About Our Historic Michigan Inn
Hidden Garden Cottages & Suites began its life as the home of Reuben Rogers, a ship captain and master boat builder. Rogers was born in Rochester, New York in 1840 and came to Saugatuck as a young boy. He married local girl, Sarah Snyder in 1868 and they raised three sons, Frank, Hosea and Van Dalson.
In 1878, he formed a partnership with Charles Bird, a pharmacist whose drug store (now Landsharks) was opposite Rogers’ new home. Rogers & Bird built a dock and warehouse along the Kalamazoo River at the foot of Hoffman Street. The company designed and built many vessels including the “Bon Voyage,” the largest boat ever built in Saugatuck. 153 feet in length and with a crew of 30, the ship was launched in 1890 with champagne, a band and a large crowd of well wishers.
Originally built to transfer Michigan fruit to Chicago, the ship was eventually outfitted with cabins to accommodate the growing number of passengers who sought out the Michigan shoreline for rest and relaxation.
As business prospered, the Rogers family built a brick addition to the original frame structure. Completed in 1898, they hosted an elaborate house warming for 100 guests. The local paper, “The Commercial Record” reported, “The residence affords spacious room for entertaining a large party and there was nothing lacking to make the occasion a thoroughly enjoyable one. A banquet was served in the upper rooms where guests were seated at well-laden tables. Music for the dancers was furnished by Wurzburg’s Orchestra of Grand Rapids.”
Reuben Rogers died in 1926 and his widow moved to Chicago to live with her only surviving son, Van.
As lumbering and ship building gave way to tourism, the Rogers house was sold and converted into a boarding house for visitors. Now known as “The Corner House,” it offered furnished rooms for tourists at $1.00 per night. During this time, outsiders from society sought refuge in Saugatuck, making it their home and adding to a rich history of diversity that prevails today. Artists, musicians, gays, lesbians and even motorcycle gangs all visited Saugatuck and “The Corner House” welcomed them all.
Eventually, the front yard of the house was built up into retail space. The building was now called “The Surrey” and a successful clothing shop operated for many years. In 1996, long-time owners John and Rosemary Noonan sold the property to Gary Kott and Daniel Indurante who renovated the building and created The Wine Sellers of Saugatuck and Hidden Garden Cottages & Suites. In 2002, Jonathan Schreur joined Gary and together they own Hidden Garden Cottages & Suites, continuing the hospitality of the Rogers family and the welcoming attitude of “The Corner House”.