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.


  1. Thank you for sharing. I'm doing research on Albert Stickley.

  2. How interesting reading all of this. I heard stories all my life about the lodge on Beaton lake. My grandmother was Dorothy, my father was Robert. The pictures were awesome. Thank you so much for posting such an interesting and informative article.

    1. Dorothy's son Albert was my grandfather. Al talked about the lodge once in awhile. Thank you for posting the pictures. I have always wondered what it looked like.

    2. Would love to talk more about this with you. Please contact me at 12pud12sce@gmail.com.

  3. Great history! Love it. My father was Albert Stickley Jacobs. I'm his only daughter Cynthia Jacobs. I have a transcript that my dad was writing before he passed away that gives more of his personal account as a young boy staying at the lodge. I also have some of the silver that was salvaged from the lodge with the Stickley markings. I love ancestry history and this article is a nice piece. Thank you!! Cynthia

    1. Would love to talk more about this with you. Please contact me at 12pud12sce@gmail.com. Were related:)

    2. I am also related. I hope you will contact me at jillian.fehrenbach@gmail.com please. Albert Stickley was my great-great grandfather. My great grandmother Florence L Stickley Kusterer Hatch (his daughter by first marriage) was my dad's grandma until he was 4 years old, and then she legally adopted him as her own heir (son) because his own parents neglected him. There is so much more to the story. I too have silver pieces -- coffee and the like. Cynthia, can we meet to swap stories and have a show-and-tell? You too HPHS?

  4. STICKLEY LODGE PHOTO ALBUM - I've never seen it but heard about it often as a child. We(my immediate family) had it in our possession for years after the lodge burnt down. At some point it was given to Dorothy's son Robert and his family. Not knowing for sure... my assumption it was acquired by the Stickley Furniture Company located in Manlius, New York.

  5. My dauther and i was there at the lodge in 2009 .i grew up on that lake when i was kid.i want to buy my mom parents old summer house on beaton lake.in 2009 when my daughter and i went there we found the my mom parents house its look like same one green house i wish i new the address so i can try to buy it for us.it is cross from a park and middle of beaton lake it was green house on a hill looking over the lake ..please me

  6. I purchased a lot on the south end, east shore. I was born and raised near Beatons Lake and plan to build my retirement home there.