A Look Into Grand Hotel Stables by Ben Mosley

Grand Stables

 

The Grand Hotel Stables is open to the public and located minutes away from Grand Hotel in Surrey Hills just across from Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory. At 8,700 square feet, this working stable is a great way to see the horses up close, along with 20 antique carriages from both Grand Hotel and Mackinac Island Carriage Tours. The Grand Stables have undergone a little reorganization this fall and Stable Master Ben Mosley shares a few of the highlighted carriages and their history.

Grand Hotel Carriage
Ben Mosley

Presenting the Grand Hotel Stables Update by Ben Mosley:

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Roof-Seat Break

The burgundy carriage in the foreground is a Roof-Seat Break carriage that is owned by Dr. and Mrs. Bill Chambers. The Chambers family history on Mackinac reaches back to Doc’s great-grandfather arriving on the island from Ireland in 1830. Doc Chambers was the island Veterinarian for many years. He and Mrs. Chambers, along with other family members, have built and refurbished many carriages over the years. The large image on the wall behind the Roof-Seat Break carriage dates back to the late 1800’s. The picture is of a family on a carriage ride in front of Fort Mackinac. What is now Marquette Park was a cow pasture.

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Studebaker Collection

Carriages have been grouped together either by type or manufacturer. The Studebakers are all in one corner and have a large reproduction sign that was created by Ben Mosley along with Kenny Brown. Surrounding the carriages are both reproduction and antique advertising and artifacts including an old Studebaker wrench. A large number of visitors are not aware that the Studebaker car company began as Studebaker Brothers, who made wagons and later became the largest producer of carriages in the world.

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Ransom Carriage

The “Ransom Carriage” as it is known, is now on a pedestal with a copy of the Omaha World Herald newspaper headlines stating that “Cudahy got his boy back.” There is an image of Eddie Cudahy (the boy who was kidnapped) as part of the famous kidnapping story. A reproduction of the Cudahy sign is also present. The Cudahy family were very prominent in the meat packing industry in the 1800’s and built several summer homes on Mackinac Island.  For more on the story behind the “Ransom Carriage” click here.

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Horseshoe Boards

These horseshoe board displays were made by Bob Reaume who graduated from Michigan State University in 1953. The board on the left is from his college days, and the one on the right from 1976 when he opened his school, Wolverine Farrier School in Howell, Michigan. The boards are on loan from Greg Grey of Clare, Michigan.

Family Time
Family Time

The Grand Hotel Stables is open to the public and free to visit. We invite you to stop by and say “Hi” to the horses, chat with a carriage driver and check out a little Mackinac Island and American history.


11 thoughts on “A Look Into Grand Hotel Stables by Ben Mosley

  1. I toured the stables on 6/1/15 and had the pleasure of meeting Big Jeff. He was very knowledgeable and patiently answered all of my questions. I especially enjoyed learning about the food that the horses eat. The stables (and the horses) are gorgeous and Big Jeff is the best!

  2. Love the blog, and I love to go up and tour the stables especially when I am accompanied by a new visitor to the island. I have had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Ben. He really loves his job and “his” horses. Thank you for keeping the stables open for the public to come and see the beautiful carriages.

    • You are right Jacquie – Ben loves his job and his horses.

  3. I enjoyed visiting the stables this pass springs and summer when we visited the Grand, visited with Ben and his assisted for a long time they were very knowledgeable about the horses and the island we be back in the spring we will,make a trip,up the hill to see the chamges, thanks for sharing I hope
    Musser sees all you do. Merry Christmas

    • I’m glad you were able to visit. Hope to see you again soon. Merry Christmas!

  4. I am from Texas and visited Mackinac Island in June of this year. I so enjoyed it, especially, the horses in the Grand Hotel barn. I saw a very big black stallion in the first stall on the right when you walk into the stall area and would really appreciate knowing more about him. He was absolutely beautiful. I did discover that he may be a Percheron or Freseian (?) or a cross. Anyway, he was huge, and would just like to know his lineage and about him. Thank you for any information you can give. Would love to return some day.

  5. I am from Texas and visited Mackinac Island in June of this year. I so enjoyed it; especially, the horses in the Grand Hotel barn. I saw a very big black stallion in the first stall on the right when you wall into the stall area and would really appreciate knowing more about him. He was absolutely beautiful. I did a little research and discovered he may be a Percheron or Freisian or a cross. Anyway, he was huge. Would just like to know more about him, including his lineage. Found out about Big Jake, who is 20 hands high. Thanks for any information you can give me. Would love to return one day.

    • Hi Dwala! We’re so glad you enjoyed your visit with the horses in the Grand Hotel Stables. Our Stable Master, Ben Mosley would be the one to contact in regards to the history of the horses. You can contact him via email at BMosley@grandhotel.com

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