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Lumbering in Michigan

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The Lumber Baron's Mansion

Lumber barons often built
lavish homes with their fortunes.

Hackley House facade in Lumbering GalleryThe facade of the lumber baron's mansion is based on the 1899 Hackley House in Muskegon, Michigan. Charles H. Hackley arrived in Michigan in 1856 with seven dollars in his pocket. He made his fortune in lumber. His estate was reported to be worth more than $12 million at his death in 1905. During his lifetime and through his will he donated more than $6 million to the city of Muskegon, giving it to a hospital, an art museum, a library, a park and schools and churches.

Some of the architectural features reproduced in the museum include clapboard siding; a gable; ornamental shingles; cove molding; arch latticework; turned posts, newels and spindles; a verandah; a second-floor balcony and stained glass windows. Inside is the lumber baron's parlor, a 25-seat theater featuring a 13-minute program about the life and work of the shanty boys.

Hackley House in Muskegon, Michigan, today

The Hackley House is an example of the architecture and craftsmanship of the late nineteenth century. The original home was built in the Queen Anne style and is open to visitors in Muskegon.

(Photograph of the Hackley House courtesy of the Hackley & Hume Historic Site, property of the Muskegon County Museum.)

Find other elegant houses in Michigan. Use the Search Wizard at Michigan's Historic Sites Online. Search via "Historical Significance" -> "Architectural Style."


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