Greenbush Inn – Greenbush

In the Cass City Chronicle, Dec. 23, 1927, an article on P.4 entitled “Boost Winter Climate Urges MSC Specialist”

” Already preparations are under-way for an elaborate
program of winter sports in Michigan. Greenbush Inn at
Greenbush, Grayling, and other towns in northeastern Michigan, and also towns in northwestern Michigan are
getting things in shape to entertain the lover of out-door
winter sports.”

At the Card Cow, a site devoted to vintage postcards and collectibles, a postcard, seemingly from the same period shows a large hotel in winter with winter sports enthusiasts in the foreground. The legend on the reverse says:

The Winter Sports Season Is In Full Swing At Greenbush Inn, Greenbush, Michigan. A happy crowd of guests are enjoying skating, tobogganing, bobsleighing, ice-boating, skiing, skate-sailing, ski-joring, ski-sailing, snowshoeing. Exhilarating winter fun; something doing every minute. Rejuvenating relaxation indoors. Dancing and bridge. Greenbush Inn is a modern hotel, electrically lighted, steam heated. Excellent food. Conveniently and easily reached by motor or railroad. Michigan Central offers special reduced fares. Bring your friends and make it a week or week-end winter sports party. The season is short. Write or wire for reservations and descriptive literature. GREENBUSH INN P.O. Box 15 Greenbush, Mich. Greenbush Inn–a winter resort unexcelled by any resort in the United States, Canada, or Switzerland

Greenbush Inn, Greenbush MI.

No hills are visible in the picture, although it looks like Lake Huron is behind the hotel, so any hills would be behind the viewer, to the west. There must have been some elevation as in addition to skiing, they tout tobogganing and bobsleighing (the term still in use in Canada). No mention of any tows, however, except for the horses for ski-joring or the wind for ski- and skate-sailing. Ski-sailing and snowshoeing? How delightfully 21st century!

The Robert J. Parks Public Library in Oscoda houses the collection of the Huron Shores Geneological Society. In the Knuth Photo Collection #2, the index lists 5 photos of the toboggan run at Greenbush Inn and 3 photos of the run’s cable house. So there was a tow,  at least for the toboggans. Copies are available. Contact: Compiler. Alonzo J Sherman, 308 W Dwight, Oscoda MI 48750, 989-739-3650.

On Fri., July 10, 1931, The California Eagle printed a bio piece about the owner of a new diner, Dixon’s Cafe, at 52nd and Central Ave, in LA. Lee Dixon had previously been Chef de Cuisine for several years at:

Greenbush Inn, Greenbush, Michigan. Greenbush Inn is to America what St. Maurice is to Switzerland—the greatest all-year resort in Europe. Greenbush has a lighted toboggan (run) over a mile in length.

On Aug. 30, 1935, the “Local News” column of the  Cass City Chronicle mentioned that two gentlemen were visiting one’s parents in town after spending the summer at the Greenbush Inn. Apparently it was still operating in 1935 (although in August I don’t know about the winter sports.)

On Feb. 28, 1949, Greenbush Inn lost their liquor license as the result of a lawsuit, Gamble vs. Liquor Control Commission. In the decision, it is mentioned that the inn was on the east side of State St., about 500′ north and across the street from the Union Church.

A note in the index to the collection of the AuSable-Oscoda Historical Society seems to indicate the hotel stood from 1926 until 1968, but I don’t know when they may have ended their winter sports emphasis.

If you have any information about skiing down hills at the Greenbush Inn in the 1920’s (or even if you know where the Greenbush Inn was) please post it or send it to us via the directions on the About MILSAP page.

26 Responses to Greenbush Inn – Greenbush

  1. Pingback: Lost Ski Areas

  2. scott bud coffin says:

    My father lived in a house next to the Inn. His mom did some laundry and sold egg to the Inn. My dad said he could play on the tennis court when nobody was around. His dad worked at Cedar Craft and the railroad depot.

    • MILSAP says:

      Three questions, Scott.
      1. Can you pinpoint the location of the Inn?
      2. Can you put a date to your father’s and grandmother’s interaction with the Inn?
      3. Do you know if there was ever a ski lift or tow at the Inn?

    • scott coffin says:

      scott bud coffin my fathers house was the barn style house the inn was across the street to the north he was born in that house 1921 and lived there till he went in the service and his mom clara dad herbert sister alice and doris moved to tawas

  3. tomboyer says:

    Are you still interested in information about the Greenbush Inn? I can provide a lot, having lived directly across the street from the Inn for a number of years.

    • MILSAP says:

      Yes, Tom. I would be very interested in any information you can provide about Greenbush Inn, starting with the exact location. Of course, we are particularly interested in any information youhave about skiing at the resort and whether it ever had a tow or lift. You can respond by replying to this comment or communicate via email to

      • Carrie Renfroe says:

        Address of the inn is the current block where 2411 S. State Street is located. My grandparents bought the property and built Hobbyland on the lake side and their house at the top of the hill. The rubber runners that went to the lake under US 23 were used at the mini golf course at Hobbyland.

    • Ken Goebel says:

      My father worked summers at the Inn in the early 60’s, so I spent my summers there as a young child. Can you provide the location of the inn?? Thanks,

      • Ken Goebel
        Are you any relation to Sy Goebel? I worked for him one summer with a friend and we put in a huge trampoline where the pool used to be? Also, I think he put in a mini golf course.

      • Ken Goebel says:

        I spent a lot of time at that pool in the early 60’s! Yes, Si (Seaborn) Goebel was my father’ cousin. He passed in1993. I seem to recall that he purchased the property that the Inn had been on sometime after it burned, and turned it into the amusement venue you mentioned.

