The Michigan House Built For A Love That Never Was
Back at the end of the 19th Century, a Northern Michigan man built a honeymoon home, but the honeymoon never happened.
There is no sadder love than the love that is unrequited.
Unfortunately, that is the back story of a Bellaire Bed and Breakfast that was built for love, but sold before love arrived, if it ever did.
Henry Richardi built this custom Victorian style home in the town of Bellaire, where he owned a successful woodworking business. Richardi made the house the biggest and most beautiful in town, and even hooked it up for a new fangled thing called electricity, all in anticipation of the arrival of his true love from Germany.
But that love never came. The building has found love, from others who come here specifically to experience what poor Henry never could in the house he built for love.
Yes, it's kind of ironic that now couples from around the world come to the village of Bellaire to find romance at Richardi's creation, which is listed as one of the most Romantic Getaways in the United States, a registered bed and breakfast called the Grand Victorian.
If only we knew what went wrong with the relationship. According to the history page on the Grand Victorian's web site:
Henry hoped to settle down in marriage with a young woman from Germany whom he had met a couple of years prior when she visited the area. In attempts to woo her to undeveloped Bellaire, he promised to build her a most beautiful house. His suspicions on her intentions should have been aroused when she requested he build the house first, before committing to him. Working on what was then the cutting edge, Henry installed indoor plumbing, central gravity heat and electric lights. (Electricity in 1895?? You see, he had built a hydroelectric plant to power lights in his wood factory located right next door. By simply running wires to the home, he was able to boast the county's first 'electrified' home, albeit, using Edison's DC format.)
The official story continues saying that while it's not known what happened, the marriage never occurred. Henry made the decision to leave Bellaire and board up the house.
There is a story that Richardi stills haunts the structure, but in a benevolent way, leaving the light in the cupola on for his lost love.
The building is listed on the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Register of Historic Places list.