FentonSays What Fenton Says: The Fenton Hotel in the Older Days
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Saturday, November 17, 2007


The Fenton Hotel in the Older Days

The following is an excerpt from the book "The Village Players" republished with permission from the Fenton author, Robert G. Harris. If you would like to purchase the complete 307 paged book, with over 60 photos, you can find it at the Lil Professor Book Store, Fenton Basket or the Fenton Museum in Fenton, Michigan. This book is a narrative history of the Village of Fenton, 1937-1941.

Highway route US 23 ran directly through the town from north to south before veering to the southwest and becoming the road to Hartland. There was a flow of vehicles moving through downtown most of the time. It seemed to only become a “problem” on football Saturdays at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, some forty miles to the south. On these fall Saturdays, the vehicular traffic through town was “bumper to bumper” for several hours before game time and for several hours after the end of the game.

No one prospered more from this heavy traffic moving through town than Art Dumanois, proprietor the historic Fenton Hotel. Many of the football fans either stopped at the Hotel on the way to the game or on their way home. The Fenton Hotel became a popular place to stop for a pre-game lunch or for dinner following the game. Since Art Dumanois held the only “liquor by the bottle” license in town, those who were interested in having a “nip or two” during the game found the hotel a convenient place to purchase their “liquid” refreshments. Some jokesters suggested that half of the empty bottles which littered the UM stadium following a game came from the Fenton Hotel.

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