Owners of Anchor In Naubinway, Maria and Don Brouwer
The Upper Peninsula and Naubinway started to become a regular destination for Maria’s family starting with her Grandparents and Parents in the 1950’s. As the youngest of four daughters, Maria and her family established a summer home and spent most of their summers there just outside of Naubinway on the shore of Lake Michigan. Maria, known locally as “Mia”, became well known by several generations as she filled the role of Activities Director in her college years for the local 36,000 acre Hiawatha Sportsman Club.
In 1979 Don, a Californian, met Maria in their sophomore year at Calvin College in Grand Rapids Michigan. It only took one trip to the U.P. for it to become a place that Don wanted to return to frequently. After 2 years of dating and marriage in October, 1981, Don & Maria, and ultimately their three children, have spent a good part of every summer at the family cottage.
So our love for Naubinway and its residents is not recent. Our family has spent more time in the U.P. than any other travel destination. Several years ago, as we began to contemplate spending more time in Naubinway, we began looking for opportunities of community involvement. We considered how we could contribute something new and different to Naubinway, its residents and travelers. Over three years ago we purchased the building on U.S. 2 known either as the Loons Bin, Hitching Post, or for those who have been around awhile, the Anchor Inn.
The Anchor Inn, a building set on the basement foundation, had been moved from the nearby CCC camp after the war. One of it’s well known owners, Pico, seems to be someone remembered with a smile and a story by all. Anchor Inn was a place to gather, visit and enjoy for hours. It used to include a bowling alley lane, shuffle board and pool table during its many years of service to the community. We even found the stainless steel alcohol dispensers still plumbed on a shelf in the basement where they used to carry refreshment up to the main floor. We hope to honor that tradition and have been gathering memorabilia to establish a small Anchor Inn museum within the new Anchor In Naubinway. So in 2005 we purchased the old Anchor Inn and began to formulate a dream of what it could become that would cause residents and travelers alike to stop, gather and enjoy a wide variety of services. In summer of 2007 our family gutted and began to remodel the interior as we also began to design a welcoming new exterior. We used the log home theme to create an experience and environment where people could relax to cool off and be refreshed on warm days and cozy up around a fire on cold ones.
So, with the help of De Wyse Construction working through the spring of 2008, and endless hours of design and preparation from our California residence, we opened on Friday, June 27, 2008. You can run in to check your email and grab a smoothie or stay for several hours as you visit with family and friends! Shop for a birthday gift or acquire quality art work by local talent!
We are so grateful for the reception of the Naubinway merchants. As we adapted to start up challenges, everyone was welcoming and lent a friendly hand and solutions to help us overcome roadblocks. We hope that we can give back to the community as well as give travelers and residents another place to stop on “Main Street” for regular visits to relax and enjoy!