For seven years previous to the war Mr Stickley maintained a branch of Stickley Bros. in London.

   Mr. Stickley was a leading member of the Furniture Manufacturers association of Grand Rapids and a member of the Peninsular club and of clubs in Chicago and New York. He divided his time between Grand Rapids, where he had lived at the Pantlind hotel, and his summer home.

   Besides the widow he leaves a daughter, Mrs, C. C. Kusterer, Grand Rapids, and his brother, now in the east.  IRONWOOD DAILY GLOBE OCTOBER 20, 1928

In 1900 Albert Stickley built this yellow-brick Georgian Revival at 60 prospect N. E. The doorway is highlighted by pilasters with a scrolled pediment and finial. Note the elaborate detail in the frieze and medallions of the cornice along the roofline.
MODERN HALLS are worthy of a book themselves, for it is here that one gains the first impression of the house and the hall should be like the title page to a book—an index of what is to follow. The Hall is from the beautiful home of Mr. Albert Stickley, and although the photograph gives some idea of its beauty, it is a pity the camera did not have eyes in the back of its head for the view towards the entrance is equally attractive. 

   Here on either side of a mahogany and coppered glass doorway, are two little charming oval windows, deeply recessed in nooks, that make delightful places for hall palms. The woodwork is selected mahogany, and one feature in particular value is that the mahogany is finished natural, (which makes it only a little darker than cherry) instead of the rather dark, gloomy finish which is commonly used. The floor of this room and in fact of the whole down stairs and the upper halls is of quarter sawed oak. The walls are in a very deep, rich green, the ceiling in neutral buff. The double hangings of the doorways entering the hall give an indication of the color scheme of the adjoining room in the under curtain. In this way the dining room hangings for the entrance to that room, give a touch of bright rich red that is a charming contrast to the deep green of the walls. Rugs with the prevailing colors of old red, deep green, dull gold and brown, and furniture, some in brown English oak and some in mahogany break any tendency to monotony or severity in this particularly attractive hall in an exceptionally attractive home, the credit for which is due to the owner's own taste and judgment. Inside Modern Homes
THE DINING ROOM is the down stairs guest room," the "assembly room of the family." Here each member of the household is supposed to offer up his or her brightest thoughts of the day and to lay aside for the time all personal troubles and join in general good fellowship.    The very word "refreshment" which should apply to the room itself as well as its use. clearly dictates simple, clean treatment. It must be bright and cheerful, not as quiet as the library, not as gay as the parlor nor as frivolous as the bedroom, but with a certain dignified grace and quality of privacy befitting the place "wherein we do the honors of our house.''

    A glimpse of a pillar through the doorway of this dining room clearly shows it belongs to the hall just described. The room here is a fine example of Chippendale design, both in the woodwork and furniture. The woodwork is English oak of a soft brown, wax finish. The ceiling is again a neutral buff and the walls above the brown oak are a deep warm red, not a glaring red. but one that is in quiet harmony with the brown of the wood word. The hardware is in silver finish, the rug is in small figures of dull reds, browns, etc. The contrasts in the room are found in the bright red leather chair seats and the double door hangings—bright red velvet on one side with just a touch of green from the hall. A charming Little Chippendale serving cabinet furnishes the end of the room opposite the open fireplace and mantel with its twin china closets and sideboards. Inside Modern Homes

Bedroom in the house showing furniture and mantel of dark mahogany, with the general color scheme in dull blue. This is a beautiful bedroom in classic colonial style.

60 Prospect N. E. Grand Rapids Michigan.

   The house was converted to apartments in the 1940's and is now going through renovations.

When MRS. DOROTHY JACOBS was a little girl in Grand Rapids her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Willard Martindale had a cottage at Macatawa Park. At that resort the little girl Dorothy won the friendship of L. Frank Baum, author of "The Wizard of Oz," and in fact came to personify the heroine of the famous writer's stories.
   "Hello, there!" The voice seemed to come from the top of the tree and the tiny, terrified 4-year-old standing under it looked up quickly to see who had discovered her in the very act of picking an unknown neighbor's flowers.

   A tall man, with an enormous mustache and twinkling eyes, was coming down the ladder that led to a platform built high up in the branches of the tree. When he reached the ground the small culprit tried to hand back the bouquet of bachelor buttons which she had plucked from his garden.


   "By all means keep them," he said. "The only reason they were planted was so little girls like you would come and gather them. 'What's your name?" 

   "Dorothy," was the answer. "Well, my little girl is named Dorothy, too, and from now on she's going to wear a blue hair ribbon just like yours."

   This was the first meeting between L. Frank Baum, author of "The Wizard of Oz," and Dorothy Martindale, the youngster who personified to him the heroine of several books he had already written and whose adventures in a magical land have thrilled children for almost 40 years.

