If your travels take you near Rochester, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, be sure to visit
Meadow Brook Hall, one of America’s “castles.” This 110-room house, which once required two
dozen servants to maintain, was built for Matilda Dodge Wilson, widow of one of the two
brothers who founded the Dodge Motorcar Company.
The 88,000-square-foot Tudor-style
mansion, a registered national and state historic landmark, features rich walnut-paneled
walls, sculptured and painted ceilings, oak and stone carvings and gothic windows – all
reflecting Matilda’s love of English country manors. Despite Meadow Brook Hall’s
18th-century look, it was built (with every modern amenity) between 1926-1929. Innovations
included unique communications and air-cooling systems that were well ahead of their time.
In the late 1950s, the Wilsons – Matilda and her second husband, lumber broker John Wilson
– deeded the 1,400-acre estate and $2 million to found Oakland University; public tours
have been given daily since 1971. For directions and details: (248) 370-3140, meadowbrookhall.org.