By Sterling McGinn

Situated in downtown Hulbert is a building constructed 105 years ago. Now known as Tahquamenon Bed and Breakfast, the business is under new ownership.

Tony and Heather Gritzinger are now part of the builidng’s long history. They purchased the historic business in October 2023 from Grant and Joan Dewitt, who had owned the Tahquamenon Hotel for 15 years.

The Gritzingers, who are celebrating 25 years of marriage this year, have a strong attachment to the Hulbert area and to the building. Their tie to the community dates back to well over 100 years.

“My great-great-great grandparents lived in Hulbert,” said Tony Gritzinger. “My great grandfather, Richard Pangburn, ran the sawmill. My grandfather, Gerald Pangburn, ran Big Bear Logging, and my mom, Lisa Pangburn Gritzinger, was best friends with Joan Dewitt when they both attended Newberry High School. You can say we have a deep connection to Hulbert.”

Tony was born in Hulbert, and he spent a great deal of time there during summers, holidays, and wintertime. Once Heather joined the family, she also enjoyed spending time in the area.

When Heather and Tony learned that the Dewitts were planning to sell the hotel, they felt they had to jump at the opportunity.

“The timing of the move to Hulbert was a little earlier than we had planned, however we felt we had to make it happen. We knew opportunities like this where we get to take over a landmark building, strengthen our ties to Hulbert and fulfill the dream of running a bed and breakfast was too much to pass up,” Tony said.

“And we are so happy we did. The entire town has welcomed us with open arms,” Heather said.

They wasted no time getting involved with the community. Heather is on the Hulbert Freedom Festival committee, and Tahquamenon Bed and Breakfast has sponsored other local events.

The building was constructed in 1919 by the J. Shepherd Parrish company, who operated a woodenware mill in Hulbert for many years. The building was originally a bunk house for the mill crew.
Hulbert resident and business owner Johnny Hunter bought the bunkhouse and turned the building into a hotel. Johnny and Nellie Hunter are Tony’s great-great uncle and aunt.

Since last fall, Tony and Heather have been busy painting and refurbishing rooms; the bed and breakfast offers 14 rooms (two rooms are connected for larger families).

Each room of the bed and breakfast features a theme relevant to the area. The Root Beer Falls Room was named for the amber color water running over the Tahquamenon Falls. There’s the 1919 Room, named for the year the building was built. The hotel also has a Black Bear Room, a Patriotic Room, the Big Bear Logging Room, and a Trapper’s Shack Room.

The Gritzingers like to feature artifacts and history of the Hulbert area. In the dining room, a large display case shows a number of Parrish wood bowls, photos, and the original hotel guest book. There is also two hats and a cane that belonged to Johnny Hunter.

The lobby has been redone and now has a kid’s play area. They also serve breakfast for locals and guests from 8 to 11 a.m. in the dining area on the weekends.

“It was important to us to pay homage to all that Hulbert has given to us,” Tony said. “Our goal is to provide a memorable experience to those who stay here, eat here, or just stop by for a cup of coffee. We are so happy to be in Hulbert. It really is a dream place.”