The estate of Blisswood, overlooking northern Lake Michigan, was deeded to the Bliss family in lieu of payment for Civil War service in the 1860's and walking the manicured grounds or through the surrounding native woods allows you to see why the Bliss family selected this peaceful location. Its historical significance, abundant natural resources, stunning beauty and wonderful views can only be preserved, but not replicated.
In the mid 1800's Blisswood was primarily a strawberry and apple farm. Their produce was shipped from the nearby port of Cross Village throughout the Great Lakes region. Remnants of those apple trees and strawberry fields remain throughout the woods and trails on the property today. During the early 1900's the Bliss family operated a sawmill and soon began building stone and log homes. The stones were selected by the hands of Native Americans from the Blisswood shore of Lake Michigan. Much of the construction work was also completed by Natives. Their handiwork is seen in the hand hewn timbers; stone foundations, walls, and stone fireplaces. The exterior of the Blisswood cabins is a distinctive indication of Odawa life here with their use of Elm bark as siding on the gable ends of the main lodge and cabins. For centuries the Odawa's used Elm bark as a primary covering for their own living structures in this area. Their influence around historic Blisswood abounds and their presence in the immediate area remains to this day.
From the influence and participation of the Native Americans over 100 years ago, to the detail of the restoration of the property undertaken over the past ten years, the Blisswood cabins and main lodge are especially significant, as they are the original Bliss 'cabins', known as some of America's finest and most unique log structures.
The main lodge is the original Bliss 'log cabin'. Originally built in 1929 it now has the finest of kitchen and sleeping facilities along with 3 stone fireplaces. The original 'homestead' house was frame built during the 1800's and is now the Chapel. The hinges and unique door handles on the property, formed in a forge on the property, were all retained in the kitchen cabinets, interior and exterior doors and throughout the property. Many pieces of the cedar furniture, manufactured by the Bliss family, have been retained and are used throughout the property. The bell in the steeple of the Blisswood Chapel originated from the Catholic missionaries in nearby Cross Village and dates back to the 1700's.
While the buildings are incredible, the richest part of Blisswood may still be the natural beauty of this wonderful area that originally brought the Bliss family here. Overlooking northern Lake Michigan and numerous islands, you will see multiple lighthouses and far off passing freighters, while the grand sunsets and occasional display of the northern lights remains timelessly breathtaking.
Over the years Blisswood has transitioned from farming, log and stone cabin construction; boat and furniture building; resort use with fishing and hunting guide service; to the refined rustic privacy Blisswood offers select guests today. From Hall of Fame baseball players during the 1930's and 1940's to today's use as a preeminent northern retreat, Blisswood guests enjoy a truly a serene, private treasure, that they may have to leave at the end of their stay ...but one that will never leave them.