A photo taken outside of the L. Frank Baum's Macatawa summer home, nicknamed The Sign of the Goose.
   It happened at Macatawa Park, where Dorothy and her mother, now Mrs. Albert Stickley of Watersmeet, were spending the summer in a cottage right next door to the one owned by the Baums, which was called the Swan. 

***Actually "The Sign of the Goose". Baum was so delighted by the reception of his book, Father Goose, that when he bought a summer cottage with his royalties.*** 


***Macatawa Park opened as a resort in July 1898–originally just a half-mile row of cottages in the limited space between woods and beach. Baum heard about Macatawa from friends at the Chicago Athletic Club.  Ads appeared for the resort in the The Show Window magazine that Baum was publishing.***

Baum decorated his cottage with leaded-glass goose windows, a flying-geese frieze on the walls, and a life-sized goose sign out front. Baum himself made the cottage's wooden furniture, with carved geese designs and nails bearing goose-shaped nailheads.
***These cottages would seem very primitive by modern standards. Not only was there no air conditioning, there was no electricity, no central heat, and no running water. The Baum family sold the cottage in 1909, when they moved to California. The cottage was destroyed in the fire of April 14, 1927, when 35 cottages were lost.*** 


   From then on the little girl and the author spent many hours together. He would tell her tale after tale about her namesake, whom she longed more than anything in the world to meet. Her constant question was "When is she coming here so I can see her?" But Dorothy the heroine was always busy in the fabulous kingdom of Oz, having gay and fantastic adventures with her friends, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow (who seemed very like the casual and rollicking boy who delivered papers to the cottagers).

   Now, after all these years, the real Dorothy has returned to Grand Rapids, the city in which she was born and grew up, to see at last the fairy-tale Dorothy, who has come to life, complete with her blue hair ribbon, in the motion picture, "The Wizard of Oz." 

The theater can be accurately dated by the sign on the corner of the building announcing the grand opening on August 10th and the date of the film named on the marquee, "Within the Law" which was made in 1923.
   Metro Goldwyn-Mayer, producers of the picture which is at the Regent this week, asked her to come and are planning a trip to New York for her.

Today the real-life Dorothy, wife of LODWICK C. JACOBS resides in Watersmeet, Mich., and the episode of her having met Author Baum in her childhood has reached the ears of MGM officials, producers of the current motion picture, and they have arranged a New York visit.
   The little girl who as a real-life Dorothy was an inspiration to Mr. Baum has grown up into an attractive woman. She is the wife of Lodowick C. Jacobs and the mother of three sons, Robert, 16; Bruce, 14, and Albert, 10. Her husband, connected with the state highway department, was formerly of Pontiac, but now they all make their home at Stickley Lodge, deep in the woods near Watersmeet in the northern peninsula.

   ***Lodowick Jacobs  family name was Jacobson, the department store founders. For whatever  he changed his name to Jacobs after the family lost there money during the crash of 1929.*** 


Rowe Hotel
   In their suite at the Rowe hotel, where Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs are staying while in Grand Rapids, she discussed briefly her memories of Mr. Baum.

L. Frank Baum reading on the porch of the Sign of the Goose.
   "He and Mrs. Baum loved children," she said. "And everything about their cottage was intended to attract them. There was a lovely garden, the only one at the beach, and a little swan chair in which I delighted to sit and, rock and listen to his stories. When my friends would visit me he would gather them all around him, take one on his knee and tell us what was going on in Oz. He always smoked a pipe and wore tweedy-looking, clothes." Mining Journal 1939

Once a hotel built in the 1920's to house visitors attending Grand Rapids’ semi-annual Furniture Market, converted into a retirement home in the 1960's. At the end of December 2014, it was announced that after over a decade of standing vacant the building would be transformed into “The Rowe”.
   In a six degree of separation concept, Sam Cummings, who lived at and then donated "Brookby House" to Aquinas College, is partner in CWD, the company involed in the redevelopment of The Rowe. Follow THIS LINK for more on the history of the Rowe Hotel.

Albert Stickley, 1906.
Originator of the Mission type of furniture.
   Stickley Bros. Company was organized in 1891 by Albert Stickley, and incorporated with $100,000 capital was located on Godfrey avenue. During the first year of its existence, the company employed about 75 men with an output of $170,000, and manufactured fancy chairs and all kinds of tables. By 1905 he employed 275 employees, an output of $400,000 and an increase of capital invested to nearly a half a million. Mr. Albert Stickley was president, J. R Carpenter, vice-president; E. L. Maddox, treasurer, and P. H. Read,the secretary.

   In addition to this immense furniture business, the company operated a tannery for the tanning and finishing of Spanish leather. They also manufactured a line of Russian hand beaten copper, besides conducting an inlaying marquetry plant, under the name of T. A. Conti & Co., which turned out some of the finest inlaid work of any plant in the country. From 1897 to 1902 the company maintained a warehouse and branch factory at London, England, employing about 75 men.

