Former Felt Estate director receives state tribute

Rep. Nancy DeBoer thanks Patty Meyer for restoration work on mansion.
State Rep. Nancy DeBoer, R-Holland, left, presents former Felt Estate Director Patty Meyer with a special tribute on Friday, April 5, 2024, inside the Felt Mansion, 6597 138th Ave. in Laketown Township.

Patty Meyer stepped out of the car and through the spring sunshine and strong Lake Michigan breeze, looked at the three-story, 25-room Felt Mansion standing before her on Friday, April 5, 2024.

It was like a meeting between two old friends.

Meyer hadn’t been back to the mansion at 6597 138th Ave. in Laketown Township since her retirement as executive director more than six months ago.

“It really is beautiful,” she said.

“It’s amazing what you have done,” said State Rep. Nancy DeBoer, R-Holland, who presented Meyer with a special tribute for her hard work, dedication and professionalism that led to the restoration of the historic mansion and its establishment as a top wedding and event destination in West Michigan.

The proclamation was also signed by State Sen. Roger Victory, R-Hudsonville, whose district includes Laketown Township.

State Rep. Nancy DeBoer, R-Holland, right, presents former Felt Estate Director Patty Meyer with a special tribute on Friday, April 5, 2024, outside the Felt Mansion, 6597 138th Ave. in Laketown Township.

Restoration

“On June 21, 2001, she discovered the more than 12,000-square-foot building crumbling, abandoned, a shadow of its earlier grandeur. Some people called it a piece of junk and thought it should be demolished,” the proclamation states. “However, Patty saw its potential and said she thought it was the most beautiful building in the world.”

She worked to restore the mansion to its 1925 grandeur.

On Friday, she thanked the many volunteers and township officials who made the restoration possible.

“With the personal sense of duty that Patty Meyer brought to work each day, she was able to meet challenges with enthusiasm and a genuine interest in efficiency in public service. This has been deeply appreciated, both by citizens and organizations of the Laketown Township community that have benefited directly from Patty Meyer’s work as well as her successors who have witnessed this fine example,” the proclamation said.

DeBoer wanted to be at Meyer’s final public mansion tour in September but wasn’t able to attend the event that had more than 60 people get the final first-hand walk-through of the home of Dorr Felt, the inventor of the Comptometer, an early adding machine.

DeBoer wanted to present the award in person to honor Meyer’s outstanding service to the community.

State Rep. Nancy DeBoer, R-Holland, left, and former Felt Estate Director Patty Meyer talk on Friday, April 5, 2024, inside the Felt Mansion, 6597 138th Ave. in Laketown Township. DeBoer presented Meyer with a special tribute for her restoration work on the mansion.

Tours and events

Current Executive Director Elizabeth McEwen started in September.

Self-guided tours are now available on Mondays 1-4 p.m., Tuesdays 2-5 p.m., and Wednesdays from 1-4 p.m. through October. The cost is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (60 and over); $5 for children 8 and over, and free for children 7 and under.

The annual free summer concert series begins in July. Performers are July 11 — Zion Lion; July 18 — The Schrock Bros; July 25 — Bernadette Kathryn and the Lonely Days Band; and Aug. 1 — Lighting Matches.

For more information on the mansion, tours and events, visit www.feltmansion.org.

State Rep. Nancy DeBoer, R-Holland, left, and former Felt Estate Director Patty Meyer share a laugh on Friday, April 5, 2024, inside the Felt Mansion, 6597 138th Ave. in Laketown Township. DeBoer presented Meyer with a special tribute for her restoration work on the mansion.