The Grand Hotel In the 50's

Mackinac County MI

Contributed by Paul Petosky

The Flag that is flying says "Planks Grand Hotel" /// Photo by Robert D. Poll of Grand Rapids from Gary Foster

Built in the post-Civil War's Gilded Age, Plank's Grand Hotel opens on July 10, 1887. This gracious hotel serves as a summer retreat for vacationers who arrive by lake steamer from Chicago, Erie, Montreal, Detroit, and by rail across the continent. Rates are $3 to $5 a night.

1897-Grand Hotel builds the West Wing.

1919-William Stewart Woodfill joins Grand Hotel as a desk clerk. Hotel rates are $6 a day per person.

1933-Woodfill purchases hotel as sole owner.

1949-This Time For Keeps" starring Jimmy Durante and Esther Williams is filmed on the island and at the Grand Hotel.

1951-R.D. (Dan) Musser II joins hotel staff.

1960-Woodfill appoints Dan Musser president of the Grand Hotel.

1976-Mussers begin redesign of interior and exterior with architect Richard Bos and decorator Carleton Varney.

1979-Mussers purchase the Grand Hotel.

1980-"Somewhere In Time" starring Christopher Reeve, Jayne Seymour, and Christopher Plummer is filmed at the Grand Hotel.

1987-Cupola Bar added. Woodfill Conference Center completed and The Jewel golf course renovated.

1989-R.D. (Dan) Musser III is named President of the hotel.

1989-East Wing is added to the hotel.

1989-U.S. Department of Interior designates Grand Hotel as a National Historic Landmark.

1992-The Grand Hotel Service Academy is established.

1994-The new Woods nine opens, combining with the original Grand nine to make The Jewel eighteen holes of golf.

1995-Astor's Hair Salon and Rebecca's are added.

1996-Margaret's Garden and The Audubon Wine Bar open.

1997-Oil paintings by Marlee, featuring original oil paintings by local artist Marlee Brown, is added to the variety of shops at the Grand Hotel.

1998-Five new named rooms in honor of former First Ladies, Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Regan, and Barbara Bush are added to the West of the hotel. Two new two-bedroom suites, the Grand and the Carleton Varney, are also added to the west end.

1999-Grand Hotel & Company. Fine jewelry is added to the variety of shops. Thirteen guest rooms are added to the West Wing of the hotel, bringing the total to 343.

2000-A new golf pro shop is added. The Vanderbilt Suite is added. Three electric boilers are added making water heating more efficient and environmentally friendy. Construction began on the Millennium Wing, a 300 seat addition to the Main Dining Room and 42 new guest rooms. This is the largest addition since the original construction of the hotel. The Millennium Wing will be completed in time for the 2001 season.

2001-The Millennium Wing opens on the east end of the hotel featuring 42 new guest rooms. The Grand Pavilion - a 3,600 square-foot private meeting room and dining room, restrooms for the dining room, and new guest and service elevators.

2002-The Masco Suite, a four-bedroom cottage attached to the east end of the hotel is added. The deck area at the pool is expaned and a new large hot tub is added.

Room rates are now $220.00 to $370.00 Per Person Double Occupancy Including Meals

Advertisement of The Grand Hotel & The Wayne Hotel in 1895