The Story Of The Inn and Harbor Country

Union Pier, With Love

Just 200 footsteps to a beautiful Lake Michigan beach, The Inn caters to both couples getaways, weddings, family reunions and corporate retreats. The interiors are decorated in a mix of Scandinavian Country and Lakeside Cottage styles. Choose from 16 spacious guest rooms furnished with a mix of Danish and Swedish antiques and pine reproductions and painted in light, airy colors. Most guest rooms feature antique Swedish wood-burning fireplaces (see below) and porches or balconies overlooking the landscaped grounds.

But of course it didn't start off that way. In the 1920s, Union Pier was a new and exciting escape from Chicago. However, the area declined in the 1960s and languished for decades. In the early 1980s, Union Pier and surrounding towns were rediscovered as bed and breakfasts became popular getaways. Bill and Madeleine Reinke renovated the property as a bed and breakfast and the seven towns around Union Pier were rebranded as Harbor Country. 


Just Pronouncing Kakelugns is Warming

Antique Swedish Fireplaces

The Inn showcases the largest collection of functioning wood-burning antique Swedish fireplaces, called kakelugns, in the entire United States. Each of our 13 kakelugns is decoratively unique and between eighty and one hundred and twenty years old. They were imported from homes in Sweden, shipped disassembled, and reconstructed here at The Inn by Swedish Master Stove Builders. The kakelugn that anchors the Great Room is over 100 years old and was commissioned by a Swedish sea captain who sailed to the Orient, thus the pagoda-like influence in it's design. Guests delight in relaxing by the warmth of a kakelugn at the foot of their bed from early fall through spring.


Karonsky's Hotel

Summer in the 1920s

The three Swedish blue buildings that comprise The Inn were originally built in the 1920's as a summer resort called Karonsky's Hotel - the only kosher hotel in Union Pier. What is now the Great Room was originally the hotel's dining hall. One can just imagine the clatter of china, the slamming of the screen doors on a summer night and friends and family playing pinochle into the wee hours. Whereas The Inn now has 16 spacious guest rooms all with private baths, as Karonsky's Hotel, it offered 39 tiny rooms with iron beds and dressers (some refurbished and still in use at The Inn) that shared only six bathrooms and an outdoor shower! One can still see the outlines of the cubicle size rooms in the original floorboards. The buildings were purchased in a dilapidated state in 1983 by Bill and Madeleine Reinke, who completely gutted and renovated all three buildings and opened as the first bed and breakfast in the area on June 15, 1985.


Innkeepers Bill & Joyce Jann

Passion and Place

Bill and Joyce Jann purchased the Inn at Union Pier during the spring of 2000 after having owned the first bed and breakfast in Saugatuck, Michigan. They converted that 100-year-old property into a B&B with an old fashioned ice cream shop and ice cream parlor restaurant. Bill and Joyce just seem to love old historic buildings with charm and especially the stories that go with them. They ran it as a family owned business; Bill is sure they violated child labor laws with their young daughters working along side them. Sadly, Joyce passed away in the fall of 2019 after battling a very rare cancer for 15 years. She loved working in the kitchen, decorating the Inn and meeting guests upon arrival. Much of the visiting was done in the kitchen while she was either baking or planning the next morning's breakfast. Their three daughters are still active helping Bill with the Inn.

The Inn at Union Pier
9708 Berrien St.
Union Pier, MI 49129-0222
Phone: (269) 469-4700
Inquiries: [email protected]
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