BTS: The Legend of Dog Lady Island production finds a suitable setting for its 1920s scenes

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A good indie producer/director is resourceful and can easily think on his feet.

When confronted by the reality of knowing that the houses which once graced Kausler Island (now for purposes of this continuing series of updates as Dog Lady Island, off of I- 75 fifteen minutes north of the state line in Monroe, Michigan) had fallen into devastating disrepair, if they exist at all, director Michael Alexander knew he had to find a suitable substitute for a setting he was shooting for his Legend of Dog Lady Island, he had to look elsewhere.  (The photos below were taken in 1938 and are the property of the Monroe Historical Society)

Hearing of a property which might be considered for the shoot, he looked north of Monroe—approximately 90 miles north—to Flint, Michigan.  It’s here that he found a mansion which he would use.

“It’s a famous estate in Flint couple people told me it would fit the look I was going for –old with ivy. “Continues Michael, ”It’s the Heddy House very difficult to get there.  There was some money involved,  but well worth it. “

Called the Heddy House, it’s here that he would shoot his 1920s era scenes for his movie.  This property on which Heddy House stands was first owned by an Indian tribe  A treaty with the Indian Tribe was signed in 1825 by President John Quincy Adams. John and Polly Todd bought the land in 1835. The land went through several hands through-out the years.  Emma and Samuel Sidney Stewart bought the property in 1929. Construction of the house began in 1929 and was completed in 1932.

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Heddy House, as many homes once owned by General Motors executives in the area are, is heavily decorated with Flint Faience tiles, a quirky offshoot of the auto manufacturing process.   Historical note:  Born in 1921, the Flint Faience & Tile Company was started by Albert Champion, who manufactured spark plugs for General Motors.  (You are no doubt familiar with Champion Ignition Company and later AC Spark Plug Company.)

Finding a suitable house for his movie, his next move was to find an automobile appropriate to that era.  Offers Michael  I rented the Rolls Royce separately from a Flint  car club and the driver came with car.  He was gracious enough to take everyone for rides in it.  “

Having found a house and a car with a 1920s flavor,  Michael Alexander was ready for a film shoot.

Concludes Michael,   “We had a awesome time filming in Flint in a mansion to recreate my 1920s scenes. ”

What’s next for the cast and crew of The Legend of Dog Lady Island?  “This weekend we move into the 1800s with two of my stars flying in from Hollywood.  TJ Storm as Chief Strong Wolf and Mike Foster as French soldier Dureaux as they clash in this era in a epic battle.”

(For photos of the Heddy House exterior as well s interior, and cast of the Legend of Dog Island see accompanying photo carousel.)

One comment

  1. My Mother and family lived on E. Dunbar Rd. Her and her sister use to live down the street from the Island growing up.. they would sneak down there. Know that if my grandmother found out, they would have to get their own switch from the willow tree. She told me that she always felt like she was being watched.. Abd if it was around dusk that they could see yellow eyes everywhere..

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