The History Behind Michigan’s Hexagon House

The Hexagon House Bed and Breakfast, named after its unique architectural design, is a “turn of the century” Victorian home in beautiful Pentwater, Michigan. Today, Chris Adema of LovePentwater.com gives us a look back at the history behind this charming bed and breakfast.

Learn more about the Hexagon House and other Michigan bed and breakfasts by visiting michigan.org.

Perched along the sandy shores of Michigan’s western coast are numerous summer beach towns – not least among them is the quaint harbor village of Pentwater. Located just south of Ludington, Pentwater is a somewhat lesser known vacation destination, serving as the home of a beachside state park, multiple marinas, boutique clothing stores, art galleries, and a truly beautiful bed and breakfast with a long history: The Hexagon House.

Pentwater was initially established in 1853, finding its beginning as a shipping port, mill, and center for the then booming lumber industry that was busily expanding across Michigan.  The Hexagon House was, in turn, constructed circa 1870 as one of the first boarding houses for the many lumbermen visiting the area from Chicago and from around the Great Lakes, making the home nearly as old as the town itself.  In fact, the builder and first owner was named S.E. Russell, and was an agent of Charles Mears – the Western Michigan lumber baron of that time, and the same man responsible for digging the channel and turning Pentwater into a harbor town. The Hexagon House has truly been a staple in this waterfront community since the very beginning, and played an important role in the bygone era that gave birth to the village.

The next major evolution of the Inn came about in the 1920s and 30s when the two daughters of S.E. Russell inherited the property and turned it into a summer tourist camp, and the home base from which they ran a homemade pie business and a boat rental business.  (The black and white photo included in this post comes from that time period.)

The surviving Russell sister sold the home in the 1950s. Since that time The Hexagon House has changed owners on five more occasions, being enjoyed by the families of a distinguished dentist from Chicago, a professor from Nova Scotia, the Warners, who are responsible for completely renovating the home in 1994, restoring it to a masterpiece of Victorian elegance (you can see the deteriorated pre-renovation condition of the home and the final result in the included photographs), and two veterinarians from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Finally, in 2011, Matt and Sandy Werner purchased the property, embarking on second careers as innkeepers.

Today this Victorian bed and breakfast inn boasts five exquisite guest rooms, including a suite, with wrap around porches, a sprawling lawn, and the convenience of being only a short walk or bike ride to the village of Pentwater. It stands ready to welcome guests for the 2013 season and beyond.

Have you or do you plan to visit the Hexagon House Bed and Breakfast? Share with us below and learn more on michigan.org.

Chris Adema is a Michigan native, the owner of LovePentwater.com, and an internet marketing professional servicing Hexagon House Bed and Breakfast with website management and online promotion.

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Wendy Klein shares her “Pure Michigan Moment,” a surprise anniversary and Michigan getaway to the Springbrook Inn in Prudenville.

Photo credit: Realadventures.comThis year for our anniversary, my husband pulled off a surprise….and it was wonderful! He made reservations at the Springbrook Inn, a couples-only bed-and-breakfast at the south end of Houghton Lake. A large hot tub and private balcony (or porch) is standard in all eight rooms, each with a different theme. Our North Woods-themed room overlooked beautiful perennials, a koi pond, and a waterfall. Every morning a hot breakfast was delivered to our door, perfect for enjoying in bed. The inn has some of the best food I have ever had.

 

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A Valentine’s Day Promise

Photo Credit: SandySandy Moskwinski shares her “Pure Michigan Moment” of romance and travel; a Valentine’s pact with her sweetie.

This past Valentine’s Day, my life partner, Mark, and I followed through with plans for adventure in the UP, our first together and the best ever.

 

Our 1,000-mile journey to Big Bay Point Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast began in our hometown, Brooklyn. It was Mark’s idea to leave the day before check in. He is the true Michigander—he grew up in Farmington and is an alumni of Northern Michigan University—and knows all too well what the conditions can be like. I was game for all of it, the weather that is. I was raised in northern Indiana (South Bend, aka Michiana, the Lake-Effect City) and had never been north of Grand Rapids or Detroit. We spent the night in beautiful Mackinaw City. We awoke early and took a walk to take in the fascinating sites and the bridge before continuing to our destination.

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