If only Harry Bennett could (not to mention Mr. Ford) talk from the grave…
The name Henry Ford is easily recognizable to most Americans as the legendary founder of Ford Motor Company, the car company that bears his name.
But most do not know one of Ford’s most notorious employees by the name of Harry Bennett.
Bennett was Head of Internal Security, but officially the division was called the Ford Service Department. Translation: this department dealt with growing labor unrest in the 1930’s and Bennett was the chief enforcer.
For the better part of 20 years Harry Bennett was Ford’s right-hand man, and he ‘took care of things’ as requested by his boss.
The most notorious incident was the Ford Hunger March of unemployed workers on March 7, 1932. There was a shootout as workers advanced on the Ford River Rouge Complex. 4 people were killed in the melee.
Bennett was known to be paranoid and as a result he built (at Ford’s expense) several residences in the Michigan area that had secret rooms and tunnels. One of the them was a lodge built for him in Freeman Township.
There was talk over the years that several contracts were put out on Bennett’s life furthering his paranoia.
He also had an ‘outpost’ near Ypsilanti but the one ‘hideout’ not as well known is where I write this post at this very moment in Sky Valley, an unincorporated community near Palm Springs.
Ford’s hideout for Harry Bennett and his henchmen is a group of buildings spread over 60 acres that sits on a hill overlooking Sky Valley which is about 15 minutes from Palm Springs.
The compound has 14 Bedrooms: one 3 bed 2 bath home, one 2 bed 2 bath home, one duplex, the main house and a 40 foot indoor pool and spa with a private sauna. The property comes equipped with its own well that produces 100 gallons/ minute of hot fresh water.
Bennett employed former football players and musclemen as part of his security detail and it is assumed that some of ‘his men’ might have lived on the estate.
There is also a barbeque pit down the hill from the main building (see photo below) where it is said Ford, Bennett and their cronies held cookouts.
Also, if you check out one of the photos below, you’ll see the entrance to to 2 secret tunnels Ford supposedly had built at Bennett’s behest. I was not able to go down to see myself, but the tunnels’ entrances have been filled with concrete!
Bennett was eventually fired by Henry Ford II in 1945 after he took the helm of the company.
Check out more pics below. Some very cool stuff.
Oh, at the time of this writing, the entire property is for sale for 1.1 Million. Think I might put in an offer. 🙂
I’ve stayed here (I know a friend here) for a bit now and love that the internet lifestyle allows me to experience this.
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