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.

Pure Michigan June 2013 Fan Photos

Happy July! Summer is officially here in Pure Michigan! Since everyone has been out enjoying the warmer weather, we wanted to take a look back at some of our favorite photos from June. Below is a gallery of just some of the stunning photos that our Pure Michigan Facebook community shared with us last month. See more on the Pure Michigan Flickr page.

Which photo from June is your favorite? If you have a photo to share with us, visit the Pure Michigan Facebook page and post it there.

 

From Our Community: The Best Ice Cream in Michigan

Ice cream is a staple treat in Pure Michigan during summer months. From dairy farms to local shops, there are plenty of ice cream options to satisfy any sweet tooth across the state.

With July being National Ice Cream Month, we thought it would be fun to ask our fans on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ “what’s your favorite place to get ice cream in Michigan and what’s your favorite flavor?” We learned that if there’s one treat that Michiganders know and love, it’s ice cream! If you’re looking for a yummy treat this summer, here are some fan favorites to check out.

House of Flavors, located on the beautiful shore of Lake Michigan in Ludington, is one of the clear fan favorites. Serving some of the finest made ice cream in the Midwest, it’s sure to please anyone who stops in this summer. Here’s what fans are saying:

“House of Flavors in Ludington, Michigan. My favorite flavor is Blue Moon. :)” – JoLynn ‘Tacktor’ Jones

“peanut butter cup ice cream at House of Flavors in Ludington” – Karin Dereske Rourke

“House of Flavors in Ludington, after a day at the beach! #icecream” – @beckykoepke

Cook’s Dairy Farm is another cherished ice cream stop for Michiganders. Locals and visitors make it a point to stop by this Ortonville gem. Here’s what people love about Cook’s:

“Ahhhhh Cook’s Dairy Farm is the best and tractor trails ice cream yum-o!!!” – Lisa Jakuszeski Terry

“Cook’s in Ortonville. Cook’s Butter Pecan is the best ever!!” – Dale Ramig

“Favorite place: easy – Cook’s Farm Dairy in Ortonville. Favorite flavor – now THAT’S the hard one to answer – butter pecan, strawberry, cowpuccino, chocolate raspberry torte, eggnog (the best eggnog ever, and then as ice cream – double heaven). I dare anyone to try their triple scoop.” – Karen Kohn

The Michigan State University Dairy Store isn’t just for students. The dairy complex at the university produces some of the freshest ice cream you’ll ever taste. Fans around the state love this East Lansing establishment:

“Hands down the best ice cream in MI is at the MSU Dairy Store. As far as I’m concerned, they only need one flavor: Sesquicentennial Swirl. Chocolate and vanilla with huge chunks of cake and ribbons of frosting running through it.” – Mandy Wakeman

“MSU Dairy Store! Love the butter pecan ice cream!” – Paula Causie

“I’m a u of m guy but I gotta say msu dairy store!” – Scott Moore

“MSU Dairy Store. The best…” – Mary-Jo Lacey

Jones Homemade Ice Cream, an old fashioned ice cream shop in downtown Baldwin, has been manufacturing delicious ice cream since 1942. Fans love this nostalgic, friendly shop:

“Jones Ice Cream in Baldwin is the best place. There are way too many flavors to pick a favorite, though.” – Kathy Nefsey

“Jones Ice cream Baldwin, Mi.. Butter Pecan!!!! The best and biggest cones ever!!!” – Cl Whitman

Moomers Homemade Ice Cream in Traverse City is another clear favorite among fans. Moomers makes over 120 different flavors, offering 20 daily to locals and visitors. Here’s what fans have to say about this family friendly shop:

“Moomers, Traverse City. Coffee toffee, yum!” – Karen Brenneman

“Moomers Traverse City….. Best Ever!” – Bob Stites

“Just went to Moomer’s in Traverse City a few days ago! AWESOME!!” – Dwight Billings

These are just a few of the many ice cream options around the state. View our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ posts to see what others’ favorite ice cream shops in Michigan are. If we left off your favorite, leave it in the comments section below!