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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

The Old Dam Inn - A Spacious Waterfront Retreat in Northwestern Michigan

Bedrooms 8
Half Baths1
Space 3,200 sq. ft.
Property type lodge
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

Eight bedrooms, five bathrooms with direct boat access to four beautiful lakes.

The Old Dam Inn is a great historic vacation spot for families that love the outdoors! Enjoy 400 feet of frontage on the Penoyer Creek Channel plus direct boat access to four beautiful lakes totaling 650 acres. With eight bedrooms and five baths (three in private suites), you'll have plenty of room to stretch out and relax. Six of the eight bedrooms have large ceiling fans and we also provide three portable fans. Easily accommodates 16-25 overnight guests with privacy. Private, wooded setting in the Manistee National Forest. Commercial style kitchen with two ranges, two refrigerators, two ceiling fans and two dishwashers. All cookware, utensils, paper products and linens provided - just bring your toys and your eats. Two large covered porches, washer/dryer, fire pit, BBQ/Smoker. Two paddle boats, a two person kayak and three-person rowboat are included (seating for thirteen people). Only three miles to the Mighty Muskegon River for excellent Trout, Salmon and Steelhead fishing. Close to cities of Newaygo and Fremont for fun shopping and dining. Many other lakes and rivers also in the area. Travel time from Chicago is about 4.5 hours and 3.5 hours from metro Detroit. We are less than an hour from Grand Rapids and Lake Michigan. Be sure to read the additional guest comments at end of the 'Owner Story.' These were left in our Guest Handbook and are not included in the reviews. Check-in time is 4:00 p.m. EST and Check-out time is 11:00 a.m. Early Check-in and late Check-out may be available depending on adjacent booking schedules. Much more detail and a copy of our Guest Handbook can be seen by going to our main website,, or clicking on the "Links & Video" section of this listing.

More Details

Innkeepers - Kurt and Heather Giberson
Member since: 2013
Speaks: english, Heather is pretty good at sign language (ASL)
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
June 15, 2017

About Innkeepers - Kurt and Heather Giberson

At the end of this section you can read many more comments from our guests that were left in our Guestbook, but not included in the reviews. Your Innkeepers are Kurt and Heather Giberson, originally from Dearborn, Michigan and now living in beautiful Brooks Township in Newaygo County. Kurt is a retired public works director and Heather is a retired public schools teacher. We live in our former cottage, just down the street from the Old Dam Inn. Our children are enjoying the rural experience, which includes raising their friendly chickens.

Innkeepers - Kurt and Heather Giberson purchased this lodge in 2009

Why Innkeepers - Kurt and Heather Giberson chose Western Michigan

We've owned woods and water property in western Michigan since the early 1990's and every time we were driving back home to southeastern Michigan we took a different route to explore new opportunities. After years of doing this we came across a very hilly area in Brooks Township, Newaygo County, that was heavily forested and had many beautiful lakes. We learned that it had been a white pine logging area over one hundred years ago and it also was famous for the cottages surrounding the lakes. This spot came to be known as 'Little Switzerland' due to the beautiful waters and steep sloped terrain. One day as we were heading home we noticed a for sale sign on Old Dam Road and stopped to look at a small cottage on the Penoyer Creek Channel. The creek was named after the Penoyer brothers from Chicago, who were the first non-natives to settle here (1830's). To us it seemed perfect with the waterfront views and wooded setting. We quickly arranged to purchase the property and over the years we acquired three more parcels on the Channel, including The Old Dam Inn. While there are many cottages and homes very nearby, where we are just about all you can see are the woods and the water, which is just fine with us. The towering white and red pines on the property are very special for us. We spent four years renovating the The Old Dam Inn to provide our guests with quality furnishings and a flavor of the local history. The Inn is the former residence of the well-known local aviator, photographer, journalist and outdoorsman, Dick Black. In the 1960's and 1970's, Dick was a partner of Mort Neff, who hosted the popular 'Michigan Outdoors' television program in Detroit for many, many years. The Inn's rooms feature aviation, fishing and hunting themes that are based on real local history.

What makes this lodge unique

The Old Dam Inn is perfect for large family gatherings, wedding parties, and fishing/hunting/outdoor sports. With eight private bedrooms and five bathrooms (three in private suites) you can very comfortably and privately accommodate up to 25 overnight guests. We offer complimentary high-speed wireless internet access throughout the Inn and its grounds, as well as Netflix, internet streaming and plenty of DVD's. There are five televisions (four are flat screens). You can bring your own boat or use our two paddleboats, rowboat and two-person kayak to reach four inter-connected and unique lakes (Emerald, Sylvan, Pickerel and Kimball). Enjoy these clean and clear lakes for water-skiing, fishing, swimming or just for the beautiful views. You can also kayak down the picturesque Penoyer Creek to the Old Dam. If you like the woods, you will like our setting. From the Camp Newaygo Wetland Trail only a 1/4 mile away by foot, to the vast North Country Trail a couple of miles away, there are many opportunities to hike. If you like quaint towns, you will enjoy the arts and outdoor themes of nearby Fremont (Baby Food Capital of the World - Gerber Baby Food Company) and Newaygo, which straddles the Mighty Muskegon River and offers some of the finest salmon and trout fishing in the U.S. Check out the giant concrete fish heads poking out of the ground in Newaygo's Riverside Park There are also thousands of acres of the Manistee National Forest within minutes of the Old Dam Inn. From our property we regularly see Bald Eagles, Ospreys, Kingfishers, Great Blue Herons and Pileated Woodpeckers (one was banging away on our front porch this morning!). Other regular visitors include an abundance of White-tailed Deer, as well as the River Otters, Beaver, Mink, Muskrats, Opossum and Raccoons. On occasion we see coyotes and bobcats too.

