Granot Loma: Castle and Camp
The only way to truly appreciate this unexpected, extravagant property is to experience it. You will be surprised.
It's the real thing, an American castle, fabulous and grand with a history to match. But it is also a "camp", a comfortable, informal getaway for the family up north at the lake, a place to have fun in new and unexpected ways.
Architectural Digest, "The International Magazine of Fine Interior Design", featured Granot Loma this way in its May, 1995 edition: "The name may sound vaguely Continental, but Granot Loma, rising majestically from the south shore of Lake Superior, is as American as a great American house can be."
"One of the country's most important examples of rustic architecture, Granot Loma is a 26,000-square-foot log palace, an extravaganza of wood and stone. Begun in 1919 by Michigan banker Louis Graveraet Kaufman, it has fifty rooms and luxurious appointments, and it appealed to guests from Hollywood to New York, including George Gershwin, Fred Astaire, Cole Porter and Mary Pickford."
Granot Loma, now renovated and recorded in the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior, is perfectly appropriate in scale to its setting. It is centered on the south shore of Lake Superior, earth's largest lake containing 10% of its available fresh surface water. With no land in sight on the horizon Lake Superior has the limitless dimension, the feel of an ocean. The great lake cools the air in summer and tempers the cold of winter. Northern Lights flicker above in the night.
Global warming is terrible for the earth but so far it has been kind to the Upper Peninsula giving us longer, drier summers, shorter winters, fewer bugs. You don't believe in global warming? Think of the blistering heat and abnormal rain that covered most of the country last year. Remember unusually powerful hurricanes sweeping in off the Gulf. What if that's the new reality? Hedge your bet by thinking of the Upper Peninsula in a new way. At the turn of the century young men looking to make fortunes in timber, land, banking, copper and iron heeded Horace Greeley when he said, "Go west, young man, go west." He was not referring to Montana. Greeley had a copper mine on the Keweenaw, here in the U.P. Perhaps a new era of discovery and settlement is beginning for the U.P., this time based on of all things, the weather.
This property is 14 miles north of Marquette, the Upper Peninsula's largest city, with its regional hospital, Marquette General Hospital, regional seaport, and regional airport. Sawyer International Airport was at one time a B52 base for the U.S. Air Force and has a 12,000' lighted all weather runway. Marquette is home to Northern Michigan University with an Olympic Training Center and Division I sports (hockey). The area boasts championship golf, a ski area with some of the longest, best-groomed ski runs in the Midwest, endless snowmobile and cross country trails, summer stock theater and an active arts community, museums, 21 parks, many fine restaurants and hotels, and right here in the Midwest the unexpected, something you thought was gone: true wilderness, deep and wondrous forests, two tracks and trails, lakes, rivers, streams, granite mountains, sand beaches and the largest lake of all, Superior.
The Lodge is built on a steel frame of concrete and log construction. It has random width oak flooring and a slate roof. On the lake side in respect for the lake, the concrete is six feet thick. The Great Room, worthy of the name, is 23' wide by 62' long with a towering, 24' high open-beamed ceiling and a stone fireplace built so large men can walk into it carrying 4 foot logs. The 18 foot long mantle is a timber thrown up by the lake from the wreck of the Independence, the first propeller-driven ship on Lake Superior.
This is a room built to feel like the prow of a ship cruising Lake Superior. You should see it when the wind rises from the North and the Great Lake is alive, rolling, powerful. Imagine dinner at this great oak table set for eight with English china, English silver, French crystal, all of them one-of-a-kind patterns designed for this place. George Gershwin chose the grand piano and played for dinner guests. Those echoes linger. You feel history. 26 fireplaces, all of different design, fittings made in a blacksmith shop on the property, his-and-hers wine cellars,... the list goes on and on.
The total property includes 4,970 acres, 7.76 square miles, with 3.64 miles of frontage on Lake Superior, including 1.1 miles of fine sand beach and a private island in front of the Lodge. The Little Garlic and Big Garlic rivers, the former a nationally known steelhead trout stream, flow through the property with several waterfalls. 80% of the land is forested. Maple, yellow birch, hemlock and pine predominate, some managed for timber, some preserved as remnants of the great old growth forests that welcomed the pioneers. A web of two-track roads and trails connects the forest to the meadows and fields of the remaining 20%.
With a large, protected land area and diverse cover with forest, fields, marsh and swamp, hunting for whitetail deer and black bear is exceptional and half a dozen beautifully outfitted blinds are scattered about the center of the property. Bird hunting for ruffed grouse and woodcock is equally excellent and in the spring large numbers of steelhead (rainbow trout that live and grow large in Lake Superior) run the rivers. Salmon run in the fall and there is a resident brook trout population year round. Lake Superior is home to huge Mackinaw trout. This place is a dream come true for a hunter or fisherman, snowmobiler or showshoer, mushroom gatherer or birdwatcher, four-wheeler or hiker, writer or historian... there is so much to do, and so much enjoyment in the doing.
This is the spine of the Huron Mountains, which once reached as high towards the sky as the mountains in Tibet. Countless glaciers from the north with ice up to two miles thick have ground them down over the eons, but granite outcroppings dot the land. Behind the Lodge, Garlic Mountain rises 320' above the lake level. From there nearly everything you see in most directions is part of the property. Garlic Island, also a part of the property, stands sentry just off shore.
Tom Baldwin owns and has loved Granot Loma for 20 years and renovated the Lodge to its high historical landmark standards. He says it best: "When you're in the buildings you forget the land, and when you're on the land you forget the buildings." I predict you'll remember both long after you visit!
As it is an occupied first home and the main office for a large financial business operating over a high speed Internet connection, it will be shown only by appointment and only to financially qualified purchasers.
Loma Farm buildings include a Manager's House and Boarding House, Creamery, piggery and cow barn, pigeon house, chicken house, and pheasant house, ice house, slaughter house, laundry, and garage. 250 people once worked here. Today many of these buildings are used for rainy day activities. There's a batting cage, an archery range, and more. Click here for more detail.
You'll leave Granot Loma with regret knowing there is so much to see, far too much to see in a day. Some fortunate person's life is about to change. He or she will return in all the seasons of the year, learn its secrets, and come to call this place home.
Download maps of the Granot Loma land in a variety of views by clicking on these seven links: Overhead (pdf). Three Dimension (pdf) (topography exaggerated 3x). Closeup Granot Loma & Loma Farms (pdf). Property Lines (pdf). Tax Map (pdf). Slopes in color and rivers. Wide panorama (pdf). Some browsers will allow you to view them online. Note that you can enlarge PDF's to see more detail. Additional images, legends and lore may be viewed on Granot Loma's website at granotloma.com.
NOTE: Several aerials photos of Marquette and the coastline to the north, all taken within 15 miles of Granot Loma, are included in the slideshow above and in the photos you can click on individually below. These are off the property but are included to give the viewer an appreciation of the great natural beauty we enjoy in this part of the Upper Peninsula.
More Information About This Listing
Slopes in color, rivers (pdf)
Tax Map (pdf)
Property Lines (pdf)
Three Dimension (pdf)
Closeup Granot Loma & Loma Farms (pdf)
Louis Graveraet Kaufman
Click on any thumbnail to view a larger image!