BIG BAY — One historical establishment in the U.P. is officially on the market, as a previous movie set and a vacationing home for Henry Ford himself, it is known as a special place throughout the community.
After being built in 1911, the Thunder Bay Inn located in Big Bay has experienced its fair share of exciting memories. With a visit from Jimmy Stewart during the filming of the Anatomy of a Murder to Henry Ford originally purchasing the building using it as a vacationing home for Ford executives. The Peacock family has owned the Thunder Bay Inn for the past eight years, an establishment that has not only left an impact on the family but also the community as well.
“Local people here consider this hotel to be the center piece of this village and community” said Thunder Bay Inn Owners, Gretchan & Wayne Peacock. “This is a good social place and our lobby out in the main building is rented for anniversary parties and birthday parties, and so on.”
Throughout the years of owning the Inn, the family has made various changes to enhance the atmosphere for guests and customers, while also keeping the history alive. Running the Inn and restaurant all year excluding April can be a daunting task, but thanks to the help of their son, they are able to do just that.
“We couldn’t have run this without our son, who is our head chef and manager, he’s our backbone and keeps us going” said Gretchan Peacock.
The Thunder Bay Inn has earned a positive reputation from residents across the U.P. but due to its old age, rumors of a haunting are destined to arise. The Peacocks laid the rumors to rest and shared their insight on the matter. “I’ve heard many stories, many rumors, but I have not had an encounter personally” said Wayne Peacock.
Despite the enjoyable years of interacting with the community and running the Inn, the Peacocks are looking forward to a permanent retirement.
“We have enjoyed it, we still enjoy it, it’s just getting to the point that we need to re-retire. We were retired for 11 years prior to buying this and now it’s time to re-retire” the Peacocks continued. The Peacocks said the main thing they are looking for in a potential buyer is just a good person who is willing to maintain the historical importance of the Thunder Bay Inn.