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Cartier Mansion

cartiermansionOver the years as my wife and I would consider travel plans, we would explore travel sites and brochures. The concept of staying at a bed and breakfast would always come up, but I would always squelch that idea. The thought of staying in a strangerís home, with a group of other strangers, was not appealing to me at all.

This past weekend my thinking may have changed a bit. While I did not stay at a Bed and Breakfast, I attended a workshop at the Cartier Mansion Bed and Breakfast in Ludington Michigan.

This impressive home is a large, brick, neoclassical home built by William Cartier during Michiganís lumber boom era in the early 1900ís. The large inviting front porch led to an impressive center entrance where the Cartiers would welcome their friends and business associates.

Even more impressive is the original woodwork throughout the home, each room finished with a different species of wood. The different rooms feature mahogany, oak, cherry, and my personal favorite, the black walnut in the library. Off the library is a delightful cozy den with a fireplace. I could just envision the Cartiers relaxing in this room with their close friends, enjoying the rooms  beautiful pocket benches next to the fireplace. The room even has pockets in the brick for guests to place their drink. I could go on and on about the detail of the house, but I will let you explore their website.

Now for the people. Gary and Sue Ann Schnitker are owners of the B & B and are only the third owners of this residence. I arrived very early Friday morning and I was welcomed by Gary, a very warm and personable gentleman, who with his warmth and sincerity, quickly erased my false, preconceived ideas of a B &B. 

As I waited in the parlor for the rest of the workshop participants, I had the opportunity to admire the cherry trim, the inlaid floors and the casually elegant period furniture. Sue Ann then came out of the kitchen, and I was given another warm welcome. I felt like I was a long lost friend!

The meals that were served were outstanding, beginning with a four course breakfast. All of the fantastic food was prepared and served by Sue Ann and Gary. The surroundings, the proprietors and the food went far beyond my expectations.

I was not able to spend the night at the mansion that weekend, but it is now on top of my list of things to do.

Written by Dave.