Lovely Laurium Manor Inn

This is our second northern Michigan winter – technically it’s our third, but last winter hardly counts – so we’ve seen a fair amount of snow piled up. And with our travel affinity, we’ve driven in quite a bit as well. After our Friday evening festivities at Kathy’s, we hit the road to Laurium, in an area of Michigan that sees over two hundred inches of snow annually – about five feet more than we see. Despite a slow start this season, things had really accumulated by the time we arrived, and even we were surprised.

Winding up the steep incline through Hancock, I was partially convinced we had fallen into a MarioKart map. Pickups with plow blades on the front skittered around the sharp, slushy turns, unconcerned with lane markings. Once we passed beyond downtown, we were able to take in the city scene, which was impressive…in that the city was buried behind a wall of snow. Living in the Way Out, when we snowblow, our snow piles up slowly, far off to the side in our yard. In town, there’s nowhere for the extra snow to go but up. Houses all looked well protected by snow forts. Homeowners blow the snow off of driveways, snowplows push snow off of roads, and city caretakers drive snowblowing tractors down sidewalks blowing snow up. The result of which is walls of snow.

This is Laurium, with “clear” streets. The snow piles are much smaller than the ones I’ve described but failed to photograph. Those walls were at least eight feet tall.
snow-covered Laurium

Thus it was that when we arrived the Laurium Manor Inn – our B&B for the weekend – we were grateful to have a safe place to park for the night. Inn owner Julie Sprenger met me at the door, welcomed me to the home, and made sure we would be cozy for the night. (Why yes I will have some of your fresh scones and tea, thankyouverymuch!)

Pardon my exuberance here for a moment, but I have never been greeted with such sincere warmth and cheerfulness from someone who wasn’t already dear to me. Julie is a masterful hostess – great sense of humor, full of personality, respectful of your space and needs. And a great cook. Our breakfast – served until a lazy 10:30 in the winter – included cream cheese and rosemary scrambled eggs and citrus glazed ham on the first morning, and ginger pancakes with fresh whipped cream and sausage patties on day two. The scones weren’t our only treats either. On Saturday, Julie whipped up some brownies slathered with Nutella, which were delicious both before and after dinner 😉

In short, the important things like food and people were good enough to recommend a return visit. Fortunately, the accommodations were excellent as well, and the inn also boasts plenty of B&B charm, so we’ll be back when we are in the area again. Silver gilt ceilings, gold leaf and intricate tile on the fireplaces, coffered ceilings, carved crown molding, restored stained glass, quarter-sawn oak – and elephant hide wall coverings (of which I can’t say I approve, but you obviously don’t toss something like that in the garbage). I’ll let the pictures speak here:

Surprisingly for such a small town, Laurium/Calumet contains a nice collection of historic and beautiful homes and buildings. In warmer weather, I would love an in-town stroll. Instead, we opted for a couple of driving tours on heated seats. But, if you find yourself in the UP and don’t want to spend your time free from civilization’s encroachment (Joke’s on you! You should have picked a different destination!), you could easily spend a day touring the historic sites. A couple of my favorites:

Have you ever stayed at a place that far exceeded your expectations? If so, please share so I can take advantage of your good luck 🙂


16 thoughts on “Lovely Laurium Manor Inn

  1. Is it weird that I like the parlor ceiling picture best? (Weird for me, at least, as I tend to favor the swirly to the simple.) All great captures, naturally – a beautiful place!

    • I think you could still argue that you’re favoring swirly there! The molding is all carved like the detailed shot, at there’s viny gilt work all hand done in the center. Plus, that light fixture screams Jess 😉 JC3 would feel at home there, no doubt!

  2. What an impressive B & B. It looked heavenely. I would think a retirn visit is in order for y’all. Appears to be a beautiful town from your pictures. You did the place proud. She should hire you to produce brochures for her B & B.

    • She can link to me and use me as a testimonial 😉 We loved the place, and Tony isn’t much of a people person. He has “stranger danger” syndrome. Can’t believe I dragged him to Kathy and Barry’s!

  3. I lived in Hancock for 6 years in the 80’s. Never stayed up in Larium though. But I DO remember the walls of snow, and pushing plenty of snow myself with the ‘Yooper Scooper” as I lived in an upstairs flat of an old house on US 41, on that steep incline up to Calument. Ahhhh…memories.

    • Dawn I was pretty sure you would know *exactly* which incline I’m talking about! Those owners didn’t take over the inn until 1989, so it might not have been what it is now back then. I’m not sure about their summer rates, but right now it’s pretty affordable. Especially considering you can get a good/healthy breakfast without taking more out of the bank. (I am generally not a big fan of hotel breakfasts…)
      Yooper Scooper…one of those shovel/carts that you push to remove snow?

  4. That place looks like a fabulous place to visit, Heather. (You were probably starving after supper at our house and scarfed up those scones like they were manna in heaven, lol.) We went up to Houghton/Hancock on Monday afternoon and commented we hadn’t seen the streets and curbs so filled with snow in recent memory. It was a little challenging getting around. Often when we leave Baraga County and reach the Houghton County line there is a remarkable difference in snow depth. Glad you enjoyed “da” Copper Country!

    • Like you, we have been getting buckets of snow. It was almost all melted off our back stairs yesterday (three 10″ risers), and now we can’t see the levels at all – it’s just one definitionless heap! Still, we won’t look like Houghton 😉
      And you will never guess what I bought at the grocery store. Okay, maybe you would. Portobellos and kale. And avocados – going to try a variation of the soup 🙂

  5. Dear Heather
    I am beyond thrilled you had a good experience and that you have shared this with others. It is great people like you that make my “job” (I really don’t think of it as a job) so rewarding and absolute fun. The photos are amazing, love the stairway photo, I have not seen that perspective before. You have a great eye. When we start looking at redesign of Brochures, website….Can I contact you for pictures? Thank you again for such kind words!!

    • Julie we had such a great time, which is saying something because that is totally not Tony’s reclusive style 😉 Thanks for taking care of us for the weekend. And you can absolutely contact me for photos!

    • Your compliments brighten my evening 🙂
      The stairway shot was tough to achieve. I wanted to suggest that there was another set of stairs curving behind me, but other angles that showed its elegance seemed cliched. I ended up with the camera held way over my (5’3″) head!

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