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Waldenwoods 170 Year History

Waldenwoods sits on a beautiful 140 acre spring fed lake, surrounded by 400 acres of wooded splendor.  When you come into Waldenwoods you are transported back to an era when the world was less complicated and life was simpler.
Waldenwoods has been owned and operated by the Crouse Family since 1837, when they helped to plat the original village of Hartland.  J. Robert Crouse was born in 1874 and was raised in Hartland.  As a teenager, he and his family moved to Ohio where they had business interests.  Mr. Crouse returned to Michigan to attend U of M.  After graduation, he joined his father, J. B., and his uncle, H. A. Tremaine in the family businesses.  These included pioneering ventures in the dairy, refrigeration, electric lighting, and even the automotive industry.
J. Robert was very successful and was widely known as the "Father of Cooperation".  He received honors from such well-known contemporaries as Herbert Hoover when Hoover was Secretary of Commerce, Thomas A. Edison and Charles F. Kettering.  In 1924, J. Robert Crouse developed the land on the East shore of what was then known as Brophy Lake.  He constructed the three large lodges to serve as a meeting place not only for his own businesses but for industry-wide meetings to foster cooperation among business competitors.

Mr. Crouse, a great admirer of Henry David Thoreau, named his retreat Waldenwoods.  His family later renamed the 140-acre lake "LAKE WALDEN" after Thoreau's famous book "WALDEN".  Upon completion of the main buildings, he created the "Cromaine Society" defining the objective of the Society as follows:

"TO IMPLANT IN THE MINDS AND HEARTS OF EVERY MEMBER A GREATER LOVE OF COUNTRY AND THE DESIRE TO PLAY FAIRLY IN THE GAMES OF BUSINESS AND LIVING."

Through the years, Waldenwoods has been known as a peaceful conference center for many types of groups, a scenic place to camp, and as a great little fishing spot.  Waldenwoods is now primarily used as a private family recreation resort.  Families and their friends can enjoy the natural beauty of Waldenwoods on a daily, weekend, or weekly basis, to help draw families together for “quality time”.
We at Waldenwoods feel the need to get back to the idealism of J. Robert.  So Waldenwoods is now building a reputation as one of the finest banquet and conference centers in Michigan.  Waldenwoods unique character and charm will leave a memorable and lasting impression on your guests or business associates.

Waldenwoods Resort and Conference Center in Hartland Michigan

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