    • scott coffin says:

      my dad bud or tristram lived in the barn style house born there 1921 and lived there with his sister alice and doris till 1944 then moved to tawas where his sons are today
      sorry i have not checked this site in a long time

  4. debra newman says:

    My grandparents had a cottage on lake street, south of where the Inn was. As kids I remember being able to walk under US 23 thru a tunnel…and walking on rubber runners that were placed in the sand like trails to the beach… That was on the lake side. There were cement slabs that I asume where tennis courts. The Inn was not there at that time….. just the remains of the beach area. ( 1961-1968)

  5. Charlie says:

    The Greenbush Inn was on the plot of land bordered by US 23 to the east, State Street/Cedar Lake Road to the west, Main Street to the north and Campbell Street to the south – although the original property may have extended further north. A tunnel ran under US 23 near Campbell Street to the lake-front – which, as mentioned above, included beach access and picnic facilities.

    By 1972 the hotel was gone (tennis courts remained for years), but the tunnel and beach-front facilities were still there. In the mid seventies the tunnel was sealed and the beachfront property was privately developed.

    The skiing and tobogganing hills were approximately 2 miles north – on the western side of US 23. beyond the Greenbush Golf Course. By the time we discovered them (on motorcycles) sometime between 1972 and 1974 any signs of lifts, tow-ropes, etc… were long gone. I do remember three or four very narrow, steep runs that were connected by a wandering trail/road.

  6. Madelyn Le Page says:

    My family vacationed at the Greenbush Inn when I was a child. It was an awesome place. There was a huge dance floor in the main building. The tunnel under US-23 was wonderful, as it allowed us to get to the beach side of 23 without having to cross the busy highway. The Inn burned down in the spring of 1968. My family was scheduled to go up there that summer and already had our reservations made, when we received a sad note from the owners telling us that the place had burned to the ground.

  7. scott coffin says:

    scott bud coffin my fathers house was the barn style house the inn was across the street to the north he was born in that house 1921 and lived there till he went in the service and his mom clara dad herbert sister alice and doris moved to tawas

  8. Merry Lou Loyer says:

    The Greenbush Inn was part of the holdings of Carl Schmidt (sp). The toboggan run was still reachable in the late 60 early 70s from Everett Road west of US 23 North of Greenbush. Schmidt also created the Greenbush Golf Course and the Saradella DairyFarm that is now part or Lakewood Shores resort. The original barns are still there on Cedar Lake Rd just south of the Iosco/Alcona county line.

  9. Jamie R. says:

    I googled the Greenbush Inn to see if it was still there as my family vacationed there in July 1965.
    I found the Postcard in an envelope with pictures. Our family photos show the dining room, tennis courts, lobby, baby pool and swimming pool.

  10. Ken says:

    Jamie R.,
    We lived downstate in Michigan where my father was a teacher, but he worked at Greenbush in the summers. So we lived there during the summers from abound 1960 thru maybe about 1965 (or somewhere around those dates). It burned a few years after we stopped going. I was born in 1957, so I have a lot of memories from there. If you have photos I’d love to see them. Understanding that they’re family photos, would you be willing to share copies? If so, can you post them? Or… please respond and I’ll provide you with my contact information. Thank you! Ken Goebel, Atkinson, NH

  11. Suzanne says:

    I know it’s been a long time since any more information has been made about the Greenbush Hotel
    We just moved to Campbell St and there is still some of the lilac bushes growing that were around the hotel. Was the ski lodge perhaps the old Silver Valley Ski Lodge ? I remember going on a high school free skiing day at Silver Valley back in 1957 (?). There were toboggan runs,down hill, and a large lodge. On one hill you could sit on little seats with runners and slide down . The toboggans could sit 4 or 5 people as I remember, you rapped your arms and legs around the person in front of you and held on !

    • MILSAP says:

      No, apparently not Silver Valley. In 2015, Charley posted that the Greenbush Inn ski and toboggan hills were about 2 miles north on the west side of US-23, beyond the Greenbush golf course.

      • MILSAP
        This is a very interesting comment section. I came across it as I’m reading through an old Alcona County review newspaper celebrating The 100th centennial celebration of Greenbush. It is from Thursday July 25th 1968. It gives you the history of Greenbush and the surrounding area and all of the activities that were happening at the time. There is a picture of the Toboggan Slide “Carlsberg” in Greenbush, Michigan. B & W of course, inside. Thought you’d be interested.

  12. David Martin says:

    My Grandparents were Hans and Ida Boehme. My grandfather managed the Inn from it’s earliest days. I have fond memories of swimming at the Inn’s pool every summer. My mother was Shirley Martin, who like her father, Hans Boehme (Bill) became Greenbush’s Post Master for many years.

  13. Kerry Greenhut says:

    My Hungarian grandmother (living in Detroit) worked as a cook/baker during the summer at what my parents called “Greenbush” in the early 1950’s. I am assuming it’s this place. I have foggy memories of my family going there once (I was maybe 4 yrs. old?) when she was there. I recall eating in a dining room . I also remember rehearsing with a group of other children to sing in an evening show Somewhere I have photos I inherited. I’d like to find them so see any match the postcard that’s above.

    • mart7888gmailcom says:

      Hello, My Grandpa, Bill Boehme was the manager of the Inn. (Hans Willy Boehme) He and several German families from Detroit were recruited to move up to Greenbush to establish the Inn. My family were friends with the modern day managers the Crupi family. As a kid I was able to swim at the pool free of charge all summer long. Sadly, in 1968, I looked out our window and saw an enormous blaze. The whole town turned out to see the structure burn to the ground.

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