A quaint glimpse into lake livingThe 7th annual Cottage Tour to benefit Central Minnesota Elder Network will be held Tuesday, August 4 from 3 to 7 p.m.
The 7th annual Cottage Tour to benefit Central Minnesota Elder Network will be held Tuesday, August 4 from 3 to 7 p.m.
Attendees may tour cottages (summer homes), along with guest cottages and a boathouse sitting room, located on the shores of lakes Darling and Miltona.
The Cottage Tour Boutique will be located at the Eiser home, and lemonade and cookies will be served at the Johnsons’ summer kitchen.
Advance tickets are $20 and are available at Elden’s Food Fair, Pete’s County Market and Trumm Drug downtown, all in Alexandria. Tickets purchased on-site are $25. A map and directions to each cottage will be included on the tickets. Cottages may be visited in any order.
Visitors are encouraged to carpool and wear comfortable walking shoes.
Proceeds benefit Elder Network; supplemental funds provided by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
Following are the cottages featured on this year’s tour:
The Lillestol Cottage
Harvey and Jane Lillestol
3207 Casa Marina Rd NW
The Lillestols designed and built their new, barn red, cottage-style home with sensitivity of the original cottage that once sat at this site.
In many ways the cottage replicates the old while incorporating features that fit their current lifestyle.
With Jane’s 10-year accumulation of notebooks filled with magazine pictures of building and decorating ideas, and having researched what their wants and needs in the new house would be, the Lillestols were ready to build.
Their project was completed in 2006, yielding a charming new version of the old.
Things to note:
• In the kitchen, attention was given to stations for different tasks and multiple cooks.
• Jane, a textile artist, integrated a studio with an inspirational view of the lake into the home.
• The textile artwork is some of Jane’s own work.
• The East-lake-style furniture and doors to the studio are from the original cottage.
The Johnson Cottage
Lee and Carol Johnson
918 Casa Marina Lane NW
The Johnsons’ cottage has become a wonderful summer retreat for family and friends. It consists of the main log house and two guest cabins, one of which has a summer kitchen.
The main house was completed in 1997 and was redecorated two years ago. The Johnsons paid great attention to keeping a lodge-like feel. The support beams are logs harvested from the 1987 Yellowstone National Park fire. Local fieldstone was used for the fireplace and waterfall.
As the Johnsons do serious canning, the summer kitchen was designed with that in mind. Above this space is a guest suite. A third cabin accommodates additional family and friends.
Things to note:
• The great room ceiling is 45 feet from the floor.
• The stair railing was formed from trees from Park Rapids.
• Some of the wood furniture was hand crafted by an artisan in Bemidji.
• Collection of Coke memorabilia.
Lemonade and cookies will be served to tour participants out of the summer kitchen.
The Edney Cottage
Jim and Deb Edney
3461 S. Lake Miltona Dr. NE
Welcome back! The Edney cottage was on the very first Elder Network Cottage Tour in 2002. In 2004, with retirement and visits from their six children and their families in mind, the cottage built in 1928 underwent a major renovation.
It was lifted up and a lower level with three bedrooms and a full bath were added. The addition of a main floor master suite, study, an enlarged kitchen and the “chimney” room completed the project.
The cottage’s square footage went from 1,500 to 4,800. In the new construction, Deb focused on maintaining the integrity of the original cottage by incorporating old architectural elements such as doors, hardware and light fixtures that she collected over four years throughout the Alexandria and Omaha areas, and in all the little antique shops in between.
Things to note:
• Bead board walls throughout the cottage.
• Exposed original exterior wall in upstairs hallway.
• Original fieldstone chimney in new sitting room.
• Deb’s many vintage and antique pieces of furniture, pottery, artwork and other collectibles.
• The fieldstone structures on the grounds.
The Jack Eiser Cottage
Rich and Eileen Eiser
3471 S. Lake Miltona Dr. NE
This cottage, built in 1928, has been in the family for about 52 years and is currently owned by Rich and Eileen Eiser.
The Eisers have chosen to keep it in the state that it was when they took it over about 10 years ago.
This is the site of this year’s tour boutique.
The Stemm Cottage
Dick and Kathie Stemm
13834 E Lake Miltona Dr. NE
Kathie Stemm is no stranger to Lake Miltona. She grew up spending her summers at the Minnesouri Club. Wanting a place that could be used year round, in 2007 the Stemms purchased this house on the east side of Lake Miltona.
The property includes a guest cottage and a boathouse with a delightful sitting room.
The original cottage was built about 60 years ago and in 2000, the previous owners gutted the interior and rebuilt in and around the structure. With most of the construction completed, Kathie has been able to devote her time to filling the space with antique and vintage treasures.
Things to note:
• Vast collection of Alexandria and surrounding arae memorabilia.
• Collection of antique and vintage furniture, artwork, toys, pottery, quilts and more.
• Walk down to the wonderful boat house sitting room.
• On your way to the guest cottage, notice the clever use of doors and shutters.
About Elder Network
Elder Network, established in 1997, assists older adults in achieving richer lives by addressing the challenges associated with life's transitions.
Programs and services provide solutions to seniors struggling with emotional, social, mental health, transportation and chore dilemmas, with the intent of enabling clients to maintain independence well into retirement.
Services are delivered in collaboration with skilled and dedicated volunteers, churches and other community service providers.
Elder Network involves the following four programs – Peer Counselor program (companionship to individuals in need of emotional support); Respite Care/caregiver support (respite care); The Gathering (off-site respite daycare), and The Care Team (transportation and chore needs).
Central Minnesota Elder Network serves residents of Douglas County. In 2008, volunteers logged in excess of 4,500 hours serving the needs of 252 elderly clients.
For more information, call (320) 763-9084.