lseckerle

Food, Fun and More

Brick Walker Tavern – an Unexpected Visit

 

I drove over to Cambridge Junction to photograph an old-time baseball tournament that was scheduled to be played in the Brick Walker Tavern Historic Complex which is part of the Michigan State Park system, located a quarter mile north of Brick Walker Tavern on M-50. I haven’t done a lot of sports photography and thought this would be a fun way to get more experience. My camera and my 70-200mm lens were in the trunk.
I pulled into the park, but there was no baseball game. I was sure – well almost- that I had the correct day. I turned around and headed back toward the tavern. Two men were working in the garden and yard.  I made a quick decision and whipped into a parking spot. They gave me the EYE when I got out of my car; not sure about the interruption. A question revealed that the ball game had been canceled. Darn! It looked like my photo gear would stay in the trunk for the time being.
After chatting for a bit, I discovered that one of the workers was Tom Lee, the owner of Brick Walker Tavern. He’d been renovating the three story hotel and tavern, built in 1853, into a wedding and event venue. While keeping true to the time period he skillfully added the modern conveniences of air conditioning, updated bathrooms, WiFi and flat screen TV’s in the second floor bedrooms.
Mr. Lee gave me a tour of the first floor while entertaining me with the building’s history.  We entered through the kitchen which featured hand-crafted cupboards made by a local craftsman. Then we went on into the four parlors, the early Cambridge Junction post office and a tavern with the original bar.  He and pointed out that each room has been named for a previous owner. Having to get back to work, he had his son take me upstairs to explore the rest of the hotel.
He explained that a wedding party could spend the night before and after the ceremony in the five bedrooms on the second floor. The rooms were cozy with authentic quilts and shams on antique wooden beds. They were also accented with other period furniture and features.

A private bath was provided for each room. A gourmet breakfast could be cooked and served by a private chef the last morning of the wedding party’s stay.
The Grand Ballroom filled the third floor and was impressive in its grandeur and beauty.
Weddings and/or receptions are held in the ballroom or in the remodeled and remarkable Antique Barn, which was on the same property. The barn’s grand staircase was the perfect setting for pictures of the wedding party and the bride with her train flowing gracefully down the steps. White fairy lights shone from folds of white organza and around beams and newel posts. I was enchanted and lost in the magic of it, wishing I were twenty-something again and planning my first wedding.

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5 Comments

  1. You are awesome.. i love how the LORD welcomes new people into my life.. can i put your story on my website so people may feel what we are all about.. the gal that helps me book the weddings would like to meet you one day.. she is a retired librarian from brooklyn.. you write the books and she will get the people to read them.

    • Tommy,
      Yes, I would be delighted if you would post my blog on your website. You were so accommodating and kind to me, a stranger, who just happened to stop by… and don’t forget to pass on my name to your cabinet builder! 🙂

  2. The Brick Walker Tavern thanks you and we are delighted you enjoyed your day even though you did not get to see the vintage baseball game! I encourage you to return for another baseball game as they are very fun to watch! Do stop by and visit us again. If we are not there, call the number on the sign!

  3. Jeff Lee

    Wonderful place to have a wedding party… Tom has done a wonderful job on loving this historic place back to being a Gem in the Irish Hills…. Jeff Lee “General ” One of the Vintage Base Ball players for Walker Tavern Wheels…we have home games coming up in the next two weeks… come see us! By the way nicely done article!

    • Come on August 27th and join us after the game as we are hosting a picnic for the players and friends. We would love to have you there as our guest. It would give you additional time to talk to the players and I would love to meet you!!

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