SUTTONS BAY, Mich. (WWJ) – “It’s really like you’re visiting a farm a hundred years ago — the true authentic experience,” said Susan Odom, innkeeper at Hillside Homestead in Suttons Bay.
Odon told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Marie Osborne a stay at her bed and breakfast is an “immersion experience.”
“It’s 1910 — that’s how it feels at my house,” Odom explained. “I cook on the wood stove…everything is homemade: breads, jams, jellies.”
A full farm breakfast is served in the morning, often with eggs fresh from the farm’s hens.
“People have come disconnected from where their food comes from, from the way life used to be lived; and here you can have this real, authentic experience,” Odom said.
A former metro Detroit resident, Odom said guests are allowed to participate in the farm work as much or as little as they want while they’re there. No chores are mandatory.
“Guests help me cooking; they get to learn about wood stove cooking,” Odom said. “Feeding the animals…feed pigs, collect eggs, feed chickens, carry water. Occasionally there’s even things to butcher — not everybody’s cup of tea.”
“Sometimes there’s fence building that needs to be done; yesterday we had jam-making,” she said. “Bring in firewood. I had this one man once help me bring in so much firewood.”
The first floor of the inn is historically accurate to 1910, while the guest rooms offer most of the comforts of 2014.
There’s no TV, though.
“By the time you get her, nobody even seems to mind. I can’t even think of one occasion when somebody really missed a TV or that they mentioned it to me,” Odom said.
Suttons Bay is located in Leelanau County, 15 miles north of Traverse City, along M-22.