Real estate in Torch Lake Township

Posted on November 13, 2010


I do not usually cover this particular aspect of Township life, but it all fell into place as we were out and about on our rounds today, and I thought you’d like to see it.  Bruce the Weatherman asked if we’d go check out the Weather Station, as the alarm had gone off.  Miss Sadie and the Cowboy, who were longing for a good brisk walk, thought that this was an excellent idea.  I thought that we might capture the miscreant squirrel or raccoon in the act and end up with an exciting blog post.  In the event, it was a nice walk.  No intruders.  Miscreant alarm.

While I was in the neighborhood, I took some photos that I thought pretty fairly depicted the changing nature of The Summer Place.  First came the little cabin on the lake.  This particular one was part of a small resort community, whose name escapes me at the moment.  Bluff something?  Nice spot anyway.  Screened in porch, short walk down to the beach, nice woods.

Then came more substantial houses, the better to fit in all the kids and grandkids.  And then the Guest House.  The first Guest Houses were pop-up tents for the kids.  This one, however, is a nice Gentrified Guest House.

Nowadays, we are in the Age of the McMansion–i.e., the Very Large House with No Trees.  Here is one under construction.  I do not mean to single it out.  It is but one of many, and will no doubt look very nice when it is finished, sitting there on its naked lot.  Perhaps they will plant saplings. 

In a way this approach is historically faithful.  The settlers who arrived here after the Civil War–you knew I’d get them in here somehow, right?–those settlers couldn’t wait to get rid of the pesky trees that infested their new land.  They particularly objected to the hardwoods, which weren’t marketable.  Pine was king, queen and jack, Ace, and the rest of the forest could go burn.  So that’s what they did.  Burned it off to make way for farming.  Imagine that.

Here we have one of the 19th century houses in Eastport.  Mrs. Ms. Blow has been dead lo these many years, but it’s still “Mabel Blow’s House.”  Clearly it has fallen on hard times, and now hard times have fallen on it.  A large tree (you can see the stump in the foreground) came down in the big windstorm and landed on the roof.  Smashed the window.  Generally wreaked havoc.  What I can’t figure out is why that neatly sawed-off branch is sticking out of the roof.

Next time I see Kevin, who’s renting the place, I’ll have to ask him about it. 

We have another historic property to visit, too.  I was passing by Duane and Mary Geiger’s on my way home when something caught my eye.  It looked like an image of a bear carved on a tree.  I think he’s holding a fish.

Duane Geiger was getting ready to go to the recycling center when he saw me standing on the side of the road gaping at his tree, so we chatted awhile.  No, it wasn’t a deliberate artwork.  A big limb had come down, tearing away a chunk of the trunk as it fell.  The axe marks are from tidying up the mess.  The bear–or whatever it is (Duane looked at me out of the corner of his eye, clearly of a different opinion, but too polite to say so)–the bear is Mama Nature’s handiwork. 

Then we talked about the house, which goes back to the 1880s and was home to Wendell and Nora (Smith) Evans, grandparents to Nora Metz.  The Geigers love the place, and have filled it with three generations from time to time.  A good family house.  I omitted to take its picture, and I can’t find a current one in The Archive right now, but here’s what it looked like more than a century ago.  Unlike Mable Blow’s House, it looks a lot better now. 

And it has that bear tree to recommend it.  Possibly two.  Looking beyond the original bear, you can see another venerable tree with another of Mama Nature’s drawings.  I think it might be a bear, walking toward us.  Or perhaps a beaver headed in the other direction.  Mama is a difficult artist to pin down.

Now that I think of it, I can’t imagine why realtors aren’t lined up to get me to do advertising copy for their listings, can you?  Must investigate.