New Explorations: Old Hotels


Laura EverlyExploration and adventure…we all have different reasons why we love to travel.  Learning something new about the old is what this blog is about.  To be more specific, this blog features unique historic hotels throughout the United States.

Mackinac Island in Michigan became known as America’s retreat in 1886.  The Mackinac Island Grand Hotel was built in 1887.  This hotel became a home away from home for many who traveled across America by train or steam engines on the waterways.  In 1887, it cost $3 to $5 to stay one night at this popular hotel.

In the 1800’s and early 1900’s, many enjoyed a night of dancing at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.  In 1947, a portion of the film Time for Keeps was filmed at this favorite retreat.  Esther Williams, Jimmie Durante and Johnnie Johnson were the stars in this movie.

Who is Esther Williams?  She was a great swimmer in the 1930’s and 1940’s, who romanticized swimming with her talent as an Olympic swimmer and an American actress.  The films she was in helped synchronized swimming become popular.  She became known as “The American Mermaid.” Since part of Time for Keeps was filmed at the Mackinac Island Grand Hotel, the hotel’s swimming pool was named the Esther Williams swimming pool.

Mackinac Island and the Grand Hotel are still popular travel destination.  Mackinac Island is a great retreat vacation spot because no cars are allowed on this island.  Transportation is provided by horse and carriage, bicycling or walking.

historic eliza thompson house
Photo by Elisa.rolle on Wikimedia Commons

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