The Inverness Inn and Country Store of North Lake: Washtenaw County, Michigan
North Lake is located in Washtenaw County, approximately thirteen miles southeast of Stockbridge, seven miles north of Chelsea, and twenty miles northwest of Ann Arbor.
According to Michigan Place Names, the community began under the name 'Louiseville' (some sites list it as 'Louisville') when a post office was implemented in 1835. In 1836, the name was changed to 'North Lake' and by 1847 the post office was closed.
When I was in high school, one of my buddies would let us hang out at his grandparents' cottage on North Lake (I'm sure they and the neighbors were thrilled about that). We would usually head down to the corner to the North Lake store. There, we found all the munchies we needed, pizza, and fresh-made-to-order sandwiches with all kinds of meats and cheeses. That little countryside store was a favorite of many locals and was unceremoniously torn down not too long ago. The spot stands bare on the north side of the Marathon station, with an all-new North Lake Country store on the south side. We miss that original little store.
Fortunately, North Lake still has the Inverness Inn. According to MLive, the tavern part of the Inverness began in 1907 when Mary Wright decided a trading post was necessary for travelers from Dexter to Jackson. In 1926, Doug Fraser built a log cabin with a fireplace that was intended as a place for weary travelers to rest during their journeys. Add the 1907 tavern to that, and the Inverness was now in place.
It remained a favorite spot for many up until it closed in 2005...but thankfully renovated and re-opened, better than ever with many food choices to choose from. The new owner says when they were remodeling, they stirred up one of the inn's ghosts...albeit a 'friendly' one. Ask about it next time you visit...
North Lake: The Inverness Inn & Old Country Store