The Historic Cascades Manor House
From the moment you cross the threshold of the Cascades Manor House, you’ll find yourself stepping back to a time when people gathered around cozy fireplaces in vaulted rooms to share the events of the day and a fine meal.
An historic Jackson landmark, the English-Tudor styled Manor House at 1970 Kibby Road, has been a popular gathering place since 1932.
The paneled entry has not changed much in the ensuing decades. It includes a cloak room, soft lighting and artist sketches of the finished Manor House.
Designed by noted Jackson architect Clair Allen and built by the Jackson firm, North-Moller, construction began in 1931. It opened to great fanfare in May 1932 as a combination clubhouse for the 18-hole championship golf course and quickly became a “community gathering place.”
The stately structure is set on the southeast end of the 465 acre Cascades Park. The park was carved from a field of wetlands in 1929 by William “Cap” Sparks, former Jackson Mayor and Titan of Industry.
The park’s illuminated waterfalls were influenced by a similar lighted waterfall Sparks encountered on a trip to Barcelona, Spain. His intention was to create a tourist attraction so memorable that visitors would not forget the Cascades or Jackson, Michigan.
The park, including the Manor House, lagoons and the colorful waterfalls, were left to Jackson County upon Sparks’ death in 1943.
With manor projects undertaken in recent years to maintain and upgrade the Manor’s infrastructure, great care has been taken to avoid detracting from its beauty and historical significance.
The projects have been funded by the Cascades Park Foundation, created in 1993 by Jackson businessman and philanthropist Frank Myers along with revenues from the Manor House’s operation as a banquet/reception destination. Upgrades continue to this day.
The nonprofit Foundation’s mission is to generate and administer funds to preserve the historical Manor House and the Sparks Foundation County Park. The initial loan has been repaid and the Manor House is in better shape today than the day it was built.
Many of the original features, such as the vaulted ceilings, the English brick are untouched by time. Many nooks and crannies add to the charm of the grand old lady.
In 1995, a 275 capacity dining room was added without detracting from the integrity of Tudor style. Guests have a panoramic view of the golf course, the skating pond, winding lagoons and the majestic waterfalls.
Though no longer used as a golf clubhouse, the Manor House continues to be a popular public gathering place for weddings, service club luncheons; and banquets for all occasions.
It is also open for public dining on Easter, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day and Christmas Eve. The bountiful holiday buffets attract hundreds of diners.