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Historic Mackinac Island lodge receives multi-million dollar renovation

O ver the last century , th e adirondack lodge known as Silver Birches has housed different families, guests, and dignitaries on Mackinac Island.


O

ver the last century

,

th

e

adirondack lodge known as
Silver Birches has housed different families, guests, and dignitaries on Mackinac Island.


B

ut it hasn't been used as a lodge since the 1960s and for the last
seven years, it has been boarded up. Until now.


"

When I walk through the property and got to the point where you can see the water
and see the architecture on the back of the house, I was blown away by how majestic it was," Silver Birches owner Liz Ware recalled.


T

his time last year

,



W

are wanted to escape from her big city home in
Chicago, so she came to Mackinac Island.


A

nd like many visitors

,

spotted th

e

large timber mansion hidden away in the woods

.



O

nly a
four mile bike ride away from the ferry docks.


"

We get a lot of email he

re

about

,



'

what is that abandon place on the other side of the island

?'

and I think so many people dream about what they can do with it

," Mackinac Island Visitor's Bureau Director Mary McGuire said.


W

are didn't waste anytime making her dream a reality.

S

he bought
Silver Birches and got the permits to start a multi-million dollar renovation.


This week,

two cottages on the property are getting a facelift and crews are inside the main lodge painting and cleaning up.


"

When you look at the outside you can see how dilapidated it is

," Ware said. "

But when you get inside the lodge it's an surprisingly good condition

."


T

he original wood walls from 1912 are in excellent shape.

Antique furniture is scattered throughout the lodge waiting to be used.


B

ut not everything is in pr

is

tine condition

.



T

he building has to be modernized and
Ware faces a number of challenges to do so.


"

Everything has to be done in the challenges of having to do it with bicycles and horses makes it even harder

,

but not impossible

," Ware explained.

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