Bay View Bed & Breakfast  ·  P.O. Box 448  ·  Mackinac Island, MI 49757  ·  906.847.3295
Feature article from Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine, April 2002 "Room with a View"
Guests vie for a late afternoon spot on this classic porch, highlighted by cushioned wicker furniture, beadboard ceilings and colorful perennials. The kitchen is another gathering spot; employees Kathleen Fullerton, Veronica McKay and Rose Grant put guests instantly at ease.

Sit long enough on the cushioned wicker chairs and you’re likely to hear a cannon blast from the fort, the bells of St. Anne’s ringing and a foghorn sounding from the harbor.

Inside, the luxurious rooms are true to the home’s Victorian heritage and still boast many of its original antiques. The artwork leans toward impressionistic scenes,many done by part-time island resident Michelle Murphy. While the Yoders have gone on to buy, renovate and sell two other inns—the Veranda in Harbor Springs and Brigadoon in Mackinaw City—they turned their full attention back to Bay View this past summer.

Friends joke that Doug is still a producer at heart—only now producing inns instead of music. But while he brings a type A, buttoned-down approach to the job of innkeeper, his favorite part of the job is urging guests to follow their dreams, however unconventional. Some days, he heads early to the inn’s breakfast room and throws out questions to the guests like “What’s your biggest regret?” Visitors often end up urging one another to pursue long-held ambitions, whether that means buying their own bed and breakfast or learning the trombone.

Producing a dream vacation on an island famous for being true to the past can mean a tricky balance between old-time character and modern convenience. With mixed feelings, the Yoders brought 21st-century touches to all rooms over the past winter; each room now has discrete air conditioning units, a telephone, and well-hidden TVs and VCRs. (Be sure to check with the front desk for a copy of the movie This Time for Keeps—stars Jimmy Durante and Esther Williams frequented the Bay View guest house during the filming and reportedly spent hours in front of the lobby’s cozy fireplace during breaks.)

Want all evidence of modern times removed? The Yoders will gladly move the television into storage. Either way, Bay View will lure you out of your room and far from the pressures of everyday life with fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies each afternoon, bottomless cups of the Yoders’ own Bay View blend coffee and the promise of good conversation whenever you need it.

In the mornings, company is as close as the open kitchen just off the breakfast room. Sun streams through the arched window, and even sunnier is the disposition of head chef Rose Grant, who loves nothing better than preparing a gourmet feast for a crowd. One of 14 children, Grant grew up in Jamaica and easily transferred her innate island hospitality. She pipes big band music into the dining area, and loves the challenge of cheering up a guest having a bad day.

“By the time you get done talking with them, they mellow out and cheer up,” she says. “They say, ‘Girl. You made my day.’ Then they go out on the deck and let their troubles roll away with the waves.”

Kim Schneider is assistant editor for TRAVERSE. E-mail:

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