The History of the Mountain
The Mountain Inn was opened for business on August 1st, 1936 by Oliver and Roseanne DeRocher. Rose was born in 1892 and raised in Black River. Oliver was 5 years old when his father brought his family from Canada to settle back in the 1890’s. Oliver and Rose met and were married October 10th, 1910. They had one son, Oliver Junior.
Oliver and Rose owned a 40 acre farm below the hill on Black River road. In July of 1931 Oliver and Rose were given another 40 acres from his father where he had lived as a boy. In 1936 U.S. 23 was being constructed between Harrisville and Chippewa Point dividing the property.
In the booming days Black River village had several saloons but after the lumbering days were over the village saloons soon closed. Oliver and Rose had the idea to build a bar at theintersection of US 23 and Black River road.
The first bar was built there and opened for business in 1936. On November 27 of the same year the bar burned to the ground
and was soon re-built in the spring of 1937, this time with living quarters attached to the bar.
During World War 2, the Mountain Inn was called “The
swinging place to go”. People from all over the country would
travel to the bar for social card games of Euchre and Smear,
play the penny, nickel and dime slots machines and for
dancing and socializing.
In the early years the Mountain Inn was referred to as the
beer garden where beer, wine and pop were sold. In the 40’s
it was a very popular for “Rosa’s” homemade chicken
dinners served at the bar.
On October 15th, 1955, on a Saturday night with 15 people
enjoying a drink, a fire began burning in the living area when
a line broke on the hot water heater spreading oil on the
ground, which ignited. People helped fight the fire but
being made of all wood it was a hopeless cause.
An insurance settlement was reached in the amount of
$14,000 and Oliver and Rosa’s goal was to try and re-open
by November 15th, for the opener of deer season which was
one of their busiest times of the year. On November 1st a
huge snow storm dumped over a foot of snow which set the
construction back a few days. They built it in a record period
of time in 5 weeks and on November 21st, 1955 the bar
re-opened which is the same building that stands today.
The business thrived thru the late 50’s and 60’s as the prime
location for food, drinks and socializing. During this period
the Mountain Inn had a great shuffleboard team which won
numerous trophies. In 1967 Oliver Rose sold the bar.
They had been the owners for over 31 years and were the
only bar business in Michigan to be in the same location
for that long of a period.
From 1967 to 2012 there have been 10 different owners, of the
Mountain Inn. The 3rd owner Marty Stevenson, added on a
North wing and built the fireplace. One owner changed the
name to the Harbor Inn but the next owner changed it back
to the Mountain Inn.
In February of 2012 Dan Gauthier and
Jim DeRocher bought the Mountain Inn