   Carl Forslund, founder of Forslund Furniture in Grand Rapids worked for Albert Stickley.

John Wood Blodgett
   In a letter dated October 20, 1928 to E. L. Maddox, treasurer at Stickley Bros. Co., John Wood Blodgett writes - 

I have suggested to Mr. Stanton that they wire you about the sudden death of Mr. Stickley. In a sense, of course, it was not unexpected, although I had not heard he had been lately in a worse condition than before. I will try to send you clippings from the newspapers. This morning's Herald had only a brief account, because the news came in so late.

Harry Stanton went back to his old job last Monday morning. Later yesterday afternoon he came into the office. I then asked him if he had written you that he was back in the Stickley office. He said no, that he had not, and did not know if it would be permanent. He said Mr. Stickley was very nervous, and was not in any physical condition to handle the business, That the business had changed very much since he was in it, and he did not feel competent to run it - at any rate it would be a process of education.

He said the only thing for Stickley to do was to sell out or merge and relieve himself of the burden. He said he was willing to stay and help Stickley to that extent, but no further. He said that Stickley would return next Monday, the 22nd, and he was going to have a talk with him, and advise him of his(Stanton's) conclusions. If Stickley agreed he would stay and help him out, but if not, and Stickley persisted in going on with the business, he would advise him to get some expert furniture man and he, Stanton, would step out. 

It is sad situation, and I suppose we will see you before this letter reaches Sacramento, although I am sending it by air mail.

With best regards to Mrs. Maddox, believe me, Sincerely yours, JW Blodgett

   Being a prominent member of Grand Rapids society and a player in the lumber business its clear  Albert Stickley  and John Blodgett were at least acquaintances. Blodgett had holdings in the Upper Peninsula and was likely a guest of Mr. Stickley. Would he have met Dorothy and known about her story? Perhaps

   In a later letter to E. L. Maddox dated November 6, 1928 - 

I voted in good season this morning, at the hour of 8:00 A. M. There never has been within 50% of the number cast that were cast in several precincts this morning at that hour. If this thing is nation wide, it means a landslide, because in this city this vote means nothing but Hover. The women were at the polls at 7:00 o'clock.

***Blodgett was a big Hover supporter.***

Harry Stanton told me yesterday that he thought that P. H. Travis had always looked after your business matters here, and I called Mr. Travis by telephone and found, to my great satisfaction, that you had retained him and he just had a letter from you to which I suppose he is replying today. 

You could be in no better hands, and I think you have nothing to worry about. Confidentially, Mrs. Stickley has retained Norris, McPherson, Harrington & Waer. Mr. Waer has her matter in charge. In talking with him, I mentioned the fact that I heard from you and you were interested in the estate, and he said Mrs. Stickley had mentioned that fact to him, and I am sure she has also mentioned it to Mr. Stanton. At this time it is , of course, not known whether there will be any litigation over the estate, Ar any rate, unless the furniture business improves, the estate will not be nearly as large as was supposed, and if the last will is sustained, the widow will get practically everything and Mrs. Kusterer will have nothing.

Stickley was a good fellow but more or less erratic and his expenditures in his Gogebic home were entirely out of proportion to his means.

So far as you are concerned, you have nothing to worry about in my judgment, and the only question you have to consider is  when will you get your money. As Mr. Travis has undoubtedly written you, the hearing on the wills will not be held until November 27th, and then it will be settled as to which will be admitted. In the meantime, I will keep in close touch with Mr. Travis and will have Stanton do so, and you can rest assured anything we can do for you we will do most gladly. 

Please give regards to Mrs. Maddox, JW Blodgett

   Albert's death proved complicated. Florence, the daughter from his first marriage, and Emlyn, his second wife, each produced a will signed by Albert granting them the bulk of Albert's sizable estate. In the earlier will, dated November 24, 1924, Albert left his estate to Florence and her three children. In the second will, dated March 15, 1926, Albert named his second wife Emlyn as principle heir. After months of wrangling, the two women settled out of court, agreeing that Albert's second will would stand. The amount which Florence received from Emlyn was not revealed, but the disbursements Albert had included in his last will were made public.   

Albert died in 1928 but was not buried at Oak Hill Cemetery until 1931. The "fitting monument" was never commissioned.

   When Albert died he had three living brothers, two of whom, Charles and Gustav, had seen their savings wiped out as their factories closed. Leopold, like Albert, had amassed a sizable fortune. They also had four sisters: Louise, Mary, Emma and Christine. Albert left each of his four sisters $25,000 - the equivalent today of approximately $342,000. To his brothers Albert left nothing. In their settlement, his daughter and his second wife did also agree to spend $5,000 ($68,000) on a fitting monument over Albert's grave.

