History of The Brownstone Inn
Established since 1946
We fell in love with the Brownstone Inn on September 20, 1989 in our search for a restaurant to purchase & a good place to raise our family. At the time this lovely old landmark had not been in operation for two years. It was almost two more years before we were able to secure the building & begin renovation. Since that time, we have been fortunate to have people share a wealth of facts, fictions & fantasies about the origins and history of the Brownstone Inn.
The building was constructed by Ed Niemi, an Alger County builder, & the stone masonry was done by Bacco Vadnais of Munising. Cyril Bark of Chatham milled the half logs that form the canopies & cabins. The original owner, Clark Haskins, was a retired Detroit police officer & gold medal athlete. We understand that most, if not all, of the materials used in construction were locally harvested or salvaged. The pine paneling came from Chatham, while stone was brought from the beach. Steel beams & metal framed windows supposedly rescued from the demolition of the Ford Motor plant in Munising. The mahogany wainscot has generated much interest and seems most likely to be scrap from Kingsford veneer mill which was said to produce gliders for the Normandy landing during World War II. (A visitor informed us that there are no mahogany trees of that large size left in the world today.) Even the whole log furniture in the dining room is vintage, hand-crafted by Rittenhouse of Cheboygan, Michigan.The best stories, by far, are the personal remembrances people so generously share with us. Fifty years can generate a colorful collection of romance & daring, youth & experience.
Thank you for sharing our celebration & adding your history to ours.
Your Hosts: Jeff Van Bremen & Deb Molitor