This past September I attend the wedding of Amanda and Paul at the Watervale Inn in Michigan. Reminiscent of Kellerman's resort from the movie Dirty Dancing, Watervale has been a family meeting place since 1918. Amanda has fond memories of annual summer visits with her family, making it the perfect venue for their nuptials.
Watervale started as a logging town in the late 19th century. As industry left, the place was all but abandoned until 1917 when Oscar H. Kraft purchased the town and surrounding land to create a public resort. Oscar's niece Vera Noble took up the reigns in 1960 and ran the place until her death in 2005 when it was passed along to her children. The site offers both a main Inn and 20 cottages for rent, some dating back to the original Watervale logging days.
Everything about the venue dates it to a 1980's renovation, maintained in pristine condition. It holds a wholesome rugged vibe while at the same time providing resort luxury. Even though, at the main Inn, the bathroom facilities are shared and the elderly receptionist crotchety, the linens are beautifully pressed, light fixtures dust free, and the windows in my private corner room could be opened to let the warm fall breeze through. The waitresses in the dining room wear crisp white uniforms, bringing items from a breakfast menu without limits on how much can be ordered. The breakfast was included in the extremely affordable cost for lodgings and cream for the coffee came in mini glasses, a wonderful old-timey touch.
There was a late night walk to the beach, guided by candle lanterns leading us to a bon fire blazing in front of crashing waves. Fireworks were set off, the bar was always open, natural beauty everywhere, and love in the air. I felt so honoured to be included in such a magical weekend and to experience this very distinctly American getaway.