The Legs Inn
Registered Michigan Historic Site
The Legs Inn, named for the stove legs that trim the roofline, is one of Michigan's most exuberant and unusual landmarks. The building reflects Stanley Smolak's creativity and the craftsmanship of local Odawa (Ottawa) Indians. A Polish immigrant, Smolak came to the United States in 1912 and settled in Cross Village in 1921. During the 1930s Smolak enlisted the labor of Odawa and other area residents to construct the inn from locally gathered timber and stones. A self-trained artist, Smolak used tree roots, limbs and driftwood to carve fantastical creatures into the furniture and decorative objects used in the inn. He called his carvings "nature's oddities." Until his death in 1968 at age eighty-one, Smolak continued his creative work at the inn, which had become a social center for the community.
[Marker translated into Polish:]
Erected 2003 by Michigan Historical Commission, Michigan Historical Center. (Marker Number S0612.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Michigan Historical Commission series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1912.
Location. 45° 38.558′ N, 85° 2.204′ W. Marker is in Cross Village, Michigan, in Emmet County. Marker is on Lake Shore Drive north of Brady Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Light Houses of Grays Reef Passage (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The History of Redpath Memorial Presbyterian Church (about 300 feet away); L'Arbre Croche (approx. 2 miles away); Area Of The Old Council Tree (approx. 2˝ miles away); Middle Village (approx. 7.3 miles away); a different marker also named Middle Village (approx. 7.3 miles away); St. Ignatius Mission (approx. 7.3 miles away); St. Ignatius of Loyola Church and Cemetery (approx. 7.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cross Village.
Also see . . .
1. The Leggs Inn. Restaurant homepage (Submitted on February 7, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
2. Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. Tribal website (Submitted on September 15, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Stanley Smolak. Find A Grave entry (Submitted on September 15, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 15, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 261 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on September 15, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.