The Kirby House Bed & Breakfast
Table Of Contents
The Kirby House is a beautiful Queen Anne Victorian manor located in the Saugatuck/Douglas, Michigan resort area.
It is one of the last of the elegant homes of its era to survive. Many others were unfortunately lost in fires or were sadly demolished as useless relics of the past.
Situated on the one acre of ground that Sarah Kirby purchased from her parents, Willard and Maria Gill, in December 1886 for $100.00, the home offers eight guest rooms, most with private baths, five fireplaces (three of which are in guest rooms), and several common areas.
The home is graced with quarter-sawn oak woodwork and panels, prismed windows, tall ceilings with gently curved moldings, a six sided tower, wrap-around front porch and beautiful gardens.
Over the bridge and around the corner is the heart of Saugatuck. You're close enough to take in everything the town has to offer, yet far enough to enjoy some privacy. The serene surroundings will refresh your senses.
The home is furnished with an eclectic mix of period antiques and modern furnishings. There are eight guest rooms, six with private baths and two on the third floor that share a bath. The home boasts five fireplaces, of which three are in guest rooms. Several commons areas are available for guest use including our parlor, foyer and butler's pantry.
After a day of shopping in Saugatuck and Douglas' unique shops and art galleries, enjoy a glass of wine on the wrap-around porch as you watch the sunset. Or, relax on our large back deck while you take a dip in the heated, in-ground pool and soothe your muscles in the whirlpool Jacuzzi! If you don't want to get wet, take a 3/4 mile walk to enjoy the spectacular Lake Michigan sunset. Afterwards head back out for dinner at any of Saugatuck's fine restaurants.
Bring your own wine or favorite beverage and relax on the wrap-around front porch or walk through our beautifully landscaped gardens bordered by a picket fence.
Breakfasts at Kirby House are an event! A candlelight gourmet breakfast buffet is presented each morning served on fine china, crystal and linens. True to our goal of helping you relax, our full breakfast starts at 10:00 a.m., so sleep in. And, for the early riser, coffee, danish, fruit and granola are available at 8:30 a.m.
All rooms are air conditioned and the house has been approved with three diamonds by AAA.
The Kirby House has also been featured in the October/November 1995 issue of Country Magazine. The Detroit Magazine indicated that The Kirby House is "probably the most hospitable inn" in the area. In June of 1998 The Detroit Free Press called the Kirby House "a perfect bed and breakfast...loaded with charm..." an accolade that we endeavor to maintain. In the January 1999 issue of Automobile Magazine, the Kirby House was featured as one of the places to stay when visiting Saugatuck and Douglas.
- Full Gourmet Breakfast - Served daily from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. includes hot main entrees, muffins, danish, homemade granola cereal, fruit, coffee, assorted teas, milk and juices.
- Large in-ground heated pool with expansive deck area and beautiful wooded surroundings.
- Whirlpool Jacuzzi Spa
- Wrap around front porch
- Free bikes available
- Commons areas with two fireplaces, comfortable seating areas, refrigerator and microwave for guests, and books available for your reading enjoyment
- Local restaurant menus and information on nearby attractions available for browsing
- Telephone in foyer with free local calls
- Just 3/4 mile from beautiful Lake Michigan and the Douglas Beach
KIRBY HOUSE GIFT CERTIFICATES
MAKE GREAT GIFTS!
Call 1-800-521-6473 for more information
Saugatuck Douglas Convention and Visitor's Bureau
click here for more information about the area
The Kirby House hosts, Jim Gowran wants you to feel right at home while staying at The Kirby House and enjoying the beautiful Saugatuck area.
The Kirby House has a history that began in the late 19th century. Sarah Kirby had married Frank Kirby, a local "boot, shoe and crocker merchant," in 1883. However, it is interesting to note that the warranty deed contained only her name and not that of her husband. Sarahâ€™s first mortgage on the home, again in her name, was written in May of 1890 -- it was in the amount of $400.00 with a 10% interest rate. One might suspect that that was the reason for the 10% interest rate which was exceedingly high for that era. Also, the $400.00 was surely not the cost to build the house, but perhaps some quick cash or emergency money. Historians indicate that the house was probably built for between $4,000 and $8,000 -- a sizable sum for a woman to possess on her own in an era where women could not even vote!
Frank Kirby died in 1896, just six years after the house was built. He is buried in the local cemetery in the Gill family plot. His death certificate indicates that he died of "an abcess of the brain." Medical historians indicate that this term was often used, in those prim and proper Victorian days as a euphemism for syphilis. Sarah continued to live in her home, she raised her children in The Kirby House and in 1932 when she was 70 years of age she moved to California to live her remaining years near her grandchildren. Sarah lived to be almost 90 years of age and she is buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Hemit, California. Before Sarah left this area she and her one daughter, Faith, who was also a nurse, turned her family home in to a hospice-type of operation, called Hawthorne Lodge, for people who "just need a home." That operation was turned over to what became the local hospital.
Douglas Community Hospital
The Kirby House was known as the Douglas Community Hospital from 1932 until 1960! Those years of service to the community turned out to be magical years of survival for the old house. As a "temporary" facility, little was done to alter it, but it had a function and therefore survived. After that time the house served as an antique and junk store, a real estate office, the abandoned and "haunted" house of the area and also a rooming house.
The house was purchased in 1983 for the sole purpose of restoration for a bed and breakfast and opened as such in May of 1984. The current owners, Raymond Riker and Jim Gowran, purchased the home to continue the tradition of The Kirby House Bed and Breakfast and opened for business in May of 1998.
Jim's experience goes back 12 years in the banking industry. Â From front-line customer service experience to senior management staff member, his corporate banking experience and marketing degree add to the business end of this venture!