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Otsego Club and Resort (Hidden Valley, Otsego Ski Club)

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Hidden Valley, Otsego Ski Club
1939, Hugh T. Keyes; 1947–present. 696 MI 32 (E. Main St.), 1 mile east of Gaylord
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)

Hidden Valley is Michigan's first and best reflection on Swiss Alpine architecture. Donald B. McLouth (1902–1954), founder and president of McLouth Steel Corporation, together with other Detroit industrialists and ski enthusiasts C. Thorne Murphy, Alvan MacCauley, David Wallace, Gordon Saunders, and Lang Hubbard, established in 1939 the Otsego Ski Club. Seeking snow and hills comparable to New England and Canada, they acquired land hidden in the beautiful valley of the fast-flowing Sturgeon River, where they cut ski trails. In 1947, after World War II, Keyes (1888–1963), a Detroit architect noted for his Georgian Revival houses in Grosse Pointe, who was trained at Harvard and had worked in the office of Albert Kahn, designed lodges and cabins as part of the club's expansion program. They are in a loosely interpreted form of Swiss Alpine models preferred by the club members who had skied in the Alps. The buildings are named the Logmark, Tyrol Lodge, Hilltop Lodge, Forest Lodge, the Loft, and Main Lodge and serve as dormitories and bedrooms, dining rooms, and recreation hall. The buildings have fieldstone foundations and fireplaces, vertical log exterior walls and knotty pine interior walls. Gables containing scrolled bargeboards, bell towers, balconies, bays, cut woodwork, and gaily painted wood trim abound. McLouth promoted the adoption of the Tyrolean theme by the city of Gaylord, which is evident in every direction from Main Street and even in the Otsego County Courthouse (1968, Frank and Stein). The private ski club has grown into a year-round outdoor recreational facility on 4,300 acres. In 2007 Osprey Recreational Properties purchased the resort.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert



Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Otsego Club and Resort (Hidden Valley, Otsego Ski Club)", [Gaylord, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 447-447.

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