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Raymond House Inn is a bed and breakfast located in Port Sanilac, Michigan, a city found on the edge of Lake Huron. The business is open year-round and has seven units that guests can reserve. Breakfast is provided each morning, which comes free with a reservation at the inn. The building that is used for the bed and breakfast is a historical piece of architecture, as it was built in the late 1800s by a man named Uri Raymond, for whom the business is named. There are a variety of antiques and decorations from that time period that decorate the mansion. The establishment is capable of accommodating younger children but is not pet-friendly. The marina offers a variety of water-based activities like scuba diving, boating, fishing, and more.
The Raymond House Inn is a 6,000-square-foot mansion that is three stories tall and has a total of seven units available for guests to reserve. Each suite is uniquely decorated and named differently from the others. The rooms that are available for reservations include The Captain's Room, The Blue Room, The Henry Ford Room, The Kids Room, The King's Room, The Princess Room, and The Red Room. The two rooms that tend to be more popular with guests are The Captain's Room and The Princess Room. The Princess Room is the only room on the first floor, while the rest can be found on the second and third levels. Every unit is equipped with a private bathroom and access to Wi-Fi and is furnished with antiques. There is a parking lot available for up to ten cars. Everyone with a reservation is invited to breakfast, which is free of charge.
Breakfast is served every morning between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM. The meal is made by the owner, Mary, and usually consists of fresh fruit and sweet cornbread, muffins, biscuits, or other similar items. In the past, she has made main courses like blueberry pancakes, steak and eggs, potatoes, and pork chops. She explains, "I try to make it more of a brunch meal, as there are not many restaurants in the area." For early risers, coffee and tea are available at 7:00 AM. People with dietary preferences or requirements are able to speak to Mary the day before and organize a different menu of items that can fit other nutritional needs for breakfast the next day.
There are also several other places that patrons can go to in the building beside their own suites. One of the several common areas in the house is the multi-purpose room where people can use the flat-screen television, dry erase board and a table and chairs for games. Guests can watch movies in this space, which also has a complimentary popcorn maker and bottled water. Outside there is a gazebo on the deck with places to sit. According to the owner, some people will take their morning coffee or evening wine out on the deck. The parlor has a fireplace that she lights when the temperature is colder. Also in the room is a book that shows the history of the property and details the family that used to live there in the 1800s and 1900s.
The city of Port Sanilac is smaller in size compared to other nearby cities like Lexington and Sarnia, but there are still a variety of activities that can be done. Lake Huron, one of the Great Lakes in Michigan, can be viewed from the property and provides guests the opportunity to do things like boating, swimming, fishing, and more. Patrons can find a public boat launch north of the property, and the Port Sanilac Lighthouse is down the road, about half of a block away from the property. The harbor allows people to go scuba diving, sailing, or rent a boat to go fishing, and at the marina, they sometimes have boat races, music at the Harbor Park on Saturdays, an ice cream shop, and a park where kids can play. A golf course called Huron Shores Golf Club is found a short distance north of the town and offers an 18-hole course. The owner also likes to tell people about the restaurants in the area, recommending a few by name. One such restaurant is The Stone Lodge, which serves a variety of burgers and seafood. Another restaurant in the area she names is Blue Water Sports Bar & Grill, which specializes in subs, sandwiches, and burgers and has a kids' menu.
The owner of Raymond House Inn, whose name is Mary, would like her guests to feel like it is "a home away from home" when they visit. She wants to provide an environment that is quiet, peaceful, and a place for them to rest. To help achieve her goal, the owner gives her patrons a key to their room and a key to the front door, so they can come and go as they please. Mary explains that, as a bed and breakfast, she is able to accommodate people in ways that most hotels are unable to do. She elaborates, "some people who stayed at the property were scuba divers that had classes beginning earlier in the morning, so I got up early to make them breakfast before they left." She interacts with visitors frequently, mentioning that she talks to people as much as they want. If someone would rather keep to themselves, she says she will leave them alone and let them do their own thing.
The property has received a number of reviews in the past. A few aspects that are mentioned more often in these reviews include the quality of care that the host put into the building, the decorations, breakfast, and the atmosphere of the establishment. Someone who recently stayed at Raymond House Inn wrote, "We felt right at home. She made our weekend getaway memorable. The rooms were well decorated, and the breakfast was delicious." The months of May through September tend to be the busiest time of year, and the typical demographic of guests tends to be between the ages of 45 and 70, though the owner mentions that she gets a fair amount of families throughout the year as well. Some of the people who stay at the property are repeat guests who come back annually, and a few of them are regulars who come to town several times a year.
The owner has several policies in effect that she would like visitors to be aware of when they come for their stay. First, quiet hours begin at 10:00 PM and ends at 7:00 AM. Second, smoking is not allowed inside the building or on the grounds. Lastly, the business is unable to accommodate pets. Mary explains that the previous owners did not allow children, but when she took ownership, The Kid's Room was put in, allowing the building to accommodate families with younger children. Typically, no events are hosted on the property, but Mary mentions that, in the future, she would like to set time aside for tours of the mansion, highlighting some of the historical aspects of the building.
The mansion that is used for the inn was originally built in 1872 by a man named Uri Raymond. Uri Raymond and his wife, Nancy Ann, had the mansion built to raise their family, and it stayed in the family, passing down to his children, for many years. He is also responsible for building and operating the Raymond Hardware Store, which is only a few blocks away. According to Mary, the property's current owner, "The Raymond family is one of the reasons that Port Sanilac was put on the map."
Raymond House Inn has been in business since the early 1980s. Shirley Dennison and her husband bought the building and had it made into a bed and breakfast. She is also responsible for putting in each suite's private bathrooms. Shirley Dennison sold the inn sometime in the early 2000s to Boba Chucks, who owned the lot for about 20 years. Boba Chucks was the previous owner, but he closed the bed and breakfast for about eight years before selling it to the current owner, Mary, who reopened it a few months after she obtained the property.
Mary worked in the hospitality industry for about five years before purchasing Raymond House Inn. She had owned her own house cleaning business, which she attributes to helping her prepare for owning a bed and breakfast, explaining that "It has always been [her] dream." She purchased the bed and breakfast in January of 2021 but took time to remodel most of the interior before opening in the summer of that same year. A few of her family members helped her repair the outside deck and repaint several of the walls and floors of the edifice. They also helped move furniture around, and antiques were added to many of the rooms.
In the future, Mary explains that she would like to alter the Princess Room to make one more unit that is handicap accessible. She explains that a closet in the suite could be expanded and turned into a completely separate room for guests to reserve. The back entrance to the kitchen would likely get a ramp for people who have difficulties with stairs. On the deck, she would like to add a small swing set that little kids could use while they are at the property.
One unique aspect of the property's history is that Henry Ford and his mistress are rumored to have regularly stayed in what is now known as The Henry Ford Room.