If you’re a fan of cool architecture (like me) you’ve probably rolled through more than one small Upper Peninsula town, saw a cool old mining era building all boarded up and thought, “man, someone should really do something with that place.”
Well, someone did. In Negaunee. And it’s called the Union Station Depot.
The story goes like this. Native Michigander Jim Kantola and his wife and kids moved to Negaunee around 2001 and soon discovered an abandoned railroad depot. His first thought was that he’d restore the place and turn it into a home for his family.
But, when the birth of his third child caused a need for more bedrooms (the depot has two), he decided to rent it out as both a vacation rental and a venue for special events.
According to Jim, the Union Station Depot was build around 1910. And it was built in just six months, for around $50,000. (That’s around $1,193,398 or so in today’s dollars.)
It seems that around the turn of the century there were plenty of well to do travelers moving through the area, but there wasn’t a suitable rail station for them to spend their time between trains. At least not in Negaunee.
So, the Union Station Depot was constructed, quickly, to cater to the needs of those travelers. And the quality craftsmanship still shows, even after being abandoned for forty years. Jim did most of the work himself over the course of four years, painstakingly reviving many of the original details, and he’s done an amazing job bringing it back to life.
My family and I had the good fortune to stay at the depot recently and we’re already looking forward to getting back. My girls had fun running all around the 2,500 square foot home, and my wife and I enjoyed the historic details, the cushy living room and the sauna.
I could go on for quite a while about all of the cool details of the place this place boasts, like how the old ticket window is now a pass through window between the kitchen and the dining area, but you should really just click on over to their website and check it out for yourself.
Or better, yet, go stay there! It sleeps eight people comfortably and rates start at just $199 per night! Oh, and the depot is also just a few steps away from what’s soon to be the area’s newest bar / restaurant, Jackson’s Pit. So while the Marquette restaurant and bar scene is only ten minutes away, you may not even need to leave the block.