C. C. McCarthy, who ran a sawmill and dock at Glen Haven, probably built this frontier hotel to accommodate early settlers arriving by ship at this point of entry into the forested lands of northern Michigan and for cordwood cutters who supplied the lake steamers. The wood-frame inn is a simple, side-gable, two-story building with back wing additions of the 1890s and a porch addition of 1928. The inn was acquired in 1870 by the Northwestern Transportation Company of Cleveland, which had twenty-four vessels on the lakes carrying passengers and freight between Chicago and Ogdensburg, New York. In 1881, the inn was purchased by D. H. Day, who also took over the lumbering operation. To the south is the six-car garage built in the 1920s to shelter the dunesmobiles and to serve as annex sleeping space for the inn.
By leasing the inn to a private innkeeper, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in the future may allow the inn to continue in use for the purpose it was intended.