LAKE WAWASEE — Beautiful, awesome, fantastic, wonderful and many other words were heard by those participating in the 2018 Wawasee Property Owners “Tour of the Century” home tour Saturday evening, Aug. 4.
Homeowners, present at each of their homes, were thanked repeatedly by guests for opening their homes and allowing a glimpse of their century homes.
The first home tour hosted by the WPOA in a number of years was a sold out event and deemed a success. There were 402 participants traveling to five homes on the north shore of Lake Wawasee in 51 boats. Each participant received a gift bag with a special wristband, notepad, pen, a booklet describing each home, a boxed lunch and several local magazines.
Each of the homes had unique features, but each one was decorated in a fashion of what could be considered a lake cottage theme. Original, or replica, board and batten paneling, hardwood floors, cast iron sinks and many other features could be seen in each of the homes.
Everyone walked away from each home in awe of the decor and history each home provided, and every guest had his/her favorite home.
The following is a bit of history and information on the homes:
Mike and Carla Leppert’s home at Pier 7, was originally owned and built by William Noll, Fort Wayne. The large boat house, built in 1922, was a common location for entertaining by the owner. The Leppert’s acquired the property in 1998 after it had been gutted and left vacant for 18 years. The Lepperts brought it back to life with original elements such as the hardwood floors board and batten paneling, stair rails which were replicated on the staircase to the garage apartment, cast iron bedroom sinks, milk glass door knobs, living room fire place and lakeside light posts and stair railing.
The home of Jerry and Diane Moore, Pier 316 on Morrison Island, if filled with family history, including a growth chart on the trim of a doorway and the original 1920 dining room table set with World War II china given to the owner’s uncle, Willis Eagles, by Charles de Gaulle. The cottage was built in 1908 and bought by the four daughters of Orlando Kimmell in 1920. Jerry Moore, great-grandson of Kimmell, took ownership in 2004. The cottage was renovated to look as it did in 1920, with the exception of adding four bathrooms, and an outdoor shower.
“Wawatopia,” owned by Scott and Julie Laughner, Pier 748, has been home to several different families over its 120-year existence. There were originally three bedrooms upstairs, each with a sink, with a later owner adding another two bedrooms and a garage to the original two bedrooms on the main floor, and extending the kitchen to what had originally been a back porch. The Laughners purchased the home in 2008 and during renovations found “1898” written in pencil on the bricks on the back of the chimney. Laughner’s changed the white house back to red after discovering redwood siding. The Laughter’’s maintained the character of the house during remodeling, keeping the footprint, while updating the interior of the home.
The home of Dave and Judy Eckrich, Pier 749, was built in 1898 by Frank Abbot, with all the lumber shipped by rail to Syracuse. The Eckrich’s purchased the property in 1972 and had to decide whether to raze or remodel as it was in need of major refurbishing. The decision to remodel was made after learning the framing was in virgin lumber and in sound condition. The remodeling included rearranging rooms, installing new wiring and plumbing. In 1990 a master suite, two bedrooms with full baths and a three car garage was added.
The home of John and Margy Feighner, Pier 795, is known as Snug Harbor cottage, Frank and Julia Souder bought lots 10-14 in Wright’s Place in 1904 and in 1906 built the cottage. George and Cora Osborn bought the cottage in 1915, with their son Arthur acquiring the cottage in 1935, adding a west wing that included the first floor master bedroom and two upstairs bedroom. In 1949 Osborn bequeathed the cottage to his children and was shared by the siblings for two years. Joe Osborn later sold his interest to his sister, Marilyn Osborn Feighner and her husband, Jack, and his brother, George. In 1972 George Osborn and his wife sold their share to the Feighners. John and Margy took ownership in 2000. They later remodeled the art studio to a modern kitchen and breakfast room, updated bathrooms and restored the original pine flooring.