Listing of the Week: Garrison Keillor's log retreat
Radio host and his son turned Swedish settlers' cabins into modern-day homes. The Wisconsin woods helped the writer appreciate winter.
Do you want to live at Lake Wobegon, where you can ice-fish in the winter and enter tomato-growing competitions in the summer?
You can't, of course, really live at Lake Wobegon, Minn., which comes from "Prairie Home Companion" creator Garrison Keillor's imagination.
You can, however, buy the riverfront compound where Keillor used to live and did some of his writing. The four-building compound, nestled in 11 acres of woods, has a certain rustic Lake Woebegonlike quality. Asking price is $995,000.
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The compound isn't in Minnesota, however, but along the St. Croix River in Wisconsin, about an hour from Minneapolis-St. Paul.
The property includes a main log home, a log guest house, a studio and a writer's cottage. The main house and guest house were reassembled by Keillor and his son, Jason, from three Swedish settlers' cabins on the property.
Keillor bought the property in the early 1990s, planning to live there permanently, he told The Star-Tribune of Minneapolis. "It was a whole country life that I imagined," he told the newspaper. "Then I woke up here this summer and realized I was not going to live there."
The radio host, 69, divides his time between a home in St. Paul and a place in New York City. His son Jason Keillor, wife Tiffany Hanssen and their two sons, 9 and 11, have been living on the property, but now that the sons are older, the family wants to live closer to the city.
If you like the log-cabin look, modernized for today, this might be your kind of place. The photos show wood floors, wood cathedral ceilings, built-ins, decks and a big clay tennis court. In keeping with the Scandinavian heritage of the area, it also has saunas.
Keillor says that living in the woods helped him appreciate winter. He told The Star-Tribune:
"Whenever it snowed it was beautiful beyond words. It really was. I remember walking down the long driveway with the snow falling, with cast members from New York, and it was like a scene out of a Russian novel with the snow falling and people in long coats with their arms around each other. There's nothing like having a little piece of woods to really experience fall, winter and spring."
I have listened to Garrison for almost 30 years. He's entertaining. Living in the woods in the winter has to be experienced to be enjoyed. I lived in the mountains and had snow on the ground from Nov. to Mar 31. The mailbox was a mile away (as close as the mail person cared to venture) and you didn't go down the road unless it was necessary. The dead silence was nice and the only sound was the wind coming down the mountain and the snow falling off the trees. There were no tire tracks to mar the beauty of the virgin snow. Deer and wild turkeys were plentiful. It's not a life for everyone as some people are too soft the live it. I'll take it over a high rise in the city any day. I look out on 11 acres of hardwood and right now the beauty rivals that of the northeast in autumn.
Land here in the mountains that went for $500 an acre in the W's now goes for $30,000 an acre with eager buyers. It's all in what you want.
Some pretty bitter people posting here.
Log-cabin for sale, Garrison Keillor happens to be the owner and is looking for a buyer. I like his show and look forward to each one, it provides exposure to diverse entertainers both new and old, music from several genres, and does not take itself too seriously. Nothing I like about the show will change the location, closet space, number of bathrooms, or storage space in the log-cabin. I hope to hear a story on how the sale of the cabin went after the conversation returns to the point at hand; owner seeks buyer for log-cabin.
Enough of the hate and political stuff already. The man is a gifted story teller that is enjoyable to listen to for some. If you don't like the show, don't listen. The world has too many anger filled comments and too many jerks willing to spread them around.
Cut the guy some slack, I hope someday you get to be old and have a enough success that some young brainless jerk has envy for. Equality for the masses sounds great until you see that not everyone pulls his own weight and you get tired of pulling his load too.
Have a nice day anyway.
I invite those of you who must fill this world with hate to go to the northwoods to learn the art of listening. The deep silence of a winter day closes your mouth and opens your eyes to a wonder beyond the endless babbling. The steely silence of ice on the lake and "not one alike" snowflakes touching your eyelashes awakens a deeper life you have yet to live. In this season of Thanksgiving, I am thankful I was born and raised in the northwoods. How about you?
Darn, yet another 1% liberal having to sell some property, the economy must be bad. Too bad he has to do it with housing values in the toilet.
Wow, it's nice of MSN to feature this for him. Isn't it great how the chosen few are propped up by the masses?
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.