Stickley Lodge
   Albert's lodge, described as "palatial'' in newspaper accounts, had eight bedrooms and a huge pipe organ. Albert had an organist from Iron River play at parties he hosted, sometime uniting local farmers, miners and Indians. Albert also entertained leading business figures of the day. The lodge burned shortly after Albert's death: however, the horse barn, converted to a cottage, and the old log sauna remain. 

Follow THIS LINK for more on "Stickley Lodge".

L. Frank Baum

Dorothy Gale and winged monkey.
    My Great-grandmother was the niece of Mrs' Stickley. So, as a child the story was bent in my mind that Dorothy Martindale Jacobs was the inspiration for Baum's Dorothy. I have vague memories of her - petite with long(confined) white hair, always sitting in a chair. 

   Its been suggested that claims of being the REAL inspiration have been floated. The only first person interview that quotes her specifically is the above Mining Journal article. 

   Its clear she states the book had already been published. She was born on December 13, 1900 . If the story is correct at four it would have been 1904. Baum left in 1909. If anything they met and he befriended her. "Well, my little girl is named Dorothy, too, and from now on she's going to wear a blue hair ribbon just like yours."

  Another claimant Dorothy Hall Hall dismisses her claim. "She said she picked flowers there, and there weren't any flowers, just sand," Hall sniffed. "She didn't even live near them."

   HOWEVER a biography of Baum quotes a contemporary interview with him in Macatawa. “I found… Mr. Frank Baum, hovering over the beautiful flower bed which graces the front yard of his pretty cottage.” 

   In a set of interviews in the late 1970's (when she about 80 years old), Dorothy Hall denied believing that she had inspired Dorothy Gale, herself pointing out the greatest problem–that she was born in 1897 and only two at the time of the first draft of Oz, and one in 1898 when one of Baum’s sons first remembered hearing Dorothy stories–so she was an unlikely inspiration.

   In later interviews in the 1980's, when she was about 90, Hall seemed to succumb to the wishes of those around her, and advocated the case that she was indeed the particular inspiration for Dorothy.

   My "Dorothy" had enough credibility to her story to have the producers from MGM studios invite her on a personal appearance tour.

   "Mrs. Jacobs is reported to be in the east this month, on a personal appearance tour as the girl who inspired the heroine of the Oz books. Her tour has been arranged by the motion picture  firm which produced The Wizard of Oz." THE BESSEMER HERALD, SEPTEMBER 1, 1939 

   When he told Oz stories to the Dorothy's in the years after the first book he would tell the tales in the second person, saying “you” instead of Dorothy.

A girl in a gingham dress with checks of white and blue approached by a monkey. Summer of 1899, Macatawa Park. Could  this be the "first" inspiration for Dorothy?

Evergreen Memorial Cemetery Bloomington, IL
   What seems to be concluded now the name "Dorothy" came from a tragic event. On June 11, 1898, in Bloomington, Illinois, a daughter, Dorothy Louise Gage, was born to Sophie Jewel and Thomas Clarkson Gage, the brother of Maud (Gage) Baum. Maud and L. Frank Baum had four sons, and Maud had always longed for a little girl. On November 11, 1898 (five months later to the day), little Dorothy died.
Willard A, Martindale
Grand Rapids
W. A, Martindale & Co.

   One of the largest fire, accident and liability agencies in Grand Rapids is conducted by Willard A. Martindale & Company. Mr. Martindale has been in the insurance business for many years, and numbers among his policy-holders a large percentage of the leading business men and manufacturers of the city. 

   Mr. Martindale has not only built up one of the largest insurance agencies in the city, but has established a reputation for prompt attention and complete satisfaction in the settlement of every loss. The companies represented by him are among the largest in the world in point of assets and financial resources. In fact, they are the leaders among the insurance companies. The Men Behind the Guns in the Making of Greater Grand Rapids, 1909

   William A. Martindale was the first husband of Mrs. Stickley and the father of the future Dorothy Jacobs. I'm unaware of the circumstances on why the two hooked up during the time such behavior was consider a scandal. It was enough to put the first Mrs. Stickley to bed where she died soon after and the newlyweds to retire to the wilds of the Upper Peninsula. There must have been enough of a father/daughter feeling that Dorothy named one of her sons Albert Stickley Jacobs. 

   Today was Dorthy Martindale Jacob's birthday, 116 years ago today. 

   Additional links - From Brothers to Partners to Rivals: A Stickley Legacy
Furniture Detective: Stickley Bros. may be behind ‘Quaint’ furniture

Official Website of L. & J. G. Stickley


L. Frank Baum and the Macatawa Goose Man: Celebrating the origins of "The Wizard of Oz"

The Story of Dorothy Gage, the Namesake for Dorothy in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Wizard of Oz Club convention returns to Holland after 25 years