In the Timbers Recreation Area on North Long Lake Road about 10 miles west of Traverse City sits this beautiful old brown barn. The area’s approximately 240 acres are open to hikers, but it once belonged to a family that owned one of America’s iconic brands.
The Timbers was a resort on Long Lake when Lola Armour vacationed there in 1919 and fell in love with the property. She and her husband J. Ogden Armour, owner of the Armour Meat Packing Company, purchased it that summer. They removed many of the original buildings and constructed a mansion, a lodge, a dormitory, cottages for the superintendent, chauffeur and secretary, two barns, and a boathouse on the lake.
J. Ogden Armour died in 1927, but Lola kept the property until 1945 when she sold the property because she was no longer able to travel to it. Eventually, the property was sold in sections with the home being sold off and The Girl Scouts purchasing 238 acres in 1962, which became the Timbers Girl Scout Camp.
Recently the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy and Long Lake Township purchased the property for public use. Hiking trails throughout the property meander through the forests and fields, and along the old barn and some building from the former estate. The mansion and adjacent property are still privately owned and closed to the public.
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