The South Lyon Hotel, as it has been known for decades, was built in the Village in 1867. The property was formerly a cemetery and after the city council approved removal of the remains, at a cost of $2.50 each, construction began and the building was completed in late August.
The New Hudson Hotel and the Botsford Inn, both built in the 1850's and the grain elevator, built in 1893, were a few of the only buildings around at that time. The census showed a population of 668. Brighton's population at the time was 863.
The original name of the Hotel was the Commercial House owned by Baker & Hopkins. Four large fireplaces and gas lights heated and lit the inside (the first electric light didn't reach South Lyon until 1923). When the train whistle blew, the town would turn out to watch as the Commercial House's buckboard and team would race down the street against their competitors, each trying to book travelers and salesmen into their respective hotels.
In years gone by, many a late night card game was held in the corner bridal suite and it is rumored that the town mayor lost the title to the Hotel in a high stakes poker game.
The Whipple House and the Harris House are also names which the building has been known by in its 140 years.