Several proprietors have extended hospitality over the years, but it was perhaps "Ellie" Bolles who was most widely known and loved. He was the official "meeter and greeter" of visitors strolling along Livonia's Commercial Street, an active organizer of plays and musicals, and, in his trademark derby hat, the administrator of local horse and household auctions during the turn of the century.
We're pleased to share some of our colorful past with you...and hope you'll continue to be our guest as the Livonia Inn begins its next 100 years of fine food and hospitality.
You won't find many places that have a tradition of hospitality as long and colorful as the Livonia Inn.
From its origins as the "Commercial House" during the post-Civil War era - when Livonia was a booming center for agriculture, rail transportation, salt mining, small manufacturing, and recreation - to its present operation as a restaurant and lounge, the Livonia Inn has been welcoming guests for over 100 years.
The Livonia Inn is the only one of four original area hotels still open to the public. The Baldwin House burned down in 1895 and the Gambee Hotel in 1951. The earliest of the four, the Cottage Hotel, built in 1855, still survives as the Cottage Hotel Apartments.
For years the Inn's spacious front porch was a popular place for townspeople, politicians and visitors to exchange opinions and gossip. A place where baseball teams, veterans, and carnival groups posed for photos and posterity. And during Prohibition, the Inn's bar changed from a saloon to an ice cream parlor.
1902 Map of Livonia With The Commercial Hotel noted
Bolles Horse Auction. Photo provided by the Livonia Area Preservation & Historical Society. Follow them on Facebook to learn more about the history of the Livonia Area.