Guestbook comments from the owner

"The view is incredible, and the atmosphere is nothing I could put into words. This is exactly what I needed."
Jul 2014
  • 1 of 27


Newaygo Lodge Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • lodge
  • Catering available
Floor Area:
  • 3200 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 25
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome ...
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only ...
Location Type:
  • Beachfront ...
  • Downtown ...
  • Lake View ...
  • Lakefront ...
  • Rural ...
  • Village ...
  • Water View ...
  • Waterfront ...
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 22 people
  • 4 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • First Floor Common Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower , All new fixtures in 2012. Granite top lavatory.
    First Floor Private Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower , Private for Newt's Nook. Granite top lavatory
    Second Floor Common Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower , All new fixtures in 2012. Granite top lavatory
    Second Floor Private Bathroom 1 - toilet , Private bath for The Crow's Nest.' All new fixtures in 2012.
    Second Floor Private Bathroom 2 - toilet , combination tub/shower , New tub/shower and granite lavatory in 2012.
  • We have five bathrooms (four are full baths), three of which are in private bedroom suites. You can view each bathroom in more detail now by visiting our main website:
  • 8 Bedrooms, Sleeps 25
  • Raptor's Roost - 1 king , 1 sleep sofa /futon , Private suite with full bath (tub/shower), sitting area, TV
    The Crow's Nest - 2 twin/ single , 1 sleep sofa /futon , Private suite with sitting room, TV, half-bath, water view.
    White-tail Point - 1 king , Antique bedroom set, deer mounts, desk, water view
    Inner Sanctum - 1 double , Retro science fiction theme, closet
    Newt's Nook - 1 double , Private bath with tub/shower, TV, water view
    Sunrise - 1 double , Fishing theme, closet and desk, view of the woods
    Sunset - 1 double , Fishing theme, washer/dryer, desk, water view
    Lava Lounge - 2 sleep sofa /futon , Lava lamp theme, 42 inch flat screen TV
  • The Inn has eight private bedrooms, three of which are in suites with a private bath. Six of these bedrooms have ceiling fans. You can view each bedroom in more detail now by visiting our main website: From this site you can also view nearly 80 guest reviews/comments and download a copy of our Complete Guest Handbook, which is loaded with details about The Old Dam Inn and the Newaygo area.
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Foosball
  • Game Room ...
  • Games ...
  • Music Library ...
  • Pool Table ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Video Games ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Boat ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Water Sports Gear ...
Onsite Services:
  • Private Chef
  • arboretum
  • churches
  • festivals
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • horseback riding
  • horseshoes
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • ice skating
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • rafting
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • snowmobiling
  • swimming
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
Newaygo County is a sports person's paradise. We have abundant opportunities for fishing, hunting, boating, snowmobiling, hiking and off-roading. Swimming is available throughout the four connected lakes, but not at the Inn itself. We are near the quaint cities of Newaygo and Fremont, which offer dining, shopping and many cultural activities. Links to local activities and restaurants can be found on our main website:


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(27 traveler reviews)

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The Old Dam Inn - A Spacious Waterfront Retreat in Northwestern Michigan
average rating of 4.814815 based on 54 reviews
Fenton, MI

Even Better Than Described!

  • 5 of 5

We held a weekend gathering for 20 family members to celebrate my mother's 75th birthday. The place could not have been more perfect! Not only was the Inn clean, spacious and beautifully decorated, the layout provided privacy for each family along with common areas for gathering. Kurt and Heather are warm and welcoming, not to mention very knowledgeable about the area and the Inn's history. We also appreciated the fact that the Inn was so well furnished - every kitchen utensil you could need, enough sheets and towels for our entire army plus games, books, firewood and more. They thought of everything.

  • Submitted: May 22, 2014
  • Stayed: May 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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6 0

Second stay at Old Dam Inn

  • 5 of 5

We enjoyed our stay very much! The boys were able to fish while we totally relaxed! It was nice to be able to go somewhere and have everything needed for the weekend at our fingertips! Planning on booking again in 2018!

Dianne Mankel

  • Submitted: Jun 4, 2017
  • Stayed: May 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We really enjoyed having Dianne and her family come back to The Old Dam Inn. Thank you very much for your kind comments!
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0 0

Great Property, Well Run

  • 5 of 5

Great place, just what you would expect from the listing.

