Grand Hotel (Mackinac Island, Mich.) records

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Grand Hotel (Mackinac Island, Mich.) records

The materials in this online repository form part of a larger Grand Hotel (Mackinac Island, Mich.) record group held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index to the materials, please consult the collection's online finding aid.

Researchers may also be interested in the Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island Web Archives.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

The Grand Hotel records comprise documents, photographs, audio and videographic material collected about the hotel by its management. The strength of the collection is in its documentation of the guest experience at the hotel, and the evolution of amenities offered by the hotel during the mid-to-late 20th century. A small number of items also provide a glimpse of the hotel’s earliest days as a summer resort.

Grand Hotel opened on July 10, 1887 as a venture of the Mackinac Island Hotel Company. In 1910, the hotel was purchased by Henry Weaver, its manager since 1900. The hotel was sold again in 1918, this time to J. Logan Ballard, who died only five years later. In 1925, William Stewart Woodfill purchased the hotel with two other men, to whom he later sold his shares. In 1933, Woodfill would purchase the hotel again, this time as sole owner, after it fell into receivership. Woodfill, who also managed the hotel for a number of years, retained ownership throughout the mid-20th century, though he gradually turned responsibility for the hotel's management over to Dan Musser beginning in 1951. The Musser family purchased the hotel from Woodfill in 1979, and continue to run it today.

Since its opening, Grand Hotel has become a popular family vacation destination and conference location with its upscale accommodations and dining facilities. Features of the hotel include an elaborate, multi-course dinner included for every guest, 18 holes of golf, a 660-foot front porch overlooking the water, and a pool that Esther Williams made famous in the movie This Time For Keeps in 1946.

Information for this History was taken from Grand Hotel: The biography of an American institution by John McCabe. This book, published by the hotel on the occasion of its centennial season, is available in box 1 of the papers, and includes images of historical documents owned by the hotel and other repositories that are not included in this collection.

Please note:

Copyright has been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan.

Access to digitized sound recordings may be limited to the reading room of the Bentley Historical Library, located on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan.

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