When wife and husband Patty Rasmussen and Mo Rave stayed at The Terrace Inn and 1911 Restaurant in Petoskey nearly two decades ago, their vacation inspired a 17-year ownership of one of Michigan’s most historic hotels.
At the time, Patty and Mo were owners of the Khardomah Lodge in Grand Haven. It wasn’t until after their stay in Petoskey that they learned the property was for sale, and the couple jumped at the opportunity; a negotiation with the buyer and an acceptance into the Bay View Association later, Patty and Mo were the new owners of the historic inn.
“We thought we could really take this place and liven it up, clean it up and brighten it up, and put a new energy into it,” said Patty Rasmussen, co-owner of the 1911 property.
The biggest draw to The Terrace Inn was the restaurant — as Mo had been in the wine industry for years — and the Khardomah Lodge lacked this space.
“I love the whole hospitality industry,” Rasmussen said. “I’m a nurse by training, so it’s a perfect fit. I mostly do all the hotel rooms, and Mo manages more of the restaurant and the bar.”
Opened in June of 1911, the inn’s first owner, William J. DeVol, bought the property for his wife to manage. Less than a decade after opening, the inn was temporarily used as a hospital during WWI, then reopened again as a hotel in the popular vacation destination of Bay View.
Over a century later, much of the historical elements of the inn are still intact.
“The dining room has the original wood floors,” Rasmussen said. “The rooms have the original 1911 dressers, and a lot of the beds are wrought iron.” The hemlock wood beams in the lobby also are original.
The aesthetic is certainly reminiscent of the late Victorian and early Edwardian periods, with lace curtains in the bedrooms and original chandeliers throughout. However, Rasmussen described other design elements that have found their way into the inn’s layout: the lobby’s original hemlock wood beams summon memories of rustic northern cottages, mixed with the quaintness of the softer, Victorian-era details.
“I also have a lot of pieces throughout the building from artists that did the art retreats I used to hold,” Rasmussen said. “They would come for a week, and they would all do a watercolor or oil, or something of the inn.”
As the longest owners since the late ’60s, Patty and Mo look forward to the next few years and a promising winter season.
“With COVID-19, we were able to seat people out on the terrace last winter with heaters, but this year, the whole dining area will be open,” Rasmussen said.
Additionally, new beverage flights are coming to the restaurant’s menu.
“We’re doing cider flights, beer flights and wine flights, and we’re going to pair them with the menu,” Rasmussen said. “We are going to keep our live entertainment, too, and I think that’s really important.”
When not touring with BLind MeLoN, guitarist Nathan Towne spends his time in Northern Michigan playing for a select few properties. Towne, a California native, is at the inn during restaurant hours this winter. His acoustic melodies and blues-like tunes play as guests enjoy the cozy dining areas.
Both Petoskey Farms and Crooked Vine Vineyard & Winery are open through the winter, drawing in guests as they both offer snowshoeing through the nearby snow-laden trails.
One of the many perks guests enjoy at The Terrace Inn are the relationships fostered between other local business owners. Bahnhof Sports — a Petoskey outfitter — offers discounts to the inn’s guests for snowshoeing and skiing gear. The nearby Petoskey Winter Sports Park is a popular go-to for winter vacationers as well.
“It has this amazing lodge with a fireplace, and picnic tables and food,” Rasmussen said. “You can rent ice skates and sleds there.” Like so many Lake Michigan properties, their histories outdate the construction of the West Michigan Pike and stand as a testament to the region as a year-round vacation destination. The Terrace Inn and 1911 Restaurant is no exception; it’s a hotel more than a century old yet brims with life to this day.