What could be more lovely than touring Meadow Brook Hall at
Christmas time. It’s been several years since I have toured this
magnificent Tudor style home of Matilda Dodge Wilson, heiress to
her first husband, John Dodge, automotive mogul, and always
remembered how beautifully decorated it was at Christmas time.
So with my camera packed and the sun brightly shining on this cold
crisp day in Michigan, I would spend an afternoon walking from room
to room, admiring the beautiful festive decorations that Meadow Brook
does so superbly.
Meadow Brook Hall is a Tudor style mansion, in Rochester Hills, Mi.
built between 1926 and 1929 by Matilda Dodge Wilson and her second
husband, lumber broker, Alfred G. Wilson. In 1957 it was donated to
the state of Michigan, in order to found Oakland University. In 2012,
it was named a National Historic Landmark. It is often referred to
as one on America’s “castles”, with 88,000 square foot it is ranked the
sixth Largest Historic Home in the United States.
Photo essay on Christmas at Meadow Brook
This Solarium was one of my favorite rooms. I could only imagine
me sitting in this beautiful room in the early morning maybe drinking
a cup of coffee, reading a book, and just enjoying the bright sunlight
shining through this room.
This was the room of Francis Dodge, daughter of the Matilda and
John Dodge. Frances was described as the belle of the ball and was
always followed in the society pages as to her fashion, hairstyles and
If I recall correctly there is a fireplace in every single room.
This was a portion of Matilda Dodge’s bedroom.
Her dressing room and below her bath, which was lovely.
There were many more rooms in the mansion that are not in this article.
Every room was decorated beautifully and just bursting with the colors
of the season.
Knole Cottage is a 3/4 scale playhouse that was built for Francis Dodge in
1926 when she was 12 years old. Furnished with small furniture,
textiles, art and fully functioning appliances, this enchanting six-room
cottage was intended to teach her the art of homemaking.
What Frances loved most was hosting tea parties for friends and family.
Unfortunately, I was not able to take pictures inside.
Back inside the Mansion is the Living Room, where Francis Dodge married
James B. Johnson, Jr. in front of the fireplace on July 1, 1938. That is
her wedding gown on the right side near the fireplace.
This is the lovely staircase where the bride would walk down accompanied
by her brother, Daniel, where 800 guest, including Henry Ford, would
celebrate her happiest days.
Meadow Brook Hall is just another wonderful example of all that the
Detroit area has to offer. Because we are the Automotive Capital, we
have been lucky to have these magnificent treasures in Michigan to always
remember the Dodges, the Fords, and the Fishers. Although some have
closed, we can still remember their magnificence.