The St. Clair River provides a wondrous backdrop to a Southeastern Michigan Tradition. While the river traffic changes seasonally --- from ships which ply the St. Lawrence Seaway in the Summertime --- to the ice flows of winter: "The Inn on the River" remains a haven for those seeking a quiet, pleasurable retreat from the harried world.
Since 1926, the St. Clair Inn has been so much a part of the community that outsiders often think of them simultaneously. With the arrival of the 1920's, the local Rotary Club saw fit to sponsor a fund raising drive labeled the St. Clair Inn Hotel Project. The Rotary Club has continued to hold its meetings here ever since the completion of the project. Being essentially a community project, almost everyone in St. Clair bought stock in this proposed Inn, thus the money was raised. A site was selected overlooking the border view of the St. Clair Straits, and Walter Wyeth, Port Huron architect, was commissioned to raise the structure. Mr. Wyeth fashioned the inn after a style known as the English Tudor.
The construction of the Inn saw the beginning of Central Air Conditioning for Hotels in the United States as the Carrier Company installed the first unit of its kind here in St. Clair. Due to the brick and poured concrete walls and floors; the St. Clair Inn was also certified as being virtually fireproof as a result of this painstaking and costly construction.
The first major addition to the original building came in 1961, when the Coach Room, a room with authentic English Tudor lines, was added. To maintain the "Old World Charm", the overhead beams are actually bearing beams, completely functional. The decorative glass was imported from Germany. In 1970, a riverside expansion took place and the River Lounge was constructed to provide guests with cocktails and entertainment along with a water level view of the St. Clair River. The bar and stage are built in hickory.
The Inn's most recent expansion took place in 1984 with the building of the "North Wing". The most ambitious project in the history of the Inn added modern guest rooms, 3 meeting rooms, and the banquet facility known as the River Room. The riverside sleeping rooms open to a beautiful view of the St. Clair River with either a balcony or patio to relax on and watch the traffic along this integral part of the St. Lawrence Seaway System.
In 1995, the St. Clair Inn received a great distinction from both the Federal Government and the State of Michigan. On October 24, 1994 we became a Michigan Historic Landmark and in 1995 we were registered in the National Registry of Historic Landmarks.
Back in the days gone by, St Clair was noted as a favorite resort town. It is rumored that in the era of cruise ships and the "Good Inn" there were some 20 Hotels operating in the small river area. They are long since gone, but, carrying on the tradition and heritage of the past and serving as a vital industry of the present; the St. Clair Inn, located on the banks of the St. Clair River, remains a showplace of the "Great Lakes State".