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.