Memorial Walk

Douglas W. Hutson

1942 – 2013
Big Rock Valley, Lowe’s Inc., E&D Ranch
and Foundation employee

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Doug Hutson

A skillful carpenter, Doug Hutson started working for Ed Lowe in the early 1970s, when Lowe purchased the property on the main street of Jones, Michigan. Hutson helped transform the buildings into a town of yesteryear theme park Lowe named “Jones Is Back.” It contained such attractions as an opera house, ice cream shop, petting zoo, museum, railroad cars and several novelty stores. Jones Is Back never caught on as a popular tourist destination, and in 1977 the buildings were sold at auction.

Initially a contract laborer, Hutson eventually was hired full time. He saw some of his woodworking projects through from start to finish, using Big Rock Valley’s trees felled, cured and milled at the sawmill on site. Hutson was a key participant in the conversion of an old barn into a residence Ed and Darlene called the Barn House. He also supervised the initial renovation of most of the guesthouses and facilities at the foundation, including changing wooden boxcars into lodging for
overnight retreat guests.

“I learned a lot about construction watching Doug,” recalls Jay Suseland, grounds maintenance manager. “He was easy to get along with and well
liked by almost everyone,” describing Hutson as “fun-loving” and “the life of the party.”

In the early 90s, Hutson worked during the winter months at the Lowe’s E&D Ranch property in Arcadia, Florida. He and his wife, Linda, also a long-time Lowe’s employee, eventually relocated to Florida and became year-round residents, making their home in Zolfo Springs.