Our Philosophy

“We believe in absolute satisfaction with your stay at the Deer Head Inn. We’re committed to ensuring a homelike atmosphere with privacy and hospitality high on our list of amenities. We’ll do everything possible to make your stay in Mackinaw City the best Bed and Breakfast experience you can imagine.”

Innkeepers Barry and Nancy Dean


The Deer Head Inn is located just off Central Avenue on Henry Street. Barry and Nancy came to Mackinaw in 1997 to renovate and operate the home as a Bed & Breakfast.

The history of the house is as fascinating as the city in which it resides.

“Fantastic B&B. Very welcoming in the heart of Mackinaw City. Wonderful hospitality, breakfast, and conversation with the innkeepers.”

Samuel J. Smith and his wife Fannie built the house in 1913 and lived here with their two daughters, Virginia and Rayma for many years. Mr. Smith came to Mackinaw City in 1893 and was a banker, hotel owner (he owned the Stimpson Hotel) and a lumberman.

He was also the Supervisor of Mackinaw Township for 29 years and a State Representative in Lansing for two terms. Rayma died tragically in The Great Influenza Epidemic of 1919. After Sam’s death in 1935, Fannie operated the home as a boarding house called The Orchard Lodge.

Virginia Smith married Barry’s uncle, Gordon Sattler, who came to Mackinaw in the 1930’s as an engineer for the State Highway Department. Gordon and Virginia had no children and in the late 1990’s asked Barry and Nancy if they wanted the home. Hailing from Jupiter, Florida at the time, Barry made the trip to Mackinaw to tell his Aunt and Uncle politely that they had no interest.

After two days in Mackinaw City, Barry had a change of heart and returned home and asked Nancy if she’d give up her law practice in the south and move up north to run a Bed and Breakfast. When she said yes they began a new journey in life.

The home was built in the arts and crafts style, using the natural materials of the area, brick, and Michigan field stone. It is constructed of concrete blocks and a veneer of stained concrete bricks. It is believed the materials used for the bricks came from the sand excavated from beneath the home.

The downstairs floors are maple while the upstairs floors are oak. All of the wainscoting downstairs is oak. The green tile around the living room fireplace came from Zanesville, Ohio, and when the home was built, the fireplace was a coal burner. Barry and Nancy are quite certain the house is a catalogue home similar to those built by Sears Roebuck, Montgomery Ward, Aladdin Homes, or the Hodgson Company.

Barry and Nancy live with their cats in their suite in the downstairs of the Deer Head Inn with guests staying in the five themed
rooms upstairs.

In 100 years Barry and Nancy hope the home will still thrive as a Bed and Breakfast. It’s an enduring treasure to those who love history, especially the history of the Straits of Mackinac, Mackinaw City, and Mackinac Island. Renovations have been mainly cosmetic to refurbish the woods, modernize the kitchen, and add guest bathrooms.

The themes of the spacious rooms at the Deer Head Inn are reflected in their decor. The Bear Room, The Hiawatha Room, The Lighthouse Room, The Wilderness Room, and the Hemingway Room… you’re sure to discover one just perfect for your unforgettable visit to our Bed and Breakfast in Mackinaw City.

The sitting room features original period furniture and appointments, with comfortable chairs and couch for reading, relaxing or getting to know your fellow guests.


“Great mini-vacation. We’ll be back again. We stayed in The Hemingway Room. It lived up to the charm and coziness as displayed in the photos on the website.”

You’ll find the great room for open dining and relaxing to be the centerpiece of your visit here. The inn features hot food on an impressive buffet with seating at a broad dining room table as you share a meal or enjoy a cup of coffee or tea before or after your day of exploration.

Guests at the Dear Head Inn truly appreciate the fabulous and varied breakfast buffets and special meal menus because your hosts strive to serve a tasty variety of culinary delights every time you sit down to eat.

And of course, everything a visitor to historic Mackinac City would want to experience can be found right around the corner or just down the street from the Deer Head Inn Bed and Breakfast.