It is preferred that the boat groups be parties of six. This tour has brought almost 500 property owners and friends together for a fun-filled evening visiting some of the lake cottages many have always admired while boating on the lake.
Janet Hartley, WPOA executive director, noted there is still space available to join in the cottage tour, but it’s first come first serve with reservations needed by July 20. “It’s opened to people who want to form parties on a pontoon,” she stated noting the only access to each home will be by boat. Tickets must be purchased for each occupant of the boat.
“There are four home (on the tour) and the fifth place is Oakwood Resort were individuals can have a complimentary drink from Oakwood. There will be desserts, a small band and tours,” Hartley noted adding that individuals can also make dinner reservations at the hotel.
The Cottage Tour begins at Wawasee Boat Company where individuals will arrive by boat, already loaded with the crew. Each group will receive the agenda for the evening. The captain and their crew receives appetizers from Blue Spoon Catering to enjoy while making the journey to each of the cottages on the lake. Each member of the crew will also be given a goodie bag with sponsor gifts and a wristband that serves as the ticket. A booklet will also be included explaining each home on the tour.
The tours are staggered, with each crew being given a specific time to be at Wawasee Boat to begin.
All proceeds from the event go to the Wawasee-Syracuse Park Foundation for the multi-purpose trails program. In case of bad weather the tour will be re-scheduled for noon, July 28.
The following are brief descriptions of each of the homes.
Pier 514, Tom and Martha Moore. The Moore’s acquired this two-story house in 2007. They discovered it is one of the oldest in the area, built in 1914 by Roy Brown who also owned the property which later became the South Shore Golf Course. Complete renovation was done and a tennis court and pergola were added later. The owners made every effort to fill the home with period furnishings and antiques. Make sure to see the kitchen that has a converted wood stove, large farm sink, tin ceiling, period hardware and cabinetry and a functioning 1924 “beehive” GE refrigerator. Upstairs you’ll find a marble top console sink from a 1920s Cunard line cruise ship state room.
Pier 516, Gayle Atkins. Atkins’ grandparents Arthur R. and Nettie I. Heiskell bought the cottage in 1943 and has been the guest house for the cottage next door at Pier 517. In later years, the cottage was deeded to Atkins’ mother and then finally to her in 1994. Except for the addition of an eat-in-kitchen, the “grand old gal” remains pretty much as she was.
Pier 521, Gerald and Edna Mann. The Manns bought a small cottage in Vawter Park after renting a few years. It was not to long before remodeling plans began with the builder saying: why not build a new house. So they did. The house was designed to take maximum advantage of the view of Lake Wawasee. It was also designed for a large number of guests and many large parties.
Pier 522, Bill and Anita Cast. They bought the cottage in 1982 and have been told tales of their home — being called the “haunted house,” due to a long, drawn out estate settlement that caused weeds and tall grass to overtake the lawn. The cottage was remodeled in 2008-09 maintaining the integrity of the old cottage while enlarging and improving the space. During the remodeling, Chicago Tribunes were found being used as insulation. The papers were dated November 1912. Last year the home was 100 years old.
No food or drinks are allowed in the homes. Many of the owners will be present in their homes and welcome questions about the home and its history. Participants are also asked to be considerate of others that will follow and return to your boat in a timely manner, allowing more room at the dock and increase traffic flow.
Dockmasters will be on hand and would appreciate a tip for their hard work.