Waldenwoods
   

 

The Crouse Farm, which includes Waldenwoods, has been in the Crouse family home since it was acquired from the Government in 1844. Six generations of the family are above and below the soil of Hartland.

J. B. Crouse and his associates, H.A. Tremaine, F.S. Terry, B. G. Tremaine and J. Robert Crouse, Sr., founded a number of businesses, including Nela Park and General Electric Company (Mazda Lamps) in Cleveland, Ohio. Their business philosophy has been cast in the bronze tablet set in the large boulder in front of Cromaine Hall. Another memorial to their association is a bronze tablet mounted on the outside face of the stone chimney at Sunshine Hall.

The Waldenwoods buildings were built in 1924 and 1925 and were used for business conferences for the above named groups for years. Eventually the complex hosted conferences for the Michigan Dairy Association, Michigan League of Handweavers, Detroit Edison, Mobil Oil Company, and a variety of educational, health, recreational, religious and civic groups.

Waldenwoods is so named as a special tribute to Henry David Thoreau, the New England naturalist whose writings so deeply impressed J. Robert Crouse, Sr.

The creed of Waldenwoods states "Dedicated to the proposition that the radiant spirit of friendship may become the glowing inspiration of our association as individuals, companies, and competitors, even as the life giving sunshine is the crowning glory of this beautiful countryside. May we resolve to play and work together, not only with hands and heads, but hearts as well. That our efforts may have this final master touch which distinguishes creative, original work from the commonplace, to this end let us seek to express such harmony of feeling, thinking and action that our association shall be a helpful adventure of human service and contribution toward the dawn of the new day when business shall not only be patron of the arts, but the finest of the arts."

" But he (Thoreau) at least, is content, His soul was made for the noblest society; he had a short life exhausted the capabilities of this world, wherever there is knowledge, wherever there is virtue, wherever there is beauty, he will find a home"--Emerson.