Last week I received a call from the real estate agent who showed us the White Castle between Hemlock and Canadice Lakes a few weeks ago. She wanted to inform us that she has just listed another property in the same area…in fact, up the same driveway. If you can’t recall the driveway from the previous post I will refresh your memory: long, steep, rocky. This cabin, as the 750 square feet of living space can barely be called a house, is actually further up the hill above the castle and once you pass the turn off for the castle the driveways calms down a bit.
Although we did have to park near the corner of the property and walk the last bit of the hill as the recent rains had made the entrance drive quite muddy, It was a nice day and the walk was bearable. During my conversation with the Realtor she had told me it was part of an estate sale and we were free to go have a look at the property and to contact her if we would like to view the inside of the home, as it turns out we were able to bypass all of those steps as on our trek up the driveway we happened to pass the agent walking back down. In a bit of an unusual situation she let us know she had to run but the owner was at home and would be willing to give us a tour of the property. When we finally did reach the crest of the hill we were greeted by the pleasant site of the burnt orange cottage tucked behind an old picket fence.
I was quite impressed with the home and the owner with few exceptions:
1. There is no electricity, and at her last inquiry it was an estimated $25,000 to bring power from the castle to the cabin.
2. There is no shower, but a rather nice claw-foot bathtub that was bought in Virgina.
I was very thankful that we were given the tour by the home owner herself as I would be much more skeptical discovering many of these facts from a real estate agent attempting to sell the property. We talked extensively with her about how her and her late husband lived for 16 years in this cabin at the top of the hill and the two of them built their home in stages continuously over the 16 years. She even had a small set of plans that her husband had prepared to present to the village board for a second floor expansion project they had planned. Most impressive of all though is that she worked a regular job every day and not only commuted up and down the lengthy driveway each morning and evening, but also prepared herself for the day with no electricity and no shower.
There were many desirable qualities about the structure as well though. The couple had made some very conscious design decision during the construction of the property, most notably was the inclusion of chiseled stone slabs as the floor in the kitchen that were recovered from the excavation of the driveway. Variable width floor boards and quality antique fixtures also added to the charm, and what the house lacked in square footage it made up for with acreage as the cabin sits on 55 wooded acres!
During our decent, (back into civilization it seems) my wife and I talked at great lengths about the feasibility of owning such a secluded home and the possibilities which would both present themselves or which we would be restricted from. Optimistically, I expressed excitement in the veritable necessity to utilize sustainable technologies for power generation, such as solar or wind power. Realistically, constant monitoring of battery levels and electricity management would be a daily pursuit, and admittedly my wife and I are a little to “wired” to the network to be separated from web access and the many online services we employ.
Overall, we were very glad we had the opportunity to visit this home and surprised to say that the two most exciting houses we have visited during our brief search have not only been in the same area, but off the same driveway. We will certainly be keeping out eyes on this one.