DEERWOOD -- Knotty pine and hickory wood in lakeside homes and places that are a mix of old and new will greet participants of the upcoming Bay Lake Area Tour of Homes.
But one of the things Lindy Westgard is so excited about is not one of the homes. She is anxious for others to see the paintings of Esther San Felippo. The Aitkin area artist has been painting for about 30 years, but she was mainly known for her pottery work.
Westgard, who has a background in the art world, has been helping San Felippo prepare her canvas paintings for display during the home tour's buffet lunch at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge.
"I feel so excited by her work," Westgard said. "I think she really has a niche in the art world. I've just fallen in love with this."
The home tour is sponsored by the Bay Lake and Deerwood Lakes Lions Clubs. Rolf Westgard, one of the tour organizers, said the first tour was a successful beginning to what they hope will be an annual event to benefit a good cause.
About 430 people toured houses last year. This year the home tour will help ambulances reach homes on area roads by using a Global Positioning Satellite system to help guide them to specific addresses in an emergency call.
Home tour set Aug. 1, 2
Bay Lake Area Tour of Homes is Aug. 1 and 2.
Registration and refreshments will be at 8 a.m. Tour buses will leave at 9 a.m. with a buffet lunch and art display at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge at 1 p.m.
The tour includes coffee, lunch and an art exhibit for $35.
Participants must be 15 or older. No cameras are allowed or shoes inside the homes.
Proceeds will help outfit the Cuyuna Range ambulances with GPS units to enhance quick response service.
For more information, contact Carroll Kukowski at (800) 546-8342 or Rolf Westgard at (218) 678-3447. The tour is sponsored by the Bay Lake and Deerwood Lakes Lions Clubs.
An Aitkin area artist will be featured as part of the Bay Lake Area Tour of Homes during the group's buffet lunch at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge. The artist has several paintings of horses among landscapes and still life. (Dispatch Photo by Renee Richardson)
Homes on tour detailed
Homes on the Bay Lake Area Tour of Homes include:
* A 5,000-square-foot, seven-level dream home on Round Lake was built in 1995. The exterior is cedar log siding. Owners wanted to show the "beauty and warmth that wood has to offer."
The townhomes include landscaping with perennial flowers, trees and shrubs -- and carved trees -- on the road side access. (Dispatch Photo by Renee Richardson)
The log siding and all the interior wood used came from the owners' business, Acorn Millwork, Inc.
Logs to support the deck came from property near Aitkin. The theme of log spindles and railing were brought to each bedroom as a head and footboard for the beds.
* The property had been a small resort for many years with three cabins -- a main cabin, guest cabin and cabin No. 3, which was an old garage with room above. It was called Bart's Resort. The main cabin was remodeled and the family used it for 16 years before tearing it down along with the guest cabin and rebuilding.
Space above the garage now serves as a clubhouse. The home includes a gazebo and screened house on the lakeshore to escape the mosquitoes and flies and enjoy a card game. A sauna on the lakeshore was built with an authentic wood burning heater, complete with rocks. The building also has a dressing room and a lake storage room.
* A "stockade style" log cabin was built on Echo Bay in 1927 with the intention of creating a summer retreat for two related married couples. The group included the publisher of the Aitkin Independent Age.
New townhouses in the Bay Lake area will be included with the home tour. The homes have decks and a view of manicured lawns, a fountain and the lake. (Dispatch Photo by Renee Richardson)
Logs for the cabin were transported across the ice in the winter of 1926-1927 to the building site. It was a summer place for 21 years. It was remodeled in the late 1940s about the time when electricity became available to Bay Lake. Through the years the home was remodeled with a goal of conforming to the "rustic nature of the original cabin."
"In keeping with the original character of the cabin, the family has avoided television, disposals, dishwashers and central heat. They still haul in kerosene in 5-gallon cans for the heater in the main cabin."
All of the windows, with the exception of the kitchen, are from the original 1927 and 1947 construction.
* On the shore of Echo Bay, the most southern bay of Bay Lake, the original cabin was built in 1947. There were several additions and the original cabin was eventually torn down for a new one built by Nor-son, which was completed in 2001.
All interior log and log accents are from wood harvested in an area north of Bemidji. The cabin interior walls and ceiling are all knotty pine. Second-floor bedrooms have a white "pickled" finish applied to the knotty pine. The floors are hickory hardwood. Cabinets were custom made of hickory as well.
The great room ceiling rises to more than 24 feet, accenting the upper level balcony/walkway and stone fireplace. The landscaping plan includes lighted stone walkways. The landscaping and fire pit were designed and done by Landsburg Landscaping. A gazebo, a favorite for dinners, is built for three seasons and is heated.
Each area of the cabin, including outdoor decks, enjoys a full sound system from the surround sound entertainment center located in the great room area.
(Source: Bay Lake and Deerwood Lakes Lions Clubs for the Bay Lake Area Tour of Homes.)
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