by Keith & Gladys Hunt
Charles I. Harwood lived with his family on Old Mill Point, the site of the logging town of Prentiss, from 1887 to 1900.
The Harwood family was one of the few Christian families living in this primitive community. No regular religious services were held in Prentiss. Quarterly, missionary priests, the last of the Black Robes, came to the town by boat to say Mass for the French Catholic lumbermen who worked here. "In our home," Charles Harwood said, "my father led private family worship and daily devotions, reading from the Bible and praying with the family. Life in our family was centered around knowing God and obeying Him."
One day in 1967 we met Charles Harwood walking along the Cedar Campus road. He was then 87. In our conversation he told us that he had asked his daughter Grace to drive him from their home in Flint, Michigan for one final trip to this place so dear in his boyhood memories. He was terribly curious about what he now saw taking place on this site. When he heard that Cedar Campus was a Christian training center for university students, he exclaimed, "Praise God! He has kept my favorite place on earth for Himself."
The Harwoods made subsequent visits to Cedar Campus - visits full of "remembering." He and his daughter Grace began to pray regularly for the work here. He kept faithfully in touch as the years passed and sent gifts from his retired minister's pension to help in the ministry of Cedar Campus.
Remembering the whirring saws in the mill; the bay jammed with logs; and his boyhood excitement when the sailing vessels docked (in front of what is now Willoughby Lodge); the slap of pine boards stacked on the dock, bound for Chicago; the new faces of sailors in town Charles Harwood remarked, "When you are eight years old, and school keeps only irregularly, you do a lot of watching and absorbing of the excitement. I remember everything about the way the mill worked as if it were only yesterday. But, dear brother and sister, you are doing something here far greater than sawing pine boards. What is happening now is a work that will last through eternity."
Charles I. Harwood lived to be 98, passing into God's presence in 1978. It seems fitting that we should honor his delight in this place and his faithfulness in prayer by naming this cabin in his memory. You can read more of his memoirs in the Story of Cedar Campus books on display in both lodge lounges.
We are awed at God's ways. Did the faithful Christian family life of the Harwoods in those early days hallow this ground and make it possible for the life of a believing son to come full circle - back to his favorite place in his latter years to see the effect of the gospel in new generations of young people?
Harwood Cabin was constructed and dedicated in 1979.