The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island began construction in 1886; by 1887, the doors were opened to guests for the first time, and featured the longest front porch in the world. The room rates ranged from $3 to a whoppin’ $5 a night. In 1919, with ever-rising costs, the room rates were doubled, going up to $6. The current beginning rate? $456, according to

For almost 140 years, Mackinac Island has been called “America’s Summer Place” and it lives up to its name. EVERYbody dreams about spending a night or two at the Grand Hotel, but many never get the chance or just plain can’t afford it…but the fantasy continues.

The Grand Hotel has had its share of famous visitors, including five U.S. presidents (George Bush, Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford, John F. Kennedy, Harry Truman), author Mark Twain who lectured in the Grand Hotel Casino in 1895, and Thomas Edison.

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1895: Mark Twain’s lecture in the Grand Hotel Casino cost $1.00 admission
1897: The West Wing was added
1900s: Grand Hotel supports an Island-wide ban on automobiles
1919: Hotel rates go up to $6.00 a day
1933: W. Stewart Woodfill purchases and becomes the owner
1935: A salon where customers can listen to their favorite radio programs was added
1947: "This Time For Keeps" starring Jimmy Durante is filmed in the Grand Hotel
1957: Grand Hotel is deemed a State Historical Building
1979: Dan & Amelia Musser purchase Grand Hotel
1979: "Somewhere In Time" starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour is filmed at the Grand Hotel (and I was there to watch some scenes being shot!)

That was just a brief, nutshell bio of the Grand Hotel. Now take a look at some photos of what the insides look like in the 2020s…some classic images from the early 1900s are also included…

A Look Inside the Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island


Christopher Reeve on Mackinac Island

Fort Holmes, Mackinac Island

The Horses of Mackinac Island: 1900-1960