Ernest Hemingway Weekend Planned on Michigan Lake

April 14th, 2016

NOTE: This is a reprint of a Mlive.com article published on April 6, 2016.

WALLOON LAKE, MI — Childhood summers spent fishing and swimming in a pristine Northern Michigan lake would later imbue Ernest Hemingway’s “The Last Good Country.”

The newly opened Hotel Walloon is borrowing that reference for the name of an upcoming weekend devoted to celebrating the literary giant’s Michigan connection: “Walloon Lake: The Last Good Country, an Ernest Hemingway Occasion.”

For three days — from April 29 – May 1 — guests will have an opportunity to explore the famed author’s boyhood haunt near Petoskey, hear new details about his Michigan life, and dine on dishes and drinks like the Hemingway Daiquiri and Green Isaac’s Special.

There will even be a Nick Adam’s Feast, inspired by the semi-autobiographical character of his short stories, who relished hunting and fishing in Northern Michigan.

He once described to a friend his fondness for Michigan:

It’s great northern air. Absolutely the best trout fishing in the country. No exaggeration. Fine country. Good color, good northern atmosphere, absolute freedom, no summer resort stuff and lots of paintable stuff.

The cottage on the lake, built by Hemingway’s father in the 1900s, remains under family ownership.

“This is our first time having a Hemingway weekend,” said Allison Bond, who works at Hotel Walloon, 4127 M-75, North Street. The boutique hotel opened nearly a year ago.

Visitors to the hotel will find photos of Hemingway growing in Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay region. “The area is full of various places that Hemingway enjoyed exploring and we are looking forward to sharing them with the public.”

The price tag for the Hemingway weekend is between $672 to $1,536 per person, depending on which room in the upscale 32-room hotel is booked.

The top price is for the hotel’s two-bedroom suite, which sleeps eight people, which could make a cost-savings option, Bond says.

A trio of Hemingway experts will be on hand to chat with guests: The author’s daughter-in-law and former secretary, Valerie Hemingway; Chris Struble of the Michigan Hemingway Society, and John Cohassey, author of “Hemingway and Pound: A Most Unlikely Friendship.”

Valerie Hemingway, who wrote the 2004 book, “Running With the Bulls: My Years With the Hemingways” first worked as Hemingway’s secretary before later marrying his son and having four children.

She described her father-in-law’s love of Michigan to a Saginaw News reporter in 2008.

“Michigan was freedom to him, and where he first seriously wrote and where he learned to fish and hunt. It had good memories because back home in Oak Park (illinois) his mom Grace was a rigid disciplinarian who made him read the Bible, practice music, dress up. In the summer, in Michigan, she let up on that,” she said.

Reservations can be made online at www.hotelwalloon.com or by calling (231) 535-5000.



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