The Great Estate

Posted by – Stephanie Carroll, Manager of Business Development & Community Relations

I absolutely love history, so when an opportunity arose to take a tour of Meadow Brook Hall, City Manager Tom Tanghe and I, both Oakland University alums, jumped at the chance.


Built by Matilda Dodge Wilson between 1926 and 1929, this National Historic Landmark is rich with history. It’s like taking a trip back in time.  I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that the last time I toured the house was about 10 years ago, since its right across the street from City Hall.

matilda's bathroom

The staff was very gracious and led us through many rooms of the house, talking about the day-to-day activities of the family and pointing out small artifacts on display in the home.  Still, my favorite continues to be Matilda’s room and bathroom – full of detail and beauty, it’s easy to see that each room is a reflection of Matilda’s elegance and tradition.

Matilda Dodge Wilson

Equally as beautiful are the grounds.  In addition to the daily tours offered, I learned that as long as there is not a private event scheduled, visitors are free to bring a lunch or a book and enjoy the scenery in the Patio Garden.  This unique space offers wonderful outdoor concerts during the summer, weddings and other business events.  They also have their community programs and special events that include the Holiday Walk, Wild Game Dinner and more!

Auburn Hills has a shared a love and personal connection in that Matilda was married to John Dodge and his daughter, Winifred married Wesson Seyburn, and they built their country retreat where City Hall stands today.