Christine requested some more pictures of the Wayfarer and also some history and stories. Since we’re not busy yet, there won’t be too many current stories for a while, but what I can do is talk about things past. What I know is what 2 former owners have told me. So, if any locals are reading this and know something better than I do, please let me know!
Bear with me, I am not very good at recounting history that I don’t have first hand knowledge of. All of what I am going to tell you is hear-say, ok? OK!
The big house was built by a bachelor by the name of Burtker. I want to say his name was Roscoe, but I am not sure. A year or so ago we renovated one of the rooms upstairs and there, between two ceilings, the contractor found 9 letters written in 1916, that he had received from all over the place. Mostly from women. I can’t find the letters right now. But when I do, I’ll scan them and let you see. Let’s just say, this gentleman was quite the ladies man 8)
So Mr. Burtker built our house in 1914. It was the most expensive house built in Benzie County at the time. A whopping $ 4300.00. I suppose I could go down to the county and find out if that is true. I’d rather not find out it isn’t – I like the price and wish it was what they wanted from us at the time of purchase, heh!
There is another house that belongs into the mix and that’s the one next door and of course the land behind ours. Walter Emig, who owned this property and named it “Wayfarer” in the 1980’s, told us that this was a potatoe farm and that the two houses belonged to the same family.
Before Walter and his wife Andre’ owned it, the Motel belonged to a family with 7 kids – the Pattyns; they gave it the name Pattyn’s Place Motel. Those kids grew up making beds, washing laundry, hanging it out back to dry, mowing the lawns and what ever else there was to do. Wow, I wish my kids were that industrious. I am still in touch, via facebook, with one of the Pattyn boys. His name is Jim and he is all grown up and lives in Arizona.
From the 1920’s until the 1970’s the business was known as Benson’s Cabins. Oh, and another interesting fact is….wait for it….it is the oldest continuous business in Benzie County – tadaaaa. The phone number has never changed either. I know because we had someone call here not too long ago who was still holding on to an old phonebook from the 50’s which listed Benson’s Cabins as 616. 352.9264. The pre-fix has been changed since we got here to 231, but that’s the only change.
Where we live. My 3 guys are painting the eves
Cocktails at the Wayfarer. To some this guest is known as ‘Doughnut’
View from the front lawn
Turkeys on the front lawn
a window box
Wolfgang Puck logo, which I keep forgetting to add to my website.
Alright, that’s it for today. I will add to it as I remember more things. I hope you all enjoy reading about Wayfarer Lodgings 🙂