Thomas E. Douglas

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Douglas House   

Thomas E. Douglas was born and educated in Canada, and moved the Michigan to came to work as a bookkeeper in his uncle's lumber mill in Saginaw.

In 1893, he moved to Grayling to manage the R. Hansen Lumber Company. Riding the wave of the lumber boom, in 1898 Douglas built a sawmill and general store in what was then the small logging community of Lovells. Fire destroyed the general store in 1903, and Douglas built a new store. In 1916, as the lumbering era was winding down, he constructed the Douglas House and established the North Branch Outing Club to draw tourists to the area. He used electricity generated in his mill to power the hotel.

The Douglas House, also known as the Douglas Hotel or the North Branch Outing Club, is a hunting lodge located at 6122 East County Road 612 in Lovells Township, Michigan. It was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 2000 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.

With the rise in the popularity of the automobile, Douglas targeted wealthy travelers as club members, and drew members from the new Detroit automobile aristocracy such as Henry Ford and his son Edsel, John and Horace Dodge, and Charles Nash. Douglas had his daughter Margaret manage the hotel, a position which she occupied until it closed in 1971. Margaret continued to live in the hotel until her death. In 1996, the Douglas House reopened as a bed-and-breakfast known as "Fuller's North Branch Outing Club."


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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017