Hidden among the pine trees far away from any large city or even a paved road is a small chapel. It was built as a memorial in the 1960s by George Mason’s family. After his death in 1954, Mason willed his land to the State Of Michigan. His property consisted of Almost 1500 acres on the south branch of the Au Sable River.
George Mason was the CEO of Kelvinator and then chairman and CEO of American Motors Corporation. He was an avid outdoorsman and purchased the property somewhat located between Grayling and Mio. He enjoyed the tranquility and solitude fishing in the river. He specified after his death he wanted the property is to be used as a game preserve and camping is not allowed. The area is known as the Mason Tract and has 8 miles of hiking paths and is maintained by the DNR.
A dock along the Au Sable River allows canoers and kayakers to access the chapel from the river. I reached the building by taking an un-named two-track a couple of miles to a small parking area. It was a short hike to the somber little chapel where you could listen to the babbling waters of the Au Sauble flow past. If you decide to drive to the chapel, I recommend a truck or SUV with high ground clearance. I never had to put my Jeep in four-wheel-drive, but I did splash through a lot of water holes and soft sand.
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