  • Submitted: May 19, 2017
  • Stayed: May 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We strive for accuracy in our listing. We think it is best to under promise and over deliver. Thanks to f.b. and his group of professionals for the positive feedback!
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0 0

Very nice house and excellent location

  • 4 of 5

Great for a large group. Location on the lakes is unbeatable. We had such a great time swimming and boating; the fact that the house included a rowboat and some other boats really made the whole experience. Grill and fire pit areas are perfect. Big garage with pool table and big picnic table allowed us to have some fun playing a few drinking games when it down poured for a few hours. Four stars because the lack of AC was a bit uncomfortable in some rooms for sleeping, and because Innkeepers popped in a couple times without warning. Other than that, they really go above and beyond to make sure the house has everything you could need for a little getaway.

  • Submitted: Aug 24, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: The positive comments from these guests are very much appreciated. One afternoon our guests were gathered in the garage during a severe thunderstorm. When an emergency tornado watch was issued I went to The Inn and knocked on the glass entry door to the garage to get their attention. After confirming that a few of the guests noticed my presence, I then entered to warn them about the danger and to give them access to shelter in the basement. Several tornadoes had just been sighted to our south and I felt it important to act quickly to help ensure their safety. I returned about 30 minutes later to inform them that the danger had passed. Other than when they first arrived, the only other contact we had with this party was when they called to let us know that a window on the front porch had been broken during a wind gust because it had not been secured with the latches that are provided. We explain in our listing and our Guest Handbook that there is no air conditioning so we are not sure if this was unexpected by these guests. Here in the Manistee Forest of northern Michigan it typically does not get that hot but this summer was somewhat of an exception. We do provide 18 fans (ceiling and portable) to make warmer days more comfortable, plus the central furnace fan can bring cooler, drier air from the basement to all parts of the house. Other guests that stayed at The Old Dam Inn during much warmer periods this year left five star reviews.
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3 0

What an incredible spot!

  • 5 of 5

We had a very memorable weekend at the Old Damn Inn with our family. We celebrated our parents 65th wedding anniversary and the house and setting was just perfect for the young and old. The owners are such a nice couple and have put so much love and detail into this gem. It was a very comfortable home and as our family is of Italian heritage, the kitchen did not disappoint. Very comfortable for a group of 20. Highly recommend! Thank you Kurt and Heather!

  • Submitted: Aug 1, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you to Nanette for her nice comments. We really enjoy hosting these types of family events.
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1 0
Alpena, MI

Lovely, historic Inn perfect for family gatherings

  • 5 of 5

We recently held our annual family reunion at the Old Dam Inn. Adults and kids alike had an absolutely wonderful time. The interior of the house was large enough to accommodate the 20 of us -- two dining room tables, a sunporch where we sat and had our morning coffee, a play area for the little kiddos and a huge, well furnished kitchen where we cooked our breakfasts and dinners each day. We spent lots of our day in the immense, shaded yard. We kayaked, canoed, and fished. The kids loved fishing off the dock and the nearby little bridge. The owners were the best! They went out of their way to make us comfortable. The only drawback is no swimming beach at the Inn. However we drove to nearby Fremont Lake to swim and nearby White River to tube. I also want to mention that the Inn was immaculate! It couldn't have been any nicer. And to put the icing on the cake, I received our security deposit back within 4 days. I highly recommend the Old Dam Inn!

  • Submitted: Jul 27, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We certainly appreciate the kind remarks from Vicki about her recent stay at The Old Dam Inn. For folks that are looking for nearby swimming opportunities we have added specific information in our Guest Handbook, which is available to download from our site.
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1 1


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Nearest Airport
45 Miles
Gerald R. Ford International
Nearest Barpub
3 Miles
Downtown Newaygo (multiple)
Nearest Ferry
35 Miles
Muskegon, Michigan
Nearest Golf
8 Miles
Waters Edge Golf Club, more nearby
Nearest Motorway
2 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
3 Miles
Downtown Newaygo (multiple)
Nearest Beach
3 Miles
Two public beaches (Newaygo/Fremont) 3-9 miles
Car: necessary

Check out the Newaygo Chamber of Commerce website for details on special events, shopping, etc.:


Rates & Availability

Newaygo Lodge Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Summer 2017
May 26 2017 - Sep 4 2017
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 20 guests; add $25 per night, per additional guest
Fall 2017
Sep 5 2017 - Dec 14 2017
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 20 guests; add $25 per night, per additional guest
Spring 2018
Mar 29 2018 - May 24 2018
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 20 guests; add $25 per night, per additional guest
Summer 2018
May 25 2018 - Sep 4 2018
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 20 guests; add $25 per night, per additional guest
Fall 2018
Sep 5 2018 - Jan 2 2019
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 20 guests; add $25 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 20 guests; add $25 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $300
Tax Rate 6.0%

We look forward to your visit and will do everything we can to make your stay with us relaxing and enjoyable. Please feel free to contact us in advance to discuss any special requirements you may have. Thank you!

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
Contact Owner