Legs Inn – Cross Village, Michigan - Atlas Obscura

Legs Inn

Cross Village, Michigan

Legs Inn provides Polish food, a cornucopia of Native American artwork, wood carvings, and mounted deer heads. 


Polish immigrant Stanley Smolak created the fantasy-like world of Legs Inn during the late 1920s. The extraordinary complexes made primarily of hand-carved driftwood and local river stone. The curio shop with its Indian handiwork, souvenirs and living quarters was crafted first, then came the tavern with its extensive balcony, and finally the dining room with scenic bay windows that overlook Lake Michigan.

Describing it as one of Michigan’s “most unusual architectural marvels” by the Michigan Historical Commission, Legs Inn is a widely recognized historical destination. The name itself came from the row of inverted cast iron stove legs used for the decorative railing on the roof, an example of the interesting atmosphere filled with bizarre wood carvings, colorful totem poles, and extensive taxidermy.

The grounds of the inn are beautifully landscaped, and while the totems, ornate wood sculpture and other assorted rustic Native American-ish decor is a little overwhelming, it is also undeniably naturally beautiful and holds significant artistic value. Stanley Smolak wanted to leave a mark on the world that would be appreciated for generations, and his dream came true, the inn has been going strong since the 1920s and is currently run by Smolak’s great nephews, who are dedicated to keeping the family legacy alive and thriving.

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April 30, 2012

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