HACKENSACK -- Twin Cities residents Joan and Stan Kumpula began looking for their retirement property in 1964, two years after they were married, because Stan had developed a love for muskie fishing.
He had visited Mann Lake east of Hackensack with a high school friend whose family had a cabin there. The young couple found property on nearby Baby Lake. It contained two very old log cabins.
It was on the original Interlachen Lodge property, platted in 50-foot lots between 1910 and 1920 to be owned by members of Interlachen Country Club in Minneapolis who shared the lodge until it burned in the 1920s.
The smaller Kumpula cabin was there before the platting and served as the caretaker's cabin while the lodge operated. After the fire, the Interlachen Club member who owned this cabin in the 1950s had added a second, larger 20-by-20-foot log cabin.
The Kumpulas remodeled and improved the cabins while they vacationed through the years as they raised two daughters. As retirement approached, they thought they would live summers in the larger cabin, maybe add onto it, and live winters at a Twin Cities condominium.
Their longtime desire to build their own house overrode that plan.
On 200 feet they owned next to their cabins, they started building a year-round home themselves, no contractors, in 1993, the summer before they planned to retire.
"I just got good at one thing," Joan said, "then it was time to go on to the next phase of building."
Stan is a retired civil engineer, which helped them do their own designing and construction work. Having three willing friends to help him hoist all but eight 50-foot trusses onto the two-story house helped. They hired a crane to lift the eight long trusses.
The only other work they contracted was the Sheetrock and taping.
The most challenging part was a group of three high windows for the front, Stan said. They ordered those to fit the planned openings. The manufacturer, however, decided to make them a little bigger to more easily fit his manufacturing tool setup.
So, once they arrived, Stan and his helpful friends had to make the window openings larger to fit. It took six people to lift the window units off the truck in the first place, he said.
Stan and Joan abandoned their Twin Cities property holdings in 1995 and moved into their new year-round home. Since then, they added the decks and a workshop on their garage.
Last in a series
Union Congregational Church of Hackensack sponsored a home and garden tour July 18 of four area homes.
Featured here is Joan and Stan Kumpula's home on Interlachen Road.
Featured last week were the homes of Charlie and Joyce Mayer on Lower Ten Mile Lake Road; Molly Bliska on the same road; and Dawn and Tony Peterson's hobby farm on Woman Lake Road.
The two log cabins serve as guesthouses for their daughters and longtime friends to visit. Their home also has a guest room. Like the master bedroom, it opens onto a hot tub room that then opens onto the deck facing the lake.
Joan's pottery work can be seen in canisters and dishes throughout their houses. Her potting studio is in the basement of their newer home. She also has a sewing nook across the balcony overlooking the lake from Stan's office nook.
Joan has created several quilts. The one in the master bedroom was hand cross-stitched before being quilted. She etched the designs into the glass on their entry door.
"You should taste her seven-course meals," Stan said proudly of his home economics major wife's cooking skills.
Their expansive gardens surrounding the house entryway and connecting that yard to the cabins are just another hobby Joan has added since they moved to Hackensack.
Other artists' works fill their home and cabins. There are Stan's brother's photographs, their daughter's crochet work and cross-stitch, stained glass snowflakes suspended in front of windows toward the lake that Rick and Gail Becker of Walker made and Ellen Lillemoen's stained glass lady-slipper cupboard doors in one cabin.
Also mounted on their walls are Stan's 51-inch muskie and 22-pound northern.
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