100th Birthday of Thunder Bay Inn

A Marquette Country landmark is getting ready for what it hopes will be a strong season as it celebrates its 100th birthday.

The Thunder Bay Inn in Big Bay was built in 1910.

It closed in March 2008 but reopened later in the year under new owners.

General manager Duke Peacock says 2009, their first full year in business at the inn, went very well.

He says they’re trying to do a few new things this year — build a new addition that’ll house pool tables, build a patio for outdoor dining and start producing their own home-brewed beer.

The inn is closed for the month of April, but he’s still taking hotel reservations even while closed.

Peacock and his parents, who own the business, will be preparing for what they expect to be a busy 2010.

They’re doing things like cleaning up the kitchen, resurfacing the hardwood floors and doing other similar things that they wouldn’t be able to do if guests and diners were around.

Before the Thunder Bay Inn became a hotel and restaurant, it was a general store.

Then Henry Ford bought it and had it remodeled into a vacation home.

In 1959, director Otto Preminger had some scenes for the “Anatomy of a Murder” movie shot there, including the murder scene.

The actual 1952 murder that the book and movie were based on took place down the street from the inn at the Lumberjack Tavern.