Homestead Resort Weddings, Glen Arbor MI
There are three stylish sites for weddings and receptions. In settings as fresh as a flower, they meld the mystique of Leelanau with the majesty of Lake Michigan. Each is uniquely beautiful. Each is equipped and staffed to provide exceptional service. Choose one and views will beguile, flavors will swirl and wines will sparkle. Laughter will meld with the sounds of the water. And the day, the unique day…the perfect day…the day of which you’ve dreamed, will be made.
For a smaller wedding in a timeless setting with breathtaking scenery, the Café’s terrace is unmatched. It sits above the beach but a bouquet’s throw from the shore. It is bordered by beauty: an historic inn to the east, the river and beach to the south, the lake, dunes and islands to the west, the magnificent homes to the north. Available for spring and fall weddings with a minimum of 50 guests for Saturday evening.
For a mid-size wedding in a naturally beautiful setting Camp Firefly is ideal. The camp is located between steep, heavily timbered slopes. Outside, its buildings have thick, cedar shingles, stone and cedar walls, and story-book colors. Inside, they have cozy wood walls and exceptionally comfortable furnishings. Available for spring and fall weddings with a minimum of 50 guests for Saturday evenings.
You have the diamond. You need the perfect setting. This is it. It is a remarkably warm and welcoming building, outside and in. Perhaps that’s because of the intense colors in the dense landscaping. Or because of the sound of water cascading down a falls that’s barely outside the window. Or because of fireplaces – the massive outdoor and indoor fireplaces – decorated with hand wrought iron from the Black Rock Forge. Or because of the art and artifacts and antiques you’ll see throughout the building. Whatever the reason, this setting is like your diamond. It sparkles. Available for weddings year-round with a minimum of 150 guests for Saturday evenings in the summer season.
Were a sparkling building not enough, we’ll take you and your guests from it to the top of Bay Mountain. There, your guests will turn to watch as you make your entrance down the aisle of a chapel-like amphitheater that seems to have been carved from the edge of the mountain. When they turn back, they will watch and listen as you exchange your vows hundreds of feet above the endless panorama of the Manitou Passage. Steps away, you’ll receive your guests and share your wine at another carved-into-the-mountain setting with equally stunning views. Then, we’ll take you back to that sparkling building to again receive your guests and dine and dance the night away.
The History behind The Homestead Resort - Glen Arbor, Michigan
A young couple from St. Louis, Missouri, William and Cora Beals had decided to search the beaches on the Great Lakes in Michigan and Wisconsin to find the region’s most naturally beautiful site. Their goals were to build a home, start a summer camp and use their education to teach young adults. They had found two sites when they were told of a third – a site at the point where the waters of the Crystal River met the waters of Lake Michigan in the Manitou Passage. With no knowledge of the danger, the Beals took a passenger steamer from Chicago to Glen Arbor in the summer of 1923. When they arrived at the point where the waters merged, the Beals knew this site, not the others, would be the site of their “homestead.”
The Beals purchased the property in 1924 and started Camp Leelanau for Boys which was soon followed by Camp Kohana for Girls. Both camps offered a wholesome outdoor experience with a strong emphasis on the natural environment. Satisfied parents asked that a boarding school be started. The Beals accepted that challenge and started construction on what would be the home base for the school. That was in the summer of 1929. The depression followed as did hard times. Barter became the currency of the day – work was traded for education. But the building was completed and by 1932 was used by the school in the winter and by the first “resorters” in the summer. Once again, there was a strong emphasis on the natural environment.
As time passed, the camps, school and resort grew and contracted over and again. Sometimes, their needs conflicted, their interests diverged and they grew apart. A decision to separate the camps and school from the resort and to make the camps and school not-for-profit institutions was taken. Subsequently, the resort was sold to a younger relative of the Beal’s family and his partner. Their plans for development and operations were not successful.
The land was then sold to its current owner. Research on the resort industry followed as did an all new master plan for development. The plan portrayed a community which would offer a wide range of recreational choices and a number of homes. Each aspect of it continued the then 50 year-old tradition of emphasis on the natural environment.
Today, you’ll find year-round recreational facilities, a spa, health and fitness center, restaurants, shops, resort hotels, a lodge, an historic inn and privately owned condominiums and homes. And as you enjoy these facilities, you will see that the sensitivity to natural environment has driven all that has been done. You’ll also see that the resort is now surrounded by the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Interestingly, portions of the two other sites the Beals had considered for their “homestead” are now also part of permanently preserved areas.