The name Métivier name is very old and appears to have been derived from the French word métive (harvest) and the Latin words messis aestiva (summer harvest).

Before 1836

Jean François Métivier (son of Nicolas François Métivier) immigrates to the newly formed French province of Quebec, Canada.

Deed to Metivier Inn1836-1839

Medard Métivier, third son of architect and builder, Louis Gideon Métivier, Sr.,  relocates to Mackinac Island from Montreal via Rochester, New York and Grand Rapids, Michigan.


Louis Gideon Métivier Jr. (born in Montreal around 1820) and his new bride, the former Sophia Granger (born in Acadia about 1826) book passage on a sailing vessel down the St. Lawrence River to the port city of Toronto on Lake Ontario.  By horse drawn wagon, they travel north to Georgian Bay and sail into Lake Huron for the small landing at Mackinac Island. Soon thereafter, Louis Gideon becomes engaged in making barrels in which to store salted fish from the burgeoning commercial fishing industry.


Louis Joseph Métivier is born to Louis Gideon and Sophia.


Francis (François) Métivier, the eldest of the sons of Louis Gideon Métivier Sr., arrives at Mackinac with his wife Lucie.  Nearing their seventies, Louis Gideon Sr. and his wife, Marie, arrive at Mackinac Island around 1847.


Louis Gideon Métivier, Jr. moves to Cross Village, builds a log cabin home and operates a sawmill there until his return to Mackinac Island in about 1848.

Mary Metivier1855

Louis Gideon Métivier, Jr. is employed by the  Department of Labor to keep a lighthouse at Presque Isle.  He stays there until 1861, when his wife, the former Sophia Granger, dies on September 27, at age thirty-five, leaving him a widower with three children.

Soon thereafter, Louis Gideon marries Mary Elizabeth McGulpin (twenty years his junior).

View the 1850 Seventh Federal Census for Michilimackinac County.


Louis Joseph Métivier marries Elsie Gimmins of Cheboygan.  Louis Joseph enlists (View enlistment document) and is wounded and hospitalized in Clarysville, Maryland in September, then put on light duty until he is discharged on May 10, 1865.


With a decline in demand for fish barrels, Louis Gideon Métivier decides Chicago, Illinois may provide more secure employment.  Here in 1866 and 1868 a son, Joseph Francis, and a daughter, Mary Ann, are born.

Louis Joseph Métivier and Elsie have a son named Silas M. Métivier.

Charles Metivier1870

Louis Gideon Métivier and his growing family locate permanently at Cross Village. In September of 1878, George William Métivier is born.  There is record of Louis Gideon attending a township board meeting at Cross Village on May 2, 1877, representing the village as Justice of the Peace and town treasurer.


Louis Joseph Métivier, Civil War veteran and son of Louis Gideon Jr. and Sophie purchases a Victorian-style home on Mackinac Island for seven hundred dollars.  It is this house that will become the Métivier Inn some one hundred-five years later.

Elsie Métivier (née Gimmins) dies and Louis Joseph Métivier marries Josephine Lambert; they have at least six children.

Mary Sophia MetivierLouis Joseph, thanks to his military service, is accepted into the Lighthouse Service.  He serves 4 years as an assistant keeper at the Spectacle Reef Light in Lake Huron, about 10 miles south of Cheboygan.  Then, he becomes keeper of the Upper Range Light in the St. Mary’s River where he serves until his death in 1902 of a stroke.

Josephine was left with three children under 16 (the older children took care of themselves) and $1000.00 from a Forester Insurance Policy which was used up paying off her husband’s debts of $290 and funeral expenses of $100; $600 of the remainder went for repairs on the house. 

Josephine moved into the summer kitchen, which was a two-story shed on the back of the house, and rented out the front.  She received $50.00 for renting furnished rooms.

As Josephine grew older, her children, who were scattered around and busy raising their own children, agreed that their unmarried sister Mary Sophia Métivier, in return for caring for their mother, would become the owner of the property when Josephine died. (View Mary Josephine obituary.)

When Mary Sophia died (view obituary), the property went to the youngest sister, Mabel. 

When Mabel died, her children received the home, which was rented out as living quarters for college-age hotel employees. (View Island Metivier burial plot record.)

Susan Van Dusen and Shirley Seewald
Metivier family