In 1917, the Southern Land Company, built the Lakeside Club on the south shore of Crooked Lake in the area now known as Hillcrest Heights.
The original Lakeside Club burned to the ground on Nov 11th of 1918. It was rebuilt in 1919 and changed it's name to Hillcrest Lodge. The owners being H.E. Fairchild and W.R. Padden of New Jersey. In 1927, Charles Forbes, who came to Babson Park from Cleveland, OH, purchased the lodge.
Fire struck again in August of 1929 and the three story Lodge completely burned to the ground for the second time. Mr. Forbes rebuilt the Lodge right away.
The Lodge was well known as the best appointed hotel along the Ridge. The following celebrities are known to have stayed at the hotel: Bobby Jones, Babe Ruth, William Jennings Bryan, Roger W. Babson and many automobile executives from Chicago. Dinner dances with silk hats and tails were a regular happening along with musicals, parties, weddings, breakfasts, bridge luncheons and more dances. The Lodge was the center of the social life of Babson Park and surrounding areas.
In 1933, Mrs. Marian Forbes (following the death of her husband) leased Hillcrest Lodge to Frank Lewis who brought his staff with him from High Hampton Inn and Country Club of Cashiers, NC. Mr. Lewis leased the Lodge until 1946. Martha Forbes, daughter of Charles & Marian Forbes, married Robert Wetzel and in 1946 they became the manager and subsequent owner of the Lodge.
Up until recent times, the Hillcrest Lodge was only open from Thanksgiving until Easter each year and many guests returned year after year.
The Lodge is currently owned by Buffett Investments LLC, having purchased it in 2018. It presently operates year round. Those who are interested can call 863-638-1712 for information regarding availability and reservations.
Google Maps Image of Hillcrest Lodge
Town of Hillcrest Heights
P.O. Box 129, Babson Park, FL 33827
Copyright © 2020, Town of Hillcrest Heights - All Rights Reserved.
Webmaster, Brian Kazin, TOHHFLA